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TARTU COUNTY (Estonian : Tartu
Tartu
maakond), or TARTUMAA (German : Kreis Dorpat), is one of 15 counties of Estonia
Estonia
.

It is located in eastern Estonia
Estonia
bordering Põlva County , Valga County , Viljandi County and Jõgeva County .

The area of Tartu
Tartu
County is 2,992.74 km², which covers 6.9% of the territory of Estonia. In January 2013 Tartu
Tartu
County had a population of 150,139 – constituting 11.6% of the total population in Estonia. The city of Tartu
Tartu
is the centre of the county located at a distance of 186 km from Tallinn
Tallinn
. Tartu
Tartu
County is divided into 22 local governments – 3 urban and 19 rural municipalities.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography * 2 History * 3 Economy * 4 Education
Education
and culture * 5 Government * 6 Municipalities * 7 References * 8 External links

GEOGRAPHY

Tartu
Tartu
County lies in South Estonia, between Lake Võrtsjärv and Lake Peipsi . Estonia's only navigable river, River Emajõgi (100 km long), flows through the county, connecting Lake Peipsi and Lake Võrtsjärv. Wavy plains are typical landscapes of Tartu
Tartu
County. One third of the county is covered with forests, a third is cultivated. A quarter is made up of wetlands at the headwaters and lower course of the Emajõgi. In the northern part of the county, there are drumlin fields with lakes between them. Nature preserves take up about 10% of the county's territory, the biggest of them being Emajõe Suursoo and Alam-Pedja .

HISTORY

Archaeological findings suggest that people first inhabited the territory of the current Tartu
Tartu
County about 5000 years ago. City of Tartu
Tartu
was first mentioned in historical records in 1030, when Yaroslav I the Wise oraganized a military campaigne against Chuds , defeated them and established fort Yuryev in what is modern day Tartu. In 1224, after the conquest of the stronghold by the German invaders, Tartu
Tartu
became the capital of a diocese, stretching from Northern Estonia
Estonia
to Latvia
Latvia
. Since the 13th century, Tartu
Tartu
belonged to the Hanseatic League , and the town became a well-known trade centre in the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
region. In 1569, together with Duchy of Livonia , Tartu became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth . In 1598 Tartu became capital of the Dorpat Voivodeship , which remained part of the PLC until the 1620s, when the city was conquered by the Swedes.

King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
Sweden
established the University of Tartu in 1632. Estonia's first teachers' training school was established in Tartu
Tartu
County in 1684, as well as the first Estonian schools for the children of peasants. Closed during and after the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
, Tartu
Tartu
University was re-opened in 1802 as the only university operating in German language
German language
in the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
. Economic development of the region was further encouraged by the construction of the railway connecting Tartu
Tartu
with Tallinn, Riga
Riga
and St. Petersburg . In the second half of the 19th century, the national awakening of Estonians began from Tartu
Tartu
region. After Estonia
Estonia
gained independence in 1918, Tartu, along with Tallinn, became one of the two main cultural centres of Estonia, where most of the Estonian intelligentsia of the time lived and worked. In 1987–1989, the students' environmental and cultural heritage movement in Tartu
Tartu
initiated Estonia's Singing Revolution and restoration of the country's independence.

ECONOMY

Tartu
Tartu
County is an integrated economic system and labour area with its centre in the City of Tartu
Tartu
.

There are 6000 companies and 2000 self-employed persons registered in Tartu
Tartu
County. More than 80% of the companies employ 10 or fewer people, only 5 companies in the whole region have more than 250 employees.

Service sector provides 2/3 of the employment in the county. The City of Tartu
Tartu
is the service and logistics centre for the whole of South Estonia
Estonia
. A significant part of these jobs are in the public sector – especially education and medicine – and the biggest employer in the county is Tartu
Tartu
University Clinics with around 3000 employees, incl 455 doctors. The biggest private sector employer is Tarmeko, producing furniture and components, with 900 employees. Unemployment rate in the county has been 2–3% in the recent years.

