Tallinn is a historic city dating back to the medieval times and it was first recorded on a world map in 1154, although the first fortress was built on Toompea in 1050. In 1219, the city was conquered by Valdemar II of Denmark, but it was soon sold to the Hanseatic League in 1285. The city, known as '''Reval''' at the time, prospered as a trading town in the 14th century, and much of Tallinn's historic center was built at this time.Tallinn then became a pawn in the geopolitical games of its big neighbors, passing into Swedish hands in 1561 and then to Russia under Peter the Great in 1710. By World War I and the ensuing brief Estonian independence (starting 1918) Tallinn's population had reached 150,000.Estonia was eventually annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, only to be conquered by Nazi Germany (1941-44) and then retaken by the Soviets. In World War II, the city was quite extensively bombed, even though luckily the medieval town remains. The Soviet Union undertook a program of massive Slavic migration, and just over 40% of Tallinn's current inhabitants are Slavic (compared to an average of 28% for the entire country). On Aug 20, 1991, Estonia declared independence and Tallinn became its capital once again.Today, Tallinn is a bustling, gleaming metropolis of 400,000 people. However, among the tall glassy buildings and corporate headquarters, Tallinn retains an inner charm seldom found anywhere else. Estonia considers itself a Northern European/Scandinavian country, with very close ties to Finland (ethnic, linguistic, and cultural), and visiting Tallinn you will find a mix of at least three architectures in this very visual city -- old Europe (the city walls and rustic buildings), Soviet brutalist (crumbling apartment blocks), and modern Europe (including McDonald's next to the city walls!).* '''Tourist Information Center''', Niguliste 2 / Kullassepa 4, Phone: '' 372'' 645 7777, (Email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com), http://www.tourism.tallinn.ee.