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flag coat of arms
coat of arms
Federal district Northwest Russia
Oblast Kaliningrad
Urban district Kaliningrad
Inner structure 3 city rajons
head Alexei Silanov
Founded 1255 (Königsberg)
1946 (Kaliningrad)
Earlier names Twangste (until 1255)
Königsberg (1255–1946)
City since 1286
surface 223  km²
population 431,902 inhabitants
(as of Oct. 14, 2010)
Population density 1937 inhabitants / km²
Height of the center 4.8  m
Time zone UTC + 2
Telephone code (+7) 4012
Post Code 236000-236042
License Plate 39, 91
OKATO 27 401
Website www.klgd.ru
Geographical location
Coordinates 54 ° 44 ′  N , 20 ° 29 ′  E Coordinates: 54 ° 44 ′ 0 ″  N , 20 ° 29 ′ 0 ″  E
Kaliningrad (European Russia)
Red pog.svg
Location in the western part of Russia
Kaliningrad (Kaliningrad Oblast)
Red pog.svg
Location in Kaliningrad Oblast
List of cities in Russia

Kaliningrad [ kaˈliːniːnɡʀaːt ] (since 1946 Russian Калинингра́д [ kəlʲɪnʲɪnˈɡrat ], until 1946 Koenigsberg ) is the capital of the Kaliningrad Oblast . The formerly German city of Königsberg became, as a result of the Second World War, under the name Kaliningrad , like the entire northern part of East Prussia (except Memelland ), part of the Russian Soviet Republic , the largest Union republic in the Soviet Union . The city was named after the former Soviet head of state Kalinin . Since the independence of the Baltic States in 1991, Kaliningrad Oblast - apart from being accessible via the international waters of the Baltic Sea - is an exclave of Russia between Poland and Lithuania .

The city is a traffic junction as well as an economic and cultural center with universities, colleges, research institutes, theaters and museums. Kaliningrad had 431,902 predominantly Russian residents at the last census (October 14, 2010).


Geographical location

Location of the city in Kaliningrad Oblast
NASA satellite photo of Kaliningrad, November 2004

Kaliningrad is the westernmost major city in Russia and is 4.8 meters above sea level. It is located in the west of the Kaliningrad Oblast on the Pregel (Pregolja) River , which flows through Kaliningrad and flows into the Fresh Lagoon (Kaliningradski saliw) west of the city . This in turn is separated from the Baltic Sea by the narrow peninsula of the Fresh Spit .

The Königsberg Sea Canal (today Kaliningrad Sea Canal, Kaliningradski Morskoi Canal ), which opened on November 15, 1901, connects the city with Pillau ( Baltijsk ), 50 kilometers away, and with the open sea.

The landscape is characterized by wide plains, which are sometimes interrupted by moraine hills .

In the north and west the city borders on the Samland peninsula ( Sambijski or Semljandski poluostrow ), in the east and south on the Pregel lowlands .

City structure

In contrast to the historical center of the cathedral island, today's center can be found north near the north station. The cathedral island is remote and difficult to reach and may play a minor role as a park.

The city has been divided into three Rajons (districts) since June 29, 2009 .

City District
(Gorodskoi rajon)
Russian name Resident
October 14, 2010
Leningrad Rajon
(Leningradski rajon)
Ленинградский район 159,771 53.7 Northeast of the city, named after the Soviet name of Saint Petersburg (1924–1991)
Moscow Rajon
(Moskovsky rajon)
Московский район 152.165 76.0 South of the city, was enlarged in 2009 to include the Baltic Rajon (Baltijski rajon)
(Zentralny rajon)
Центральный район 119.966 79.8 northwest of the historic center, was enlarged in 2009 to include the Oktoberrajon (Oktjabrski rajon)

Note: Area information according to the websites of the city districts; Total does not match the information for the city.


Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Roshydromet
Monthly average temperatures and rainfall for Kaliningrad
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) −0.7 0.3 4.7 10.9 17.2 20.6 21.8 21.6 17.3 12.0 5.7 1.6 O 11.1
Min. Temperature (° C) −5.8 −5.2 −2.1 2.2 7.0 10.9 12.8 12.3 9.1 5.3 1.2 −3.1 O 3.8
Precipitation ( mm ) 57 40 43 37 53 71 80 90 89 79 91 73 Σ 803
Rainy days ( d ) 13 9 10 8th 8th 9 11 10 12 11 14th 14th Σ 129
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: Roshydromet

Kaliningrad is at the transition from an oceanic to a continental climate and has sometimes very cold winters. Overall, the weather is rather inconsistent. The air temperature is also influenced by the proximity to the sea. Ground frost in May or rain on New Year's Eve and New Year are features that are typical of the city.

