Kuressaare becomes a town

to map

08. May 1563

There was a settlement in Kuressaare already during the XIV century, that later grew into a trade settlement. The fort of Kuressaare was second to Haapsalu in its importance as the residence of the Ösel-Wiek, some bishops preferring Kuressaare to Haapsalu.

Nonetheless, Kuressaare was not granted the town privileges, as the towns of New and Old Pärnu were nearby, and most of the trade routs had formed by the time Kuressaare became noteworthy.

In the beginning of the Livonian War, the population of Kuressaare grew due to some merchants that had fled from the mainland, and in the spring of 1563, citizens of Kuressare, Jakob Kohl, Wolther Rothendorf and Gert von Demter presented an application for granting the town privileges. Duke Magnus, who resided in Kuressaare, granted this wish.

(photo): http://www.kuressaare.ee/uus/public/images/symboolika/270.jpg

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