Typical products of Tartu
Tartu
County are furniture, foodstuffs, clothes, building materials, glass and plastics. The main export target countries are Finland
Finland
, Germany
Germany
, Latvia
Latvia
and Russia
Russia
. 40% of the exports is wood and furniture, other export production includes machinery and appliances, building materials, glass and clothing. Thanks to the fertile lands, there are many big agricultural enterprises in the West of the county. Fishery is an important activity on the coast of Lake Peipsi .

There is development potential for knowledge intensive production in the region due to its universities. Some successful spin-offs of Tartu University are operating in the field of biotechnology and biomedicine. Since 2004, several ICT companies, orientated on the international markets, have been growing fast.

In order to facilitate innovation and technology transfer, Tartu Science Park is offering incubation and consultation services to research-based and high-tech oriented companies, and promoting cooperation between research institutions. Tartu
Tartu
University Institute of Technology
Technology
is a research and development institution, which aims to facilitate the generation of new technological solutions. The R internationalization of the universities; development of vocational and technical education; * support of entrepreneurship and start-ups, increase of knowledge input to the production; * improvement of living environment and social infrastructure of regional centres in the rural areas; * enhancement of international availability by roads, transport and communications networks.

EDUCATION AND CULTURE

Estonian Aviation Museum

Tartu
Tartu
County has 69 schools with approximately 23,000 pupils. 11 vocational schools provide practical training in 50 specialities. 40% of Estonia's students live and study in Tartu. In addition to the University of Tartu
Tartu
and the Estonian University of Life Sciences there are 9 other institutions of higher education, the most recent of them the Baltic Defence College .

In the City of Tartu, Estonia's oldest professional theatre, Vanemuine , stages drama, opera and ballet. In 1869 the first Estonian Song Festival was held in Tartu, starting a tradition of choral song festivals which are now held in Tallinn
Tallinn
every 4 years with 15,000–30,000 participants. Today Tartu
Tartu
Song Festival arena hosts various open-air concerts in summer. There are over 30 museums and art galleries in Tartu
Tartu
County, including Tartu
Tartu
City Museum , Tartu
Tartu
Art Museum , Toy Museum, Estonian Sports Museum , Estonian Postal Museum , Estonian Aviation Museum , Estonian Museum of Agriculture , Old-Believers' Museum of Living History, and others. Biggest and most important of them is Estonian National Museum , that was founded in 1909. Student festivals and Hanseatic festivals take place in Tartu regularly. The best known sports event hosted by Tartu
Tartu
County is the Tartu
Tartu
Ski Marathon , which is a member of the Worldloppet series.

GOVERNMENT

In Estonia, there is no regional self-government on county level. The County Governments (Estonian : Maavalitsus) are led by County Governors (Estonian : maavanem), who are appointed by the National Government.

In accordance with the Government of the Republic Act , the County Governor represents interests of the state in the county and provides for integral and balanced development of the county. The County Governor co-ordinates co-operation of ministries and other organs of executive power located in a county with its local governments and performs supervision over the activities of the local governments. The County Governor is appointed for a five-year term by the Government of the Republic, on the basis of the Prime Minister’s proposal and in co-ordination with the representatives of the local governments.

On February 2, 2006, Esta Tamm was appointed Tartu
Tartu
County Governor. She assumed office February 15, 2006.

The County Government manages the operations of and provides support services to the County Governor; prepares draft documents required by the County Governor; manages and controls the execution of orders of the County Governor; manages the preparation of draft budgets of state agencies administered by the County Government, and controls adherence to the budgets; manages relations of the County Governor with government agencies and local government agencies.

MUNICIPALITIES

The county is subdivided into municipalities . There are 3 urban municipalities (Estonian : linn – "town") and 19 rural municipalities (Estonian : vald) in Tartu
Tartu
County. Municipalities of Tartu
Tartu
County

URBAN MUNICIPALITIES:

* Elva * Kallaste * Tartu
Tartu

RURAL MUNICIPALITIES:

* Alatskivi * Haaslava * Kambja * Konguta * Laeva * Luunja * Meeksi * Mäksa * Nõo * Peipsiääre * Piirissaare * Puhja * Rannu * Rõngu * Tartu
Tartu
* Tähtvere * Vara * Võnnu * Ülenurme

* * * *

REFERENCES

* ^ A B "Estonia’s natural increase in 2010 was positive again after 20 years". stat.ee. Statistics