Kuressaare is a town and a municipality on Saaremaa island in Estonia. It is the capital of Saare County. The current population is about 14,706 (1. January 2011). The city is situated on the coast of Gulf of Riga and is served by Kuressaare Airport. Its historic name Arensburg (from Middle High German a(a)r: eagle, raptor) renders the Latin denotation arx aquilae for the city's castle. The fortress and the eagle, tetramorph symbol of Saint John the Evangelist, are also the depicted on Kuressaare's coat of arms.
The name was replaced by Kuressaare (probably from Estonian kurg: crane) in 1918 after Estonia had declared its independence from Bolshevist Russia. Under Soviet rule the town from 1952 to 1988 was called Kingissepa after the Bolshevik Kuressaare-native Viktor Kingissepp killed in 1922 (not to be confused with the Russian town Kingisepp, formerly Jamburg).