There once was The Hanseatic League

Photo: Mats Õun, Visit Estonia

There once was The Hanseatic League

 The Hanseatic League shaped the economies and politics in the North Sea and Baltic Sea for over 400 years. This made Estonia a sought-after territory and a battleground for neighbouring kingdoms. Visitors today can still explore the legacy of this medieval trading route, dating back to the 13th century. Tallinn, Tartu, Viljandi and Pärnu put on annual Hanseatic festivals to reimagine these early hey days.


Tallinn Old Town in its full glory

Photo by: Kaupo Kalda


Tallinn Old Town is an exceptionally well-preserved northern European trading city on the coast of the Baltic Sea. The city saw a booming development as a major centre of the Hanseatic League between the 13th-16th centuries.

Tartu, Estonia's second largest town, developed to be an important trading post along the commercial route to the east in the late 13th century. Tartu is also a home to Estonia's oldest university, established in mid-17th century.


Annual Viljandi Folk Music Festival

Photo by: Marek Metslaid

Viljandi is a sleepy small town in the midst of national parks. Here you'll find green parks, wooden houses and small art galleries. While only ruins remain of what used to be a home to the Livonian Order, you can still imagine the castle in full glory as it overlooks nearby valleys.

Pärnu is best known as a summer holiday destination. This small town located in the mouth of the River Pärnu used to be an important trading town on the Hanseatic route. While a number of fires have seriously damaged the city, Red Tower in the old town still remains with an addition of a number of remarkable Baroque houses and churches added later.

Last updated : 24.09.2018

In category: Tallinn, South Estonia, West Estonia, History & Culture

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