The annual average temperature is 7.1 ° C, the annual rainfall 697 millimeters on average. The warmest months are July and August with an average of 16.4 ° C to 17.3 ° C, the coldest months are January and February with an average of −2.1 to −2.7 ° C.

Most of the precipitation falls in July, August and September with an average of 83 to 90 millimeters, the least from February to May with an average of 27 to 43 millimeters.


Earlier story

For the period up to 1945 see main articles Twangste and Königsberg (Prussia)

The Kaliningrad region is considered to have been since 3000 BC. Settled. The Prussian castle Twangste , near which there was an anchorage on the Pregel , is documented in chronicles and archaeologically . The Teutonic Order began in 1231 with the conquest of the land inhabited by the Prussians . In 1242, Lübeck merchants founded a trading base at the anchorage. The order's armed forces reached Samland in the summer of 1255. At an exposed point on the Pregel, the order built a castle called Conigsberg in honor of the most prominent military leader, King Ottokar II. Přemysl of Bohemia . This was the beginning of the 700 year history of the city of Königsberg . The Königsberg founding cities of Altstadt, Löbenicht and Kneiphof received hand festivals in 1286, 1300 and 1327 . Königsberg became the capital of the Duchy of Prussia in 1525 and was the place of the royal coronation of Frederick III in 1701 . of Brandenburg and thus until 1918 the third residential city of the Prussian monarchy . The Königsberg Cathedral is an important late medieval building . The population of Königsberg was decimated several times between 1310 and 1710 by the plague and other epidemics, particularly often in the 16th and 17th centuries. While the plague claimed around 18,000 lives in 1709 , it was another 3609 in the following year.

Second World War

During the Second World War , Königsberg was spared the effects of the war for a long time due to its remote location in the far north-east of Germany, until it was severely damaged by British air raids at the end of August 1944. A few weeks before the end of the war, after the battle for Königsberg , in which the city was declared a "fortress", the German troops under General Otto Lasch surrendered to the Red Army on April 9, 1945 . The historic city center consisted almost entirely of ruins, including the cathedral, the castle , all the churches in the city center, the old and new universities and the old storage district. The war dead from Kaliningrad and the surrounding area rest in the Kaliningrad War Cemetery - Collective Cemetery .

Soviet period (1945–1992)

According to the Potsdam Agreement , the northern part of the German province of East Prussia (today's Kaliningrad area ) with the provincial capital Königsberg (Kaliningrad since 1946) was placed under Soviet administration until a final territorial determination through an all-German peace settlement . Josef Stalin , however, made it clear that the Soviet Union the northern part of the former province of East Prussia with reference to the propagated " pre-Slavic soil" and on the grounds that Russia has no ice-free ports on the Baltic Sea have, annex will. The annexation took place on October 17, 1945, the incorporation into the Russian Soviet Republic on April 7, 1946.

On July 4, 1946, the city was renamed Kaliningrad, after the recently deceased President of the USSR Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin . The renaming campaign for the other localities in the Kaliningrad region, however, did not take place until autumn 1947.

For the remaining German population (approx. 25,000 people) there was initially a travel ban. Their expulsion only began on October 11, 1947, on the orders of Stalin. Two years earlier, such a measure had by no means been established, if only because the Soviet side had not counted on a significant number of Germans remaining behind. The local authorities also seem to have anticipated the possibility that the Germans could be naturalized as useful workers in the Soviet Union. The sudden increase in requests to leave the country in the summer of 1947 came as a surprise, before Stalin ordered the final resettlement in the Soviet occupation zone .

Kaliningrad has been sealed off as a restricted military area since the 1950s. It was to become a model Soviet city. In 1969 the remains of the completely destroyed Königsberg castle were demolished . The council house , which was built next to the site of the former castle, has remained a ruin to this day due to static problems. The ruins of the former Königsberg inner city were largely cleared away in the post-war years and the extensive, leveled area was converted into green and open spaces or built with high-rise housing estates in panel construction . Until 1992, Kaliningrad was difficult to reach for western visitors. From 1990 onwards a return to the city's almost 700-year-old German past began with official funding.

