When did the Dominicans Arrive in Tallinn?
Tuna, No.4 (2009)
It is difficult to overestimate the significance of the Order of Preachers in the history of Estonia’s Christianization. It was the first religious order to establish a permanent foothold on the territory of Estonia and spent centuries conducting its mission work among the local population. The territory of Estonia is linked to the Dominicans by another important matter: before his death, the founder of the order, Saint Dominic (c. 1170–1221) wished to conduct a mission to the land of the Estonians. Although we have no specific information about the religious expedition that was planned in 1221, more recent studies allow us to regard the existence of this plan to be highly likely. Previous historiographic tradition has credited Dominic with plans to get involved with the baptism of the peoples on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea as early as 1207 and/or 1217, but these claims have been rather convincingly refuted by now.