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Kuressaare has become the supporting and trading place of ancient islanders having located in the mouth of River Põduste near the Gulf of Livonia. Pursuant to the German-Danish conquests the fortification of the possessions of Riga's archbishop was started during 1230ies.

The city developed near the bishop stronghold built in XIV century and preserved up to today. The historical records mention the small town of Kuressaare for the first time in 1424. The change in the development of the small town was brought by the Livonian war which outbroke in 1558.

At the beginning of 1563 the ambassadors of Kuresssaare applied for the city rights for the small town from Duke Magnus who at that time was located in his Kuramaa residence in Piltene. On 8 May Magnus gave a privilege according to which the city got the so-called right of Riga.

The leading and organizing body of the city was the town council elected from now on whose members included two chairpersons, five aldermen, city bailiff and court clerk. 8 May is celebrated as the birthday of the city.

In 1858 the steamer started to travel from Saaremaa to Riga, in 1889 the steamboat between Muhu and the mainland.

The end of the tsar period and the Republic of Estonia up to 1940 was the bloom of the resort. During the Soviet times the city bore the name of the communist Kingissepp.

Many people were forced to move from the country to the city, individual houses with large gardens were set up where it is beautiful to walk up to now. Saaremaa was a border zone for entering to which the Estonians also needed the invitation of the local people.





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