In some cases it was reported that during the negotiations on the Two-Plus-Four Treaty in the summer of 1990, Soviet Major General Geli Batenin allegedly offered to negotiate Kaliningrad to Joachim von Arnim, head of the political department at the German embassy, ​​which Arnim refused .

Russian Federation since 1992

As a result of the independence of the Baltic States , the area became a Russian exclave and the city of Kaliningrad its center. Many Russians from the Baltic states or from other former Soviet republics, where they had now become a minority, unlike in the past, have settled in Kaliningrad since 1992. Many Germans from Russia who had been deported to the Asian parts of the Soviet Union during the Stalin era also settled with their often Russian or non-German family members, mostly to emigrate from here to Germany .

Fischdorf in 2016

In the course of the 750th anniversary of the city on July 1, 2005, some building work was carried out in the city. The cathedral was further restored, as was the south (main) station. Shopping centers were opened in the area of ​​today's city center on Siegesplatz , and more are to follow. The square itself was redesigned as a representative city center with a fountain. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was opened here as part of the celebrations , the interior of which is still unfinished.

Furthermore, on the former site of the fish market on the Pregel not far from the cathedral, a shopping, business and hotel center called "Fischdorf" was built in the historicizing style, architecturally based on old Hanseatic cities as well as Moscow and Saint Petersburg, including an already built pedestrian - A bascule bridge over a Pregelarm ( anniversary bridge , also in the historicizing style, in the area of ​​the former Kaiserbrücke ) was realized. The funds for these construction projects come from private investors and companies, including Moscow, and state funds are also used.

An ambitious project by the Kaliningrad-born architect Arthur Sarnitz even envisages the reconstruction of the entire old town and the Kneiphof of what was then Königsberg , almost true to the original . This project was presented in March 2007 at the international real estate fair MIPIM in Cannes. By collating as many historical images and construction plans as possible of the buildings and the cityscape as a whole, the structure of the area to be rebuilt is to be reconstructed bit by bit as a 3D model and detailed to an ever increasing degree.

In August 2011, the possibility of separating the Oblast from the Northwestern Federal District with its administrative headquarters in Saint Petersburg and the formation of a Koenigsberg Federal District (Kjonigsbergski federalny okrug) was discussed in order to hand over the economy of the area to the regional government.


Residential building, formerly the seat of the Reichsbahndirektion Königsberg


The vast majority of denominational residents are Russian Orthodox . The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior is a metropolitan church of the Diocese of Kaliningrad and Baltiysk , which includes the territory of Kaliningrad Oblast.

Numerous evangelical congregations have sprung up in the Königsberg area since 1991. In 2010 there were 42 congregations in the Kaliningrad Provostry with 2,100 members, almost all of them Russian-German, and eight pastors. Provost church is the Resurrection Church on Prospekt Mira. The Kaliningrad Provostry is one of twelve provosts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of European Russia .

The two Catholic parishes with around 4,500 members consist mainly of Poles and Lithuanians.

There is also a small Jewish community in Kaliningrad .


Christ the Savior Cathedral (built 1996-2009)

Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, 372,000 people lived in Königsberg. In June 1945 the population of the city fell to 73,000 due to the effects of the war and the flight and displacement of the original population.

Through a targeted settlement policy and Russification of the Soviet government, the now predominantly Russian population of Kaliningrad rose to over 200,000 by 1959 and doubled by 1989. The pre-war population was not reached again until 1981. In 2017 Kaliningrad had almost 470,000 inhabitants.

Ethnically, the population consists of 87.4% Russians; 4.0% are Ukrainians , 3.8% Belarusians , 0.8% Armenians , 0.5% Tatars , 0.4% each of Lithuanians , Germans and Azerbaijanis and 0.3% each of Uzbeks and Poles (as of 2010).

The following population figures are mostly estimates up to 1813, census results from 1819 to 2010 (except 1945 and 1956) and in 2017 the annual calculation of the Federal Service for State Statistics of Russia based on registration data.

