History of Tallinn

1154
Arab (from the Almoravid Dynasty) geographer Muhammad Al-Idrisi entered it in his map of the world as Kolyvan (today´s Tallinn).

1219
As a part of Northern Crusaders, Valdemar II of Denmark leads the Danish Fleet towards Estonia. The Danish Army defeated the Estonians in the Battle of Lindanisse. The Danes built a large fortress at Toompea Hill from which they ruled Tallinn and Northern Estonia.

1285
Tallinn became member of the Hanseatic League - a mercantile and military alliance of German-dominated cities around the Baltic Sea.

1346
The Danes sold Tallinn along with their other land possessions in northern Estonia to the Teutonic Knights (German based Roman Catholic religious order/military order). At this time Revala (today´s Tallinn) was very well fortified with city walls and 66 defense towers.

1561
Tallinn politically became a dominion of Sweden

1602-1603
A big plague epidemic ravaged Tallinn

1684
A great fire destroyed all but two building at the Toompea Hill.

1710
The Swedish troops based in Tallinn capitulated to Imperial Russia. The local self-government institutions (Magistracy of Reval and Chivalry of Estonia) retained their cultural and economical autonomy within Imperial Russia as the Duchy of Estonia

1870
A railway was completed from St Petersburg, and Tallinn became a chief port of the Russian Empire. Freed peasants converged on the city from the countryside, increasing the percentage of Estonians in its population from 52% in 1867 to 89% in 1897

1889
The Magistracy of Reval was abolished. The 19th century brought industrialization of the city and the port kept its importance. During the last decades of the century Russification measures became stronger.

1918
The Independence Manifesto was proclaimed in Estonia, followed by Imperial German occupation and a war of independence with Russia

1918
Estonia became independent and Tallinna (today´s Tallinn) replaced the formerly used official German name Reval.

1920
Russia acknowledged the independence of the Estonian Republic when the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed with Soviet Russia. Tallinn became the capital of an independent Estonia.

1922
The official spelling of the city name was changed from Tallinna to Tallinn.

1940
Soviet Union (USSR) occupies Estonia

1941 – 1944
Estonia was occupied by Nazi Germany

1944
Once again Russia occupied Estonia and Tallinn. Tallinn suffered badly in WWII, with thousands of buildings destroyed during Soviet bombing in 1944. After the war, under Soviet control, large-scale industry was developed in Tallinn - including the USSR's biggest grain-handling port - and the city expanded, its population growing to nearly 500, 000 from a 1937 level of 175, 000. Much of the new population came from Russia, and new high-rise suburbs were built on the outskirts to house the workers. Not surprisingly, the days of Soviet occupation (1940-91) were hard on the capital. The explosion of Soviet-style settlements in the suburbs meant a loss of cultural life in the center.

1980
For 10 days was the Olympic Fire burning at Tallinn Olympic Yachting Centre in Pirita, north – east of Tallinn when the city was the sailing center for the Moscow Olympic Games. Old Town by the 1980s was run-down, with most people preferring to live rather in the suburbs than the center. Old Town began to be renovated in the late '80s, with independence largely playing out on the streets of Tallinn.

1991
In August was the independent democratic Estonian state re-established. On Aug 20th, Tallinn once again became the capital of independent Estonia. The 1990s saw the city transformed into a contemporary midsized city, with a beautifully restored Old Town and a modern business district. Today a look around the center indicates that the city is booming. Tallinn shows a taste for all things new, extending to IT-driven business at the fore of the new economy, and an Internet-savvy populace that makes other parts of the world seem outmoded. Internet banking and paying parking tickets online are just a few of the conveniences Tallinn’s wouldn't do without.

1997
Tallinn´s Old Town is put on the UNESCO´s World Heritage List.

This city is a thrill to discover and a beautiful atmosphere.

 

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