The Swedish venture in Lihula

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08. August 1220

County of Läänemaa (Wiek) had been left aside in the struggle between the Germans and the Danes. This rose the interest of Swedish king Johan I Sverkersson. Sweden had great interest in christening people on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, and they decided to join the crusade in Estonia.

In early summer of 1220, king arrived with his dukes near the hill fort in Lihula. Christening and church building begun right away, also negotiations with the Danes were opened. Germans, naturally, did not like this development, but no open conflict took place.. Soon, the king left Wiek, leaving behind only 500 men.

Oeselians living in the neighboring county did not like the new arrivals at all, and on August 8, 1220, a large Oesel fleet arrived at Lihula. The fort was surrounded and after fierce fightning, the Swedish had to surrender. The fort was set afire and large part of the Swedes were killed.

This ended Sweden's try to settle in Estonia, and they did not actively interfere for another 300 years.


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