Läänemereäärsed linnad 13. sajandil / Towns around the Baltic during the 13th century. 20.09. teemad

Ajalooseminar Kiek in de Köki kindlustustemuuseumis 20.09.2019

Vaata ka seminari KAVA/PROGRAMME


Dr Anti Selart, University of Tartu /Tartu Ülikool
Early Towns in Medieval Livonia: Colonialist Violence, Economic Allure, Social Opportunity
/Varased linnad keskaegsel Liivimaal: koloniaalne vägivald, majanduslik külgetõmme, ühiskondlik võimalus/

As a rule, the appearance of urban life in medieval Livonia has been presented in the research as a result of the crusading conquest. Simultaneously, there are attempts to date the emergence of towns in Estonia and Latvia into the “pre-German” period. The paper presents the general background of social and economic developments in the thirteenth-century Baltic Sea area. It was the time when the medieval towns and town law were established in all territories at the sea. At the same time, the economic and political crisis in the Rus’, the main trade partner of Livonian early towns, started already in around 1200, decades before the Mongol conquest. Comparing the political history with social and economic developments provokes the question, whether and how were these processes connected. There was almost continuous war somewhere in Livonia. Despite this, a number of rather large urban centres emerged there, attracting immigrants not only from Germany but also from Rus’, Scandinavia, and other countries.


Dr Björn Magnusson Staaf, Lund University/Lundi Ülikool
Lund in the 13th century – a city in transformation/Lund 13. sajandil – muutuses linn/

Lund was founded in the late 10th century. The establishment of the city is closely related to the Christianization of southern Scandinavia and the Danish state formation process. The general structuration of the city plan, with street network, ecclesiastical institutions, and fortifications became more fixed in the 11th, and 12th century. In this context, it was of particular importance that Lund became the centre of an archdiocese in 1103, Metropolis Lundensis. Yet, the 13th century was to become a period of important transformation in Lund. The introduction of brick architecture started in the 12th century, but it was first during the 13th century that it was going to have its full impact. Several ecclesiastical buildings were expanded, or had their architectural design altered with brick building. Two large convents, one Dominican, and one Franciscan were also established in Lund during 13th century. These convents were to play an important role in the future developments of both the city of Lund, as well as in relation to the Archbishop and the Danish King. The everyday material culture, which is reflected through archaeological finds, also changed in this period of time. New types of pottery were introduced for example, and the strong cultural influences from the German Hanseatic region came to clear display. Lund was also at the centre of political turbulence in this era. The relationship between some of the Archbishops in Lund, such as Jakob Erlandsen and Jens Grand, and the Danish Kings were often hostile during the second half of the 13th century. It can be discussed to what extent these conflicts known from historical sources, also are reflected in the archaeological material that have been retrieved. Lund is situated in the province of Scania, and from this point of view the 13th century is particularly interesting when it comes to aspects related to the development of towns and cities. It is during this century that a number of new cities, and towns were established in Scania, such as Malmö, Ystad and Simrishamn among others. It necessary also to take this new urban regional context in account when trying to understand the developments and dynamics in Lund during the eventful 13th century.


MA Arvi Haak,  University of Tartu, Tartu City Museum/Tartu Ülikool, Tartu Linnamuuseum
 From ‘the oldest town in the Baltic’ to a ‘real’ medieval town: Tartu in the 13th century
/Kuidas “Baltimaade vanimast linnast” päriselt linn sai. Mõnda 13. sajandi Tartust/

Tartu in south Estonia was one of the towns in present-day Estonia that were established shortly after the 13th-century conquest. Although first mentioned already in 1030, the development of Tartu during the 13th century resembles in many aspects that of Tallinn. During the 75 years since 1224, when the Tartu hillfort was conquered by the crusading forces until ca. 1300, the Tartu townscape changes significantly and by the end of the 13th century, it in many aspects resembles several contemporary towns. Several institutions, such as urban churches and monasteries have been founded besides urban-type housing. Although the 75-year period seems rather short in terms on urban development, the evolution of Tartu is further hinders by the effect of a raid in 1262, mentioned in Russian chronicles, which probably halted the earlier progress and is seen as the main reason for modifications visible in the material remains.

In understanding the development of Tartu, the importance of archaeological information has been acknowledged for decades, as the amount of written information is rather scarce. However, the interpretation of the existing data has significantly changed over that period. In the presentation, information is summarised on the developments in Tartu during these ca. 75 years. Using the unearthed construction remains and collected archaeological finds (ceramic finds, in particular) as the main source, but also the existing written evidence, the area settled by ca. 1300 is reconstructed, but also the development of ecclesiastical institutions and private housing. Another point of discussion is the presumed origin of the first settlers of the multi-ethnic urban community, but also the development of trading contacts of the town. As a summary, the presentation aims to sketching a vision of Tartu by the year 1300.


