Introduction of Tallinn
City, port, and capital of Estonia, on the Gulf of Finland , 200 mi W of St. Petersburg. The site of a fortified settlement from the first millennium b.c., it fell to the Danes in a.d. 1219 and joined the Hanseatic League in 1285. Sold to the Teutonic Knights in 1346, it passed to Sweden in 1561 and was captured by Peter the Great of Russia in 1710 during the Great Northern War. Capital of independent Estonia from 1918 to 1940, it became part of the Soviet Union in 1940 but was under German occupation from 1941 to 1944. Today it is a major Baltic port and industrial center.