Year / date Residents
1400 10,000
1663 40,000
1708 40,600
1711 30,000
1813 48,729
December 1, 1819 63,869
December 1, 1825 67.125
December 1, 1831 67,580
December 1, 1837 69,600
December 1, 1840 70,839
December 3, 1846 75.234
December 3, 1852 79,887
December 3, 1855 83,593
date Residents
December 3, 1858 87,267
December 3, 1864 101,500
December 1, 1871 112.092
December 1, 1875 122,636
December 1, 1880 140.909
December 1, 1885 151.151
December 1, 1890 161,666
December 2, 1895 172,796
December 1, 1900 189,483
December 1, 1905 223,770
December 1, 1910 245.994
December 1, 1916 229.007
December 5, 1917 224,758
date Residents
October 8, 1919 260,895
June 16, 1925 279,926
June 16, 1933 315.794
May 17, 1939 372.164
June 30, 1945 73,000
December 31, 1956 188,000
January 15, 1959 203,570
15th January 1970 296,962
17th January 1979 354,788
January 12, 1989 401.280
October 9, 2002 430.003
October 14, 2010 431.491
January 1, 2017 467.298


City government

Buildings on Victory Square

In 2007, Alexander Jaroschuk became mayor of the city. He was re-elected in 2012, with voter turnout dropping from around 57 percent to 20.6 percent. In November 2017 he was elected for a third term, this time by the city council. He resigned from his position in March 2018. In May 2018, Alexei Silanov was appointed mayor by the city council.

The city council exercises the executive power (executive power) from Kaliningrad, which consists of the city government and the mayor. The mayor is elected together with the deputy mayor by the people of Kaliningrad for four years. The legislature (legislative power) is provided by the City Duma of Kaliningrad. This consists of the MPs and monitors the mayor in its function.

The same political forces are in the City Duma as in the Russian Federation Parliament ( Duma ): the strongest force is the loyal to the President , followed by the Communists , who are very strong in the city. The most important political issues are high unemployment and social and health policy. Added to this are the economic problems associated with the exclave situation. Other major difficulties arise from the high level of organized crime and corruption in the administration. The military still has a strong political voice.

Head of Administration (City Manager)

From May 2008 until shortly before the re-election of the mayor Jaroschuk in October 2012, there was a newly created function in the administrative structure. The 50-year-old Felix Lapin was elected Kaliningrad's first "City Manager" by the city parliament. According to the administration, the tasks of the mayor should be unbundled and this office should be given mainly representative tasks in the future. Swetlana Muchomor became the second "City Manager" (initially as a substitute) from 2010. After his re-election, Jaroschuk took over the role of head of administration again.


Chairwoman of the civil administration 1946–1947

  • July 1945 - April 1946 Viktor Gerasimowitsch Gusij (Виктор Герасимович Гузий)
  • May 1946 - April 1947: Pyotr Ivanovich Kolossow (Пётр Иванович Колосов)
  • April 1947 - July 1947: Vladimir Mikhailovich Dolguschin (Владимир Михайлович Долгушин)

Party secretaries of the WKP (B) / KPdSU 1947–1991

  • March 1947 - June 1947: Pyotr Ivanovich Kolossow (Пётр Иванович Колосов) [in the position of second secretary; the office of first secretary was formally taken by the party secretary of Kaliningrad Oblast ]
  • June 1947 - February 1951: Ivan Gavrilowitsch Matuskow (Иван Гаврилович Матузков) [in the position of second secretary; the office of first secretary was formally taken by the party secretary of Kaliningrad Oblast]
  • February 1951 - June 1957: Stepan Andreevich Browkin (Степан Андреевич Бровкин)
  • June 1957 - July 1959: Mikhail Tichonowitsch Kudikin (Михаил Тихонович Кудикин)
  • July 1959 - February 1963: Georgi Pavlovich Druzhinin (Георгий Павлович Дружинин)
  • February 1963 - June 1972: Pyotr Alexejewitsch Kasmin (Пётр Алексеевич Казьмин)
  • June 1972 - May 1981: Dmitri Wassiljewitsch Romanin (Дмитрий Васильевич Романин)
  • May 1981 - September 1987: Mikhail Pavlovich Netreba (Михаил Павлович Нетреба)
  • September 1987 - January 1990: Vladimir Ivanovich Karpov (Владимир Иванович Карпов)
  • January 1990 - August 1991: Anatoly Grigoryevich Yusuf (Анатолий Григорьевич Юсуф)

