Part of the Swedish Empire

History of Estonia between 1561 - 1721

The Duchy of Estonia, also known as Swedish Estonia, was a dominion of the Swedish Empire from 1561 until 1721, when it was ceded to Russia in the Treaty of Nystad, following its capitulation, during the plague, in the Great Northern War.

The dominion arose during the Livonian War, when the northern parts of present-day Estonia (Reval (Tallinn) and the counties of Harjumaa, Western Virumaa, Raplamaa and Järvamaa) submitted to the Swedish king in 1561, and Läänemaa in 1581. It is also colloquially known as the "good old Swedish times" by Estonians, but this expression was not used before the following Russian rule, in the beginning of which the situation of Estonian peasantry declined rapidly (to gain support of German nobility, Russia gave them more power over peasantry).

Previous historical period: Danish and Livonian Order (1208-1560) | Next historical period: Part of the Russian Empire (1722-1918)

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Danmark Church

The first written record of church in Danmark locality date back to the year 1291. Close to the church are several stones with a Christian text and cross inscribed. The oldest parts of the present red-brick church are from the 1300s. In the late 1400s the church was enlarged to the appearance it has today. The church has been modified both internally and externally several times, among other things after the fires in 1699 and 1889. There are lot of well-preserved mural paintings in the walls.