Baltic Germans

The Baltic Germans in the Baltic region and their eventful history

The more than 700-year history of Germans, whose ancestors came from today's EU states Latvia and Estonia, is presented here in three larger periods.

The museum presents the eventful past of Livonia in the Middle Ages and modern times under Polish, Swedish and Russian rule as well as the importance of the Hanseatic League, the Teutonic Order, the church and knighthoods, including their privileges, which made the Baltic Germans the leading class as country administrators vis-à-vis the dependent majority population of Estonians and Latvians.

Visitors gain insights into prominent Baltic German careers in the Tsarist empire and into urban life with their merchants, guilds, art and science.

Nobility and manor houses are contrasted by the rural life of Latvians and Estonians. With the founding of the independent Baltic States in 1918, the Baltic Germans lost their special status and lived as a minority no longer in their former privileged position before having to leave their homeland for good in 1939 as a result of resettlement under the Hitler-Stalin Pact.