Chairwoman of the City Council 1947–1991

  • July 1947 - December 1949: Pyotr Kharitonovich Murashko (Пётр Харитонович Мурашко)
  • December 1949 - March 1950: Nikolai Sergejewitsch Serow (Николай Сергеевич Серов) (i. V.)
  • March 1950 - February 1951: Sergei Alexandrovich Vesselow (Сергей Александрович Веселов)
  • February 1951 - March 1955: Vladimir Yevgrafovich Pavlov (Владимир Евграфович Павлов)
  • March 1955 - March 1957: Alexandr Nikitowitsch Nekipelow (Александр Никитович Некипелов)
  • March 1957 - March 1963: Nikolai Fyodorowitsch Korowkin (Николай Фёдорович Коровкин)
  • March 1963 - March 1966: Nikolai Petrovich Loschkarev (Николай Петрович Лошкарёв)
  • March 1966 - August 1972: Dmitri Wassiljewitsch Romanin (Дмитрий Васильевич Романин)
  • August 1972 - December 1984: Viktor Wassiljewitsch Denissow (Виктор Васильевич Денисов)
  • December 1984 - October 1988: Boris Andrjewitsch Fomitschow (Борис Андреевич Фомичёв)
  • October 1988 - April 1990: Nikolai Grigoryevich Chromenko (Николай Григорьевич Хроменко)
  • April 1990 - June 1991: Georgi Nikolajewitsch Issajew (Георгий Николаевич Исаев)
  • June 1991 - December 1991: Vitaly Walentinowitsch Schipow (Виталий Валентинович Шипов)

Mayor since 1991

  • December 1991 - October 1996: Vitaly Walentinowitsch Schipow (Виталий Валентинович Шипов)
  • October 1996 - March 1998: Igor Ivanovich Koschemjakin (Игорь Иванович Кожемякин)
  • November 1998 - November 2007: Yuri Alexejewitsch Sabenko (Юрий Алексеевич Савенко)
  • December 2007 - March 2018: Alexander Georgijewitsch Jaroschuk (Александр Георгиевич Ярошук)
  • since May 2018: Alexej Nikolajewitsch Silanow (Алексей Николаевич Силанов)

Head of Administration 2008–2012

  • May 2008 - May 2010: Felix Felixowitsch Lapin (Феликс Феликсович Лапин)
  • May 2010 - October 2012: Svetlana Borisovna Muchomor (Светлана Борисовна Мухомор)

Election results

In the 2018 presidential election in Russia , the Kaliningraders voted as follows:

candidate Central Rajon Moscow Rajon Leningrad Raion
Wladimir Putin 73.14% 75.64% 73.75%
Pavel Grudinin 11.59% 10.51% 11.22%
Vladimir Zhirinovsky 04.99% 05.71% 04.89%
Xenia Sobchak 03.80% 02.83% 03.71%
Grigori Jawlinski 02.46% 01.87% 02.49%
Boris Titov 01.44% 00.99% 01.28%
Sergei Baburin 00.77% 00.73% 00.83%
Maxim Suraikin 00.73% 00.72% 00.74%

Source: Central Electoral Commission of the Russian Federation

Town twinning

Kaliningrad has agreements with the following 47 cities :

city country Type since
Aalborg DenmarkDenmark Denmark 2000
Baranavichy BelarusBelarus Belarus collaboration 2007
Białystok PolandPoland Poland collaboration 1994
Bodenwerder GermanyGermany Lower Saxony, Germany Letter of intent 2003
Bremerhaven GermanyGermany Bremen, Germany collaboration 1991
Brest BelarusBelarus Belarus collaboration 2009
Cagliari ItalyItaly Italy collaboration 2011
Cherbourg-Octeville FranceFrance France Letter of intent 1994
Kherson UkraineUkraine Ukraine Letter of intent 2002
Cork IrelandIreland Ireland 1994
Dalian China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Liaoning, People's Republic of China Letter of intent 1997
Danzig PolandPoland Poland Cooperation agreement 1994
Elbląg PolandPoland Poland collaboration 1994
Forlì ItalyItaly Italy collaboration 2006
Funen DenmarkDenmark Denmark Letter of intent 2000
Gdynia PolandPoland Poland Cooperation agreement 1994
Groningen NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands collaboration 1998
Guyuan China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Ningxia, People's Republic of China Letter of intent 2011
Hamburg GermanyGermany Germany Friendship and cooperation 2005
Homel BelarusBelarus Belarus collaboration 2010
Hrodna BelarusBelarus Belarus collaboration 1994
Yaroslavl RussiaRussia Russia Cooperation agreement 1995
Yerevan ArmeniaArmenia Armenia collaboration 2009
Squid SwedenSweden Sweden collaboration 2000
Kaunas LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania collaboration 2001
Powiat Kętrzyński PolandPoland Poland collaboration 2009
Kiel GermanyGermany Schleswig-Holstein, Germany partnership 1992
Klaipeda LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania partnership 1993
Krasnoyarsk RussiaRussia Russia collaboration 2008
Lichtenberg district GermanyGermany Berlin, Germany collaboration 2000
Łódź PolandPoland Poland Cooperation agreement 2002
Malmo SwedenSweden Sweden Letter of intent 1994
Minsk BelarusBelarus Belarus Cooperation agreement 1997
Norfolk United StatesUnited States Virginia, United States collaboration 1992
Olsztyn PolandPoland Poland collaboration 1993
Omsk RussiaRussia Russia collaboration 2006
Panevėžys LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania collaboration 2002
Potsdam GermanyGermany Brandenburg, Germany collaboration 1993
Racibórz PolandPoland Poland Cooperation agreement 2002
Rostock GermanyGermany Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany Cooperation agreement 1999
Samara RussiaRussia Russia collaboration 1999
Severodvinsk RussiaRussia Russia collaboration 2010
Šiauliai LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania collaboration 2003
Southampton United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 1996
Toruń PolandPoland Poland Letter of intent 1995
Turku FinlandFinland Finland collaboration 2004
Vilnius LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania Letter of intent 2000
Zabrze PolandPoland Poland collaboration 1998
Time GermanyGermany Saxony-Anhalt, Germany collaboration 2010

