Memorial plaque of Stephen Báthory in Estonia renewed on the anniversary of his birth

On 27 September at 12, the renewed memorial plaque of Stephen Báthory, Prince of Transylvania, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, born on this day in 1533, will be unveiled on the wall of the main building of the University of Tartu.

The University of Tartu, founded in 1632 by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, previously hosted a plaque in Estonian and Polish indicating that the Jesuit college serving as a precursor to the university was founded by Stephen Báthory. The plaque, however, did not mention that Báthory was the Prince of Transylvania, and a Hungarian by origin.

Báthory played a brief but significant role in the history of Tartu and Estonia. His hussar troops fought in three campaigns against the Russian tsarist troops in the south of the country. Although the prince himself never visited Estonia, he granted city rights to Valga, founded a training centre for interpreters in Tartu, as well as the aforementioned college, and donated the red and white flag and coat of arms which are still used by the city.

The new trilingual plaque was created on the initiative of Professor János Pusztay with the support of the Prime Minister's Office of Hungary and the collaboration of the Munkácsy Mihály Association of Hungarians in Estonia. In addition to serving as a memory to Báthory, the text also commemorates the fact that in the years from 1802 to 1918, the university provided study and research opportunity for some 2,000 Polish students and scholars, and that the Hungarian Scientific Institute of Tartu and the Hungarian and Polish language departments operated there between the two World Wars.

Tartu has a special place in Hungarian-Estonian relations. Between the two World Wars, several Hungarian professors helped to strengthen the higher education in the newly independent Estonia, and during the Soviet period, the university provided further education opportunities for many Transcarpathian Hungarians, while continuing to provide a place for Hungarian language teaching.

Toomas Asser, Rector of the University of Tartu, the Polish Ambassador Grzegorz Kozłowski and Márton Schőberl, Deputy State Secretary for Cultural Diplomacy representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary will speak at the unveiling of the plaque. In their speeches, the diplomats point out that this year, the Republic of Estonia celebrates the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Hungary and Poland. After the event, Deputy State Secretary Márton Schőberl will visit the university's Department of Finno-Ugric Studies to learn more about the conditions for Hungarian language learning here.

Journalists and all interested are welcome to the unveiling of the plaque on 27 September at 12.

Further information:

Sirje Üprus, Head of International Protocol of University of Tartu, +372 509 7117,
Tamás Orosz, Deputy Head of Mission, Counsellor, Embassy of Hungary, +372 5877 1626,