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The historical name of the city is Königsberg. Königsberg was founded as a castle September 1, 1255 by the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order Poppo von Osterna and Bohemian (Czech) king Ottokar II on the site of the Prussian settlement Twangste (Tuwangste). In 1286-1327, three settlements formed around the castle of Königsberg (Altstadt, Löbenicht and Kneiphof) were granted Kulm (municipal) rights. After the 1454-1466 War, the Teutonic Order moved its capital from Marienburg (now Malbork in Poland) to Konigsberg. In 1525, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order Albrecht converted the theocracy into a secular duchy and became the Duke of Prussia. The capital of the new state was in Königsberg. In 1544, the University opened in the town and was later named 'Albertine' in honor of Duke Albrecht. Königsberg was the place where the great philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1805) lived all his life and where the prominent German writer Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776-1822) was born and educated. Many outstanding figures of German culture and science lived and worked in the town. E.g. philosophers Johann Gottfried Herder and Johann Gottlieb Fichte, astronomer Friedrich Bessel, naturalist Carl Baer, ​​composer Richard Wagner, mathematicians David Hilbert and Hermann Minkowski, artist Käthe Kollwitz, sculptor Hermann Brachert, political scientist Hannah Arendt and many others. Königsberg was involved in several European wars: the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), Napoleonic Wars (1805-1807 and 1812-1814), the First (1914-1918) and the Second World War (1939-1945). The town was the place where different historical and cultural traditions were put together, a shelter for people of different nationalities. It is important to note that throughout its history the town of Königsberg had been inextricably linked to the history of Russia. It was a place that attracted prominent Russian writers, scientists, public figures and even monarchs. One of the halls of the Royal Castle was even called the Hall of Muscovites: this is where the envoys of the Grand Duke of Moscow Vasily III stopped in the first quarter of the XVI century. Königsberg was repeatedly visited by the Russian Tsar Peter I and his wife Catherine I. During the Seven Years' War, the town became part of the Russian Empire (1758-1762). V.I. Suvorov, the father of the great Russian commander, was then among the governors of the province. The town was visited by the Empress Catherine II, princess E. Dashkova, writer and officer of the Russian army A. Bolotov, historians V. Tatishchev and N. Karamzin, commander M. Kutuzov, poets V. Zhukovsky, E. Baratynsky, N. Nekrasov and V. Mayakovsky, writer A. Herzen and artist K. Bryullov. In the 1920-1940s, here lived and worked in the University Russian philosopher and theologian N. Arsenev. During the Second World War, Königsberg was heavily bombed by the British air force in August 1944 and later stormed by the Soviet troops in April 1945. The position of Königsberg as an ice-free port on the Baltic Sea has played a key role in its future: by a 1945 decision of the victorious powers at the Potsdam Conference, a part of the German province of East Prussia was transferred to the Soviet Union and incorporated into the RSFSR. July 4, 1946, the city of Königsberg was renamed Kaliningrad. The new history of the old city started.

Modern Kaliningrad is a dynamically developing commercial and industrial center of the most western Russian region. Centuries-old heritage, the interest to which has significantly increased in recent years, is originally interwoven in the city with the signs of the third millennium creating a unique combination that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Tourist routes

Everyone who arrives in Kaliningrad immediately notices its cultural and historical uniqueness most clearly manifested in the architectural appearance of the city. Despite the fact that the architecture of Königsberg was seriously damaged during the Second World War, Kaliningrad still possesses quite many objects of great interest for history buffs. These include fortifications, city gates, Lutheran churches, the Cathedral and other landmarks holding in their monumental appearance much historical and cultural information. In order to experience the atmosphere of the age-old city, to understand its uniqueness, one should slowly wander through its streets. Such districts of former Königsberg as Amalienau and Maraunenhof are of particular interest. Today there are Kutuzova and Telmana streets and their surroundings. A walk along these streets is the best opportunity to make one's own opinion about Kaliningrad as a "garden city". Any tour through the city necessarily involves going to the unique complex of the Museum of the World Ocean and to the Amber Museum located in the defense tower 'Der Dona'. Tired of walking the city streets, one can have a cup of coffee in one of numerous cafes recalling everything seen and heard. Shopping lovers will not be disappointed, too. There are a lot of boutiques and various shopping centers in Kaliningrad.


In summer, the city becomes a true international-level festival venue. Kaliningrad holds the only in Russia Tariverdiev International Organ Competition, the International Festival "Amber Necklace". The "Kaliningrad City Jazz" Festival has already become traditional and is a chance for its guests to see and hear world famous performers and bands. The "Baltic Seasons" festival bringing famous Russian and foreign theater companies, orchestras and other performers to Kaliningrad has also gained widespread popularity among the inhabitants and visitors of the city.