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Year 1220 (MCCXX) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.
- May 26 - German Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, grants bishops sovereign rights.
- May – St. Francis of Assisi resigns from the leadership of the Franciscan Order.
- August 8 – Livonian Crusade: Estonians defeat the invading Swedes, in the Battle of Lihula.
- November 22 – Frederick II is crowned Holy Roman Emperor, by Pope Honorius III.
- The Mongols first invade the Khwarazmian Empire; Bukhara and Samarkand are taken.
- The Dominican Order is approved by Pope Honorius III.
- Conrad of Masovia drives out the heathen Prussians, from the Masovian territory of Chelmno Land.
- Trial by ordeal is abolished in England.
- The German Hohenstaufen dynasty, which had ruled Sicily since 1194, adopts Palermo as its principal seat.
- Dordrecht receives city rights, making it the oldest city in the present-day Holland area.
- Ljubljana receives its town rights.
- The Islamic lands of Central Asia are overrun by the armies of the Mongol invader Genghis Khan (ca. 1155–1227), who lays waste to many civilizations, and creates an empire that stretches from China to the Caspian Sea.
- The Thai Kingdom of Sukhothai is established.
- Saint Benedict of Nursia is canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
- Gothic architecture becomes increasingly popular in Europe.
- The rebuilding of the Cathedral of Chartres, which had been destroyed by a fire in 1194, is completed.
- The rebuilding of Amiens Cathedral begins.
- The rebuilding of York Minster begins.
- The building of the Salisbury Cathedral begins.
- The rebuilding of the city of London begins.
- ^ a b Sutton, Ian (1999). Architecture, from Ancient Greece to the Present. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-20316-3.