It is not easy to determine the beginning of the history of Tallinn. The location, probably attracted attention as a suitable port area long before the first written mention of sources to an agreement there, but all historians have are the archaeological data. The first traces of settlements in the territory of Tallinn today come from the basin of the river Härjapea at Keldrimäe but these cannot be directly linked to the city.


When the famous Arab geographer Al-Idrisi completed his famous world map in 1154 marked the modern port of Tallinn, the story of human settlement here since 3100 years has been formed.

The first known human presence here, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland refers to the second millennium BC. Modern scientists believe that the first people here began the history of Finnish-speaking tribes.

The city called Tallinn today is grown as an important crossroads of trade relations between Russia and the Scandinavian countries. Under the rule of the Crusaders from the North in Denmark Kingdom of the city was the main target for the expansion of the Teutonic Knights.

1219- As part of the Northern Cross, Valdemar II of Denmark heads the Danish fleet to Estonia. The Danish Army defeated the Estonians in the Battle of Lyndanisse. The Danes built a fortress on the Toompea hill, and rule Tallinn and the North Estonia.


1285-Member of the Hanseatic League – a mercantile and military alliance of the 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 military order). At this point Reval (now Tallinn) was very well fortified with city walls and 66 towers.

1561– Tallinn political became a domain of Sweden.

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

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 Russification measures century became stronger.

1918- Independence Manifesto was proclaimed in Tallinn,  followed by Imperial German occupation and a war of independence with Russia. Estonia gained independence and Tallinna (Tallinn today) replaced the former German official name used Reval.

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

However, on August 20, 1991 Estonia declared its independence and from that day the city leaves a bright with optimism and attitude. This city is very exciting to discover and a beautiful surroundings.

Historically Tallinn was divided into 3 parts:

  • Toompea (Domberg) also known as the Cathedral Hill – Nowadays it is the place of government in Estonia, and many municipal buildings, embassies and consulates.
  • The Old Town
  • The Estonian town – place of settlement of Estonians.