|Kaliningrad, Southern Railway Station. Present Days|
Ever since its foundation, Königsberg has been a city of enigmas and paradoxes. The knights originally planned to build the city some 200 km to the east, at the Neman river. During their rest stop at a mountaun that contained a heathen place of worship, the knights observed a solar eclipse. The Teutonic Order's Magisters considered the phenomenon to be a sign from God, and decided not to disobey it. The mountain later bacame Königs Berg - Royal Mountain.
In 1255 the main castle of Königsberg was founded on the bank of the Pregel River. A ring of fifteen fortresses (allegedly united by a system of underground tunnels) surrounds the city.
Königsberg was the grand capital of East Prussia. During the fifteenth century it found itself cut off from the rest of Prussia after a fearsome battle between the ruling Teutonic Order and Poland. Despite its isolation from other Germanic states, Königsberg continued to prosper as a centre of culture and learning, beautified by spectacular castles and palaces.
|Königsberg, The Main Railway Station (built in 1929)|
Then came the World War II. The town of Königsberg was almost completely destroyed by 1944 by the devastating air bombing of the British Royal Air Force. In fact, almost 90% of the buildings were completely destroyed by the British air campaigns. When the red Army arrived, the rural areas surrounding the city suffered great damages. When the Soviet Union claimed the territory, the first order of business was to clear away the rubble that was left and to eradicate the area’s German past and to replace them with a Russian veneer. Centuries-old German castles, palaces and churches were replaced by monuments to socialism. The German population - those left alive - was deported to make way for Russians made homeless by the war. They came from all over the USSR, moving into German homes and finding plentiful work.
The region, with its important Soviet naval and military base, was sealed off from the outside world. Only since 1991 have foreigners been allowed back in.
|Kaliningrad. "Immanuel Kant's Grave" Island|
Nowadays Kaliningrad region is a key region for international trading, because it is the window to the Europe and gates to Russia at the same time. Special strategical importance has seaport, that is one of the key elements of specialization of Kaliningrad on Russian northwest and macro-region Baltic, because it has international deep-sea ports with developed infrastructure.
|Калининград - Kaliningrad - Köningsberg|
There are many mysteries and legends surroundung Kaliningrad castles and sights.
By exploring them, you may uncover more mysteries of old Köningsberg.
Are you ready?
To be continued...