Roomassare Harbour history

It is assumed that a harbour has been near Kuressaare from the beginning of the century, even though the exact location is not known. Till the end of the Swedish era the harbour was situated in the district of Abaja and Veski streets, later the landing place was in Tori.

When the economical life got livelier in the town and the mud treatment developed, a question of necessity for a new harbour rose. A suitable place for the new harbour was 4 kilometres to south-east from Kuressaare towards Roomassaare Peninsula.

Money for building it came from the tsarist government, and the construction started in 1891. The state was responsible for the job.

In 1894 the work was completed. The “flagship” of the harbour was a steamship “Konstantin” (mainly covered the distance between Kuressare and Riia). The town profited from the road that went to the harbour (they collected a tax for using the road, the money went to the mayor – as his salary).

In 1913 the harbour was made deeper. The First World War interrupted the more significant repair- and construction works in Roomassaare Harbour.

During the time when Estonia was a Republic the circulation in the harbour increased, new ferry-lines were opened. In the twenties a defence pier was needed, built in the open sea the harbour was not much of a protection and too many quays were broken.

In the summer a big part of the port-users were summer guests coming to Kuressare on ferries.

In 1938 the repair works of the quay started, the electrical lighting was not yet put to use in the harbour. When the war broke out, The army forces used the harbour. The harbour buildings got partly destroyed in the bombing. In 1945 the harbour was administered by the Baltic Navy, and the construction works were organised by naval construction team.

In 1951 the harbour received its first 10-ton crane. In 60s and 70s the development of the port was slow, though the port was hard at work. During that period grand plans were made but only one, building an oil quay got to realisation.

During the 100 years of history of Roomassaare Harbour the most exiting times start from 1991 (rebirth of Estonian Republic).

Thanks to AS Tallinna Sadam financing the first stage of reconstruction of the cargo- and yacht harbours were completed.

In 1994 the administration of Roomassaare Harbour was assigned to RAS Saarte Liinid, formed by the Estonian Ministry of Transport and Communication.

During this time the new cargo quays were built in the harbour, the territory is widened for more cargo storage, the harbour café and a slip building were built in the yacht harbour.

In the spring of 2001 the new yacht harbour building was completed.

Roomassaare Harbour, administered by AS Saarte Liinid, principal task is to process cargo, but in addition to that the yacht harbour has turned out to be one of the most frequently visited yacht harbours in Estonia.

Since 1998 Roomassaare Harbour has received a badge “Sinilipp” that symbolises environmental friendly behaviour. The yacht harbour in Roomassaare was elected the best Estonian small harbour (sailor-friendly and high quality in services offered).