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The Estonians (citizens of Rävala) established the stronghold to Toompea probably in the 11th century or at the end of the 10th century.

Tallinn is awarded by the name Kolõvan used to call the several strongly fortified strongholds in many Russian chronicles.

In 1219 the Danes conquered the stronghold. The name Lindanise is used in the chronicle of Henry of Livonia which means the Danish city word from word (danise) or stronghold (lin) and the Estonian name Tallinn (Danish city, Talyna, first mentioned in 1536) has the same stem.

The later (lower) German Reval probably proceeds from the name of Räval county having surrounded the settlement. The country people having escaped to Turku and Päris-Soome (Varsinais-Suomi) over the Gulf of Finland took along the pre-conquer name Kesoniemi.

The city set up on the foothill of Toompea got the right of city on 15 May 1248 (Lübeck's city rights) and developed as the member of Hansa Union into one of the most important centres of Hansa eastern trade near the Baltic Sea. In the middle of the 16th century presumably 7000-8000 citizens lived between the walls of Tallinn, also the people of suburbs, i.e. small towns, located within the joint land of city community.

Although Tallinn was subordinate to the Danish king in 1219-1227 and 1238-1346, within 1227-1237 to the order of the Brotherhood of Sword and in 1346-1347 the city belonged to the German order, it actually operated independently and in 1347-1561 the subordination of the city went over to the Livonian order master. In 1561-1710 Tallinn belonged to the state of Sweden and surrendered to Russia in the Northern War in 1710.

During the power of Tsar-Russia Tallinn was the administrative centre of the Estonian province. Tallinn Old City has been entered to the list of the world estate of UNESCO. The oldest building monuments are the stronghold and dome church set up in Toompea at the beginning of the 13th century. The main tower of the stronghold is Long Hermann.

The medieval city wall surrounding the downtown is one of the best preserved in Northern Europe (only 1.85 km of the wall of 2.35 km, 27 of 46 gate and wall towers have preserved). The buildings of gothic style of downtown and practically the whole street network at that time as a whole originate from the 15th century - the medieval prosperous time of Tallinn. Most of the churches have preserved - incl magnificent Niguliste and Oleviste church - which should have been restored to a material extent.
The largest churches of the city have preserved as the ruins - St. Catherine's Dominican Monastery church and Pirita Cloister-Convent. The church of Holy Saint, town hall, town apothecary, building of Great Guild and houses of merchants and handicraftsmen have preserved more or less originally.

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