Kaliningrad is perhaps one of the most interesting Russian cities. Until 1945, it was the center of East Prussia, quite a European capital with characteristic architecture and lifestyle. Much has been preserved since those times: Catholic cathedrals, buildings in the German Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) style, fortifications and, of course, the seven famous city gates.
Kaliningrad makes an ambiguous impression on tourists. On the one hand - European facades, on the other - typical Soviet high-rise buildings, spoiling the historical architectural appearance. On the one hand, there are the picturesque Curonian Spit and Kant Island, on the other, the unattractive working outskirts. In any case, the tourist potential of the city is huge, so it has room to develop and surprise future travelers.
What to see and where to go in Kaliningrad?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
A narrow strip of land separating the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Lagoon. The length of the isthmus is about 100 km, it stretches from Zelenogradsk to Klaipeda (Lithuania). In different places, the width of the Curonian Spit ranges from 400 to 3800 meters. This is a unique natural area with sand dunes, pine trees, a picturesque sea (unfortunately, almost always cold) and wonderful air.
Königsberg Castle was founded in the 13th century and existed until 1968. In the Middle Ages it belonged to the Knights of the Teutonic Order, in later times there were public institutions of East Prussia on its territory. Unfortunately, nothing remains of the fortress. Now in its place is a museum - an observation deck where excavations are underway. It is believed that the legendary Amber Room was located in this castle.
A quarter designed in the style of the old Koenigsberg, consisting of stylized German houses. The place is a craft and ethnographic center, which tourists consider one of the main city attractions. Here you can see Gothic turrets, bridges and facades of town houses typical of German architecture. Construction began in 2006.
One of the districts of the former Königsberg, formed around the noble estate. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was located outside the city limits. Famous Prussian architects took part in the development of the streets, who designed most of the buildings in Art Nouveau. The area is mostly built up with villas from the early 20th century (many of them in desperate need of restoration) interspersed with post-war Soviet buildings.
The temple is located in the historical center of Kaliningrad (the modern name of this area is Kant Island). Its history began in the 14th century, from the 16th century it became the main Protestant cathedral of the city. The building was built of brick in the style of "Baltic" Gothic and is a valuable architectural monument. In the 1990s, restoration was carried out, after which a cultural and religious center was located inside.
Grave of Immanuel Kant
The famous philosopher and writer I. Kant was born and died in Königsberg. He is buried near the north wall of the cathedral. Until 1924, a small chapel stood over his grave, later it was replaced by a more impressive memorial on a granite pedestal with a stone colonnade. The tomb is often visited by admirers of the thinker's work, who come to Kaliningrad from different countries.
Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church, built in 2006. It has quite impressive dimensions and reaches a height of 51 meters. The building was erected in the style of Vladimir-Suzdal architecture with small inclusions of modern design, designed by architect O. Kopylov. The temple stands on the central Victory Square (the former Hanseatic Square), where the Triumphal Column and fountains are also located.
Church of the Holy Family
The former Catholic church of the beginning of the 20th century, built in the neo-Gothic style according to the project of F. Heitmann. During the war, the building was badly damaged. It continued to collapse, as no one was going to reconstruct it. But everything changed after they decided to place the Kaliningrad City Philharmonic here. Today, the former church is in good condition, so tourists can admire its picturesque architecture.
Holy Cross Cathedral
Orthodox church, which is located in the building of the former Lutheran church. It was built in the 1930s, when Königsberg was still part of East Prussia. The original building style can be defined as Art Nouveau with an admixture of neoclassicism and gothic. During the war, the building was almost not damaged, in subsequent years it was used for household needs. In 1986, the church was transferred to the Orthodox community.
Museum of the World Ocean
A modern museum dedicated to the marine world, shipping, geology and ecology of the oceans. Part of its exposition is in the open air. These are mainly ships, deep-sea submersibles and equipment. Inside are paleontological, natural science and art collections. There is also a shipyard, a library and an ecological station.
Submarine Museum "B-413"
One of the exhibits of the Museum of the World Ocean. In 1960–90, this submarine served in the Northern Fleet and more than once made long-distance voyages to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Since 2000, a museum exposition has been placed on board, which is recognized as one of the best in Russia according to the TripAdvisor travel portal. The collection is dedicated to the history of the Russian submarine fleet.
Research vessel "Vityaz"
The main exhibit of the Museum of the World Ocean. The ship was built in Germany at the shipyard "Schihau". Before starting service in the Soviet Navy, it managed to fly under the flag of Great Britain and changed its name several times. Since 1949, the Vityaz has been the most important research ship of the Institute of Oceanology. P. P. Shirshova. He made several dozen research expeditions.
The museum was created in 1979 on the territory of the Don Tower, a German defensive structure of the mid-19th century. The exposition is a collection of products made of amber and the mineral itself in its various forms and colors. Some items are real masterpieces. Of particular interest are the unique exhibits of past centuries. The building of the museum is also of considerable cultural interest.
The exposition occupies the former German bomb shelter of 1945, most of it is devoted to the assault on Königsberg, which took place a month before the end of the war. In those days, the command post of General O. Lyash was located here. The bunker lies at a depth of 7 meters, its length is 42 meters, its width is 15 meters, it consists of 21 rooms. The museum opened here in 1968. For tourists, excursions are conducted in two languages: Russian and German.
