Kaliningrad, Russia out of Russia

Kaliningrad, Oblast' di Kaliningrad, Russia

Simona Bertolaso



Siti Storici
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Kaliningrad is Russia outside Russia, the crossing point between North-Eastern Europe and the three Baltic countries.
Before the Soviet era Kaliningrad (named after the president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet Kalinin) was called Koenisberg, and it had been the capital of East Prussia, a piece of Germany separated from Germany after the First World War according to the Treaty of Versailles, history repeats itself sometimes. A few things to keep in mind about Koenisberg: the philosopher Kant was born there and it is the home of amber being 90% of the planet’s mineral mined here.

For those who love past history we could add that it was founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1255. The city grew around the castle erected by Ottokar II, King of Bohemia, in honor of whom it took the name Königsberg.
To return to more recent times, it should not be forgotten that here, in a bunker now a museum, the last commander of the Nazi troops, Otto Lasch, signed the surrender to the Soviet army on April 9, 1945.

Also Koenigsberg, like Dresden and other German and European cities, was completely destroyed by the bombs of the Allies; at the end of the 300 thousand inhabitants remained only 20 thousand, all Germans, "invited" by the winners to leave the city, if ever another "Sudeten question" appeared. A massive policy of Slavicization followed, so much so that today, to give the idea, the exclave is called "little Russia".

The only port in the country where the sea never freezes, it was the pride of the Soviet Navy, hosting 32 submarines and an Army of 90 thousand men.
The wide streets of the old city center host buildings in Gothic and Neo-Gothic styles, as well as the square buildings of the Soviet era, in a mixture of architectural styles that documents the troubled history of the city.
The city is rich in historical, cultural, scientific and landscape attractions. The Russian cuisine, simple in preparation but rich and varied, adds that touch of flavor that never fails.
Kneiphof Island is now known by the name of the great German philosopher. The island is located on the Pregel River, which cuts through the entire urban profile of the city, and is navigable along its entire course.

At the center of the island you can admire the Königsberg Cathedral, hidden in a large park. The cathedral is in Baltic Gothic style, and was entirely rebuilt in 1994. Today the cathedral is a World Heritage Site.

The original building stood on the mainland, but in the 11th century it was demolished because it had become too small. The stones used in the construction of the original building were transported to the island of Kneiphof, and used to build the new building, which was completed in 1380.

After several reconstructions and restorations, the cathedral was severely damaged during the Allied bombing raids. The building houses a Lutheran chapel and an Orthodox one. Inside you can admire an organ, while on the upper floor you can visit the exhibitions set up at the Wallenrodt Library.

Immanuel Kant is buried in a mausoleum in the northeast corner of the building. Visitors can admire the philosopher’s death mask, and an exhibition dedicated to his life.

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