name of the city


Sackheim Gate

Kaliningrad (literally translated: Kalininstadt ) was named after the Soviet head of state Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin , who had just died, in 1946 , without there being any connection between him and this city. Because of the historical importance of the city, the name Königsberg is widely used in German publications. In Kaliningrad itself, naming has repeatedly become an issue. The city manager of Kaliningrad, Felix Lapin, spoke out in favor of a renaming; Area Governor Georgi Boos also considered this to be possible in principle.

The Kaliningrad glacier bears this form of name.


Kjonigsberg (Russian Кёнигсберг ) or Kjonig for short is a Russified form of the old name "Königsberg" for the city of Kaliningrad, sometimes used colloquially today. The German letter Ö does not exist in Russian and is therefore often rendered with the similar-sounding Ё (pronounced: jo, io). In the discussion about the possible future name of the city of Kaliningrad, "Kjonigsberg" played an important role, as it is also adopted by parts of the Russian population. It is quite common, especially in advertising and as a designation for tourist and gastronomic facilities.

Movements in Kaliningrad that advocate the reuse of the historical name “Königsberg”, Korolowez (based on the Polish Królewiec and the Czech Královec ) or a renaming to “Kantgrad” (after the philosopher Immanuel Kant who was born here in 1724 ) are only supported by a small part of the Russian urban population. Opponents of renaming it back to Koenigsberg assume revisionist and revanchist backgrounds that the renaming should primarily reinforce the property claims of displaced persons . Especially companies related to tourism use "Kjonig" as a " nickname " for the city. There is also a business journal called “Neues Königsberg” ( Новый Кёнигсберг ).

Choice of name and founding myth

The renaming of the city to "Königsberg" was rejected for a variety of reasons. Political, historical and ideological considerations played a major role. The founding myth of reconstruction plays a central role in the identity of the Kaliningraders, and those involved in it are honored as "veterans". They and their descendants see themselves - regardless of the person of Kalinin - symbolically and emotionally connected to the name Kaliningrad, which contributes to the rejection of a renaming.

Name of the city anniversary

The confusion of names reached a current high point as a result of the city's 750th anniversary celebrations in 2005. The government in Moscow prohibited the event committee from using the name Königsberg for this purpose. The celebrations were scheduled for the day the Red Army stormed Königsberg. The title “750 Years of Kaliningrad-Koenigsberg” was rejected out of hand by Moscow. A compromise was offered with “60 years of storming Königsberg, 750 years of our city”. At the end of 2004 it was decided that the “Kaliningrad City Anniversary” should officially be mentioned. The main celebrations took place on July 1, 2005. To open the celebrations, President Putin visited the recently renovated King's Gate.

Culture and sights


Museum of History and Art (formerly the town hall)

Kaliningrad has numerous museums , such as the Immanuel Kant Museum and the Cathedral Museum. Worth mentioning is the Museum of History and Art with a remarkable collection, including parts of the Prussia collection , and the Amber Museum, set up in an old fortress, with a large collection of jewelery made from amber . The museum of performing arts in the building of the former New Stock Exchange is also interesting