The foundation

The Foundation for Science and Liberal Arts Domus Dorpatensis was founded in 2002 by Alexander von Rücker (professor at Bonn University), Mr Jenik Radon (professor at Columbia University) and Mr Nils Hollberg (president of the Society for the Restoration of Baltic Historical Buildings).

The mission of Domus Dorpatensis is to support, enhance and promote societal, cultural and scientific activities in Estonia, specifically in Tartu. Our aim is to contribute to and aid the public discourse and academic discussion of various topics by giving everyone an opportunity to come together in a stimulating environment.

In order to do so, we are aiming to create a meeting place to exchange ideas, acquire information, and share knowledge.  A spacious seminar room, a luxurious board room and an inviting club room are available for various occasions – for rent, for events co-sponsored with the Foundation, or even for more private matters. As an independent, non-profit organization, Domus Dorpatensis will not only serve as a physical meeting place, but is also stimulating and encouraging in-depth and active discussion and development of various topics relevant for our times.

We are always happy to provide additional information, share our knowledge with you and welcome you as our guest in Domus Dorpatensis!

At the moment Domus Dorpatensis is a member in the following networks:

Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organisations

Transparency International Estonia

Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation 

Estonian Social Enterprise Network

Historical building

The building of Domus Dorpatensis is situated in Tartu, right beside the Town Hall. The oldest part of the stone house, built before 1755, has still preserved its mansard roof and baroque roof-windows. The house is three-storied and comprises a large courtyard. The U-shaped set of buildings takes additional architectural value in the fact that the houses were not damaged in World War II and have alone in the quarter preserved their historical authenticity. Therefore it is the house of Domus Dorpatensis that has the most ancient and original look in the vicinity of the Town Hall.

From 1849 to the World War II the house belonged to the Baltic German family von Rücker. During the Soviet period the house accommodated in addition to apartments a seed-shop, a cobbler, and a tailor. After Estonia regained its independence, the estate was returned to the von Rücker family. Since 2002, the building belongs to the Foundation Domus Dorpatensis. At the moment there are shops and a café on the ground floor, the HUB and the Foundation Domus Dorpatensis on the first floor and guest apartments on the second floor.