Welcome to Kaliningrad region
Between new beginnings and history
Historical and cultural heritage
The historical heritage of Kaliningrad region, the enclave in Russia, is a mixture of the age-old German culture, dating back to the pre-war East Prussian period, and the Soviet and Russian designs constructed since then.
The history of the Kaliningrad region is unique and it goes back to the pagan tribes of the ancient Prussians, later conquered by the knights of the German (Teutonic) Order in the distant XIII century. In 1255, the knights founded their fortress on the site of the main Prussian fortification Twangste and named it Koenigsberg. Read more about the interesting history: History_Kaliningrad_Region
Modern Kaliningrad is a dynamically developing commercial and industrial center with unique atmosphere. Despite the fact that the architecture of Koenigsberg was seriously damaged during the Second World War, the city still has enough objects that are undoubted interesting for history lovers.
This centuries-old cultural heritage, interest in which has extremely increased in recent years, successfully intertwines with the signs of the third millennium, creating an unforgettable combination that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Due to the vicinity to the baltic sea coast, Kaliningrad today calls itself the world capital for amber. So visitors will find a Amber Museum and lots of souvenir shops with amber. In addition to this Kaliningrad offers a number of different thematic museums the World Ocean museum, Fine Arts museum, museum of regional history and etc.), theatres, libraries, one of the oldest Russian zoo, a beautiful botanical garden. In summer the city becomes a host for various festivals of international level like Jazz festival.
Watch some interesting manor houses and castles from the region here.
Kaliningrad manors and Castles
Between decay and resurrection
One of the wonderful examples of the cultural heritage of Kaliningrad region is undoubtedly old castles and East Prussian estates, which have survived to present days in various degrees of preservation. The appearance of the Prussian manor has developed through the decades and even centuries and changed in accordance with the way of life of its owners in a particular historical era.
We can find its origins in the period of Order’s state, when the knights received land and labor force as a gift for their participation in the conquest of Prussia. After some time, the knights began to gradually turn into large landowners, receive noble titles, and then in the era of rapid industrialization and capitalization, wealthy industrialists or merchants began to join this aristocracy.
The East Prussian manor was usually consist of a manor house with a park and outbuildings, which included barns for grain, mills, silos, stables and cowsheds with attics for hay, etc.
Until 1945, the number of estates of the north-eastern part of East Prussia (the current territory of the Kaliningrad region) was amounted to more than 400 landowners of different sizes. According to the calculations made by the architectural historian Irina Belintseva, there are only about 50 estates from the former quantity remains. There are mainly household and office buildings have been preserved and less often the manor houses.
The re-birth of Castle Waldau
A family has fallen in love with a more then 500 years old castle
Waldau was initially the summer residence of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. The most famous resident was Albrecht von Brandenburg-Ansbach, first Duke of Prussia, who was married to the Danish Princess Dorothea. In 1697 Peter the Great returned during his Great Legation, the Tsar’s journey to Western Europe. In the 19th century Waldau became an educational institution, first for farmers and later for teachers. It survived the Second World War unscathed. Teaching continued here until 2005, most recently as a vocational school. When the castle gradually fell into disrepair, the vocational school moved out and in 2007 the orthodox church became the new owner. Afterwards the village youth discovered the estate for themselves and met here secretly to smoke. With the arrival of the Sorokins, this “intellectual recreational pleasure” came to an end, although not immediately.