Historical and Art Museum
The main branch of the museum is located in a building built in 1912, which is located in the central part of Kaliningrad. The exposition opened in 1946. Today, tourists can visit five thematic halls: the history of the region, archeology, nature, war, and Horizons of Memory. Each section contains collections dedicated to the history and culture of the region from the ancient period to modern events.
Kaliningrad Regional Drama Theater
The theater troupe has existed in Kaliningrad since 1947. In 1960, the stage moved to a building of classical architecture, which previously belonged to the German theater. The modern repertoire consists of immortal works by classical authors. Since the 1980s, the team has taken part in many festivals, where actors demonstrate their high professionalism and skill.
The building of the Königsberg stock exchange
The building was built in the 1870s according to the design of the Bremen architect G. Müller in the Neo-Renaissance style. In addition to its main purpose - holding auctions, it was often used as an exhibition and concert hall. After the war, the building was in a deplorable state for a long time, almost in ruins. Reconstruction was carried out only in the 1960s, retaining the original appearance.
Fort No. 5 - King Friedrich Wilhelm III
A fortification built in the late 19th century to protect Koenigsberg. It was named after Friedrich Wilhelm III, one of the Prussian kings. Today it is a hexagonal building made of concrete and brick, stretching 215 meters long and 105 meters wide. During the assault on the city in 1945, the fort was badly damaged. Today, an exposition is located on its territory, and historical reconstructions are taking place.
Gate in the neo-Gothic style, one of the seven surviving structures of this type in Kaliningrad. It is assumed that they were built in the period 1857-1862 according to the design of an unknown architect. Since 1956, a museum has been located on the territory of the gate, which until 2002 had no official status. Its exposition is dedicated to the history of Königsberg in the 19th–20th centuries.
Another city gate of the fortress, standing on the border of the historic district of Haberberg. They still perform their direct functions. The appearance of the building dates back to the middle of the 17th century, but at that time there was a wooden structure here. Stone gates appeared only a century later. In 1843 they were reconstructed, or rather, rebuilt. In this form, they have survived to this day.
A building in a pseudo-Gothic style, built in the 19th century (the very first gate stood here from the beginning of the 18th century). During the assault on Königsberg, they were damaged by bombing, but still survived. Since 1960, the building has been considered a cultural monument, but it was not restored until the early 2000s and even tried to demolish it several times.
The structure that tourists can see today was built in the middle of the 19th century. The very first gates appeared here in the 17th century. Previously, the structure performed defensive and checkpoint functions. After the end of the Second World War and until 2006, it was used as a warehouse. Since 2013, the Gates art platform has been located here.
The gate in its current form appeared in Königsberg in the 19th century (in the 18th century a wooden structure stood in their place). It is believed that the legendary Baron Munchausen passed through them when he returned from Russia to Germany. The gates were built of red brick in pseudo-Gothic style. They are decorated with portraits of famous Prussian generals: D. von Scharnhorst and A. von Gneisenau.
The passage was not intended to enter Königsberg, but to provide access to the Friedrichsburg fortress. The gate was built in 1852. They have survived to this day almost in their original form, despite the fact that they were badly damaged during the war. For some time, the structure was even under the threat of demolition, but, nevertheless, it was managed to be preserved for posterity.
Monument to Baron Munchausen
Baron von Munchausen is a real person and a famous literary character who became famous as a writer of all sorts of fables and incredible stories. In the XVIII century, he was in the service of the Russian Empire. A monument dedicated to this inventor was erected in 2005. It is a piece of modern art made of metal. The monument was forged by the German master G. Petau.
Sculpture "Fighting Bison"
Sculptural group by A. Gaul, created in 1912. This master was one of the most famous animal painters of his time. The composition is made in the form of figures of two mighty aurochs grappling with each other in a fight. The sculpture successfully survived the war years, it still adorns the streets of Kaliningrad and is one of the city's attractions. In 2006, it was reconstructed and the fountain was restored.
One of the largest and oldest menageries in Russia. It was founded at the end of the 19th century by the German entrepreneur G. Klass. The zoo passed to the USSR after 1945 in a deplorable state, since only a hippopotamus, a donkey, a badger and a fallow deer could survive the shelling and bombardment. Today, more than 300 species of animals (approximately 3,500 thousand individuals) live in it. There is also an arboretum with rare plants on the territory.
The first botanical garden appeared in Königsberg at the end of the 18th century. In 1809 it was transferred to the local university. At the beginning of the 20th century, a new green zone was founded in the city, which later became the Botanical Garden of the IKBFU. I. Kant. Today, more than 2,500 thousand plants from different parts of the world grow here. Greenhouses, greenhouses and nurseries have been created for them.
Urban recreation area that includes the area of the former Luisanval Park and Altstadt Cemetery. At the beginning of the 19th century, the summer residence of the Prussian royal family was located here. Among the sights of the place, one can single out the Art Nouveau church in memory of Queen Louise, the monuments to Baron Munchausen and V. Vysotsky, as well as a couple of small fountains.
The park was created in the post-war period, when Königsberg came under the jurisdiction of the USSR. In the 1980s-90s, it was a typical recreational area with rides and other weekend entertainment. After the collapse of the country, it fell into disrepair, and in 2004 it was almost destroyed due to the fact that construction companies claimed the land. Thanks to the activity of public organizations, the park was preserved and reconstructed.