Dr Ieva Ose, University of Latvia, Latvian Academy of Sciences/Läti Ülikool, Läti Teaduste Akadeemia
Archaeological evidence of the origins of Riga in the 13th century/13. sajandi Riia tekke arheoloogilised jäljed/

Riga is the oldest medieval town in Livonia. Its development was connected with the expansion of North-German merchants in the Baltic Sea in the late 12th century. The first seat of the German bishops was in Uexküll/Ikšķile in the lower reaches of the Daugava River. In this environment existed fertile soil, and rich Liv settlements were located but the rapids in the river hindered the traffic of bigger ships. After the Chronicle of Henry, in 1201 the bishop Albert moved below the rapids and founded a Riga town where a suitable port could be arranged. Riga was situated on an almost 30 ha wide peninsula between the Daugava River and its small tributary Riga River. There two settlements and grave fields of the 12th century were excavated and the evidences of the Livs mixed with other local inhabitants were found. In 1208 the oldest part of Riga was fortified with the first town wall, but the new town wall was built around the suburb already short before 1234, marking the quick development of the town. Archaeological excavations have revealed wooden dwelling houses of the local population as well timber framed houses and stone buildings inhabited by the German settlers. Written sources of the 13th century mention the bishop’s court, the castle of the Order of Sword Brothers, several parish churches and some monasteries. Archaeological excavations have contributed in researches of their location and early building history.


MA Jesper Langkilde, Roskilde Museum/Roskilde muuseum
13th century Roskilde – a Danish medieval metropolis at its height/13. sajandi Roskilde – Taani keskaegne metropol oma hiilguse tipul/

The 13th century was the peak of the trajectory for the town of Roskilde, in terms of size, wealth and importance in the political, economic and cultural urban landscape in medieval Denmark. The town emerged as an administrative center for the new Christian king and church around 1000 AD and developed quickly into one of the largest and wealthiest towns in Denmark. By the mid-13th century, the town had a cathedral with a cathedral school, 13 parish churches, 5 monasteries and 3 hospitals, covering a fortified town area of 73.000 m² plus several suburbs. In the late Middle Ages the curve was falling, reaching a low point after the Reformation in 1536, when almost all of the churches and institutions were shut down.
In this presentation, I will give a general characterization of 13th century Roskilde based on the material evidence. An important point is that, although situated at Roskilde Fjord, the town never developed as a mercantile center or port of trade, as so many other coastal towns in this period in the Baltic, but rather has to be characterized as a consumer town centered round a wealthy, cosmopolitan ecclesiastical elite, which introduced new European cultural trends.


Dr Dirk Rieger, Lübeck, City government office/Lübecki linnavalitsuse muinsuskaitse amet
beck the 13th century boomtown/Lübeck – kiire arenguga linn 13. sajandil/

Lübeck was founded in 1143 AD and very fast became one of the major ports for connecting Europe’s continental hinterland with the lucrative and well established Baltic trade networks. In the second half of the 12th century it already was a developed urban centre with an urban sense of space as well as an urban layout and complete infrastructure. During the first decades of the 13th century within the sovereignty of the Danish King Waldemar II Lübeck became by far the largest city in the Scandinavian known world. Then its urban fabric changed rapidly from two storied half-timbered houses to even more representative large scale brick buildings and halls. The city was fortified with its first circulating (brick) wall and high defence towers and the harbour for overseas trade was enlarged. By not later than this time Lübeck gained the title of main trade hub for the Baltics. As a result the city became headquarter of the Baltic-crusades as well as the main out port for military and missionary ambitions to Livonia. Afterwards the starting point for all settlers moving to the new established colonies was located at the banks of the cities peninsula.


Eero Heinloo, Tallinn University
13th century in the suburban areas of Tallinn/Tallinna äärelinna-alad 13. sajandil/

Over the last decades hundreds of archaeological surveys (excavations, preliminary studies, monitoring) have been conducted in suburban areas outside the old town of Tallinn, the last five years have been particularly intense. Despite the abundance of research archaeological material from the suburbs dating back to the 13th century is relatively scarce and has been largely obtained already a few decades ago. Fortunately there have been several recent studies that either confirm or refute the earliest assumptions concerning the end of ancient and the beginning of medieval times in suburban areas and this particular conference presentations focuses on reflecting this somewhat new knowledge. Keywords of the presentation are – locations of local and foreign pre-urban settlements, connections between pre-urban and urban settlements and emergence of suburban settlements outside old town of Tallinn.


Dr Erki Russow, Tallinn University
The emergence of 13th century urban settlement of Tallinn
/13. sajandi linnalise keskuse tärkamine Tallinnas/

Much has been published over the last 100 years concerning the beginnings of the urban settlement of Tallinn, reflecting not only the contemporary state of knowledge but also the political circumstances influencing the researchers. This is fully understandable, as the present street network of the old town and the sparce written evidence from the earliest days of the town creation do not give us straightforward answer how the building of the medieval urban centre on the southern shore of the Tallinn Bay began. Thus up to day several different development schemes have been offered, from the lively prehistoric (i.e, 11th–12th cc) trade settlement on the foot of Toompea Hill to the town formation only after the 1230s. The present paper will take a brief glimpse at the former synthesises and later on discusses how the collected archaeological data support these ideas. In all, what is certain by now is the fact that within the 2–3 generations of urban dwellers a walled town of Tallinn within its present borders emerged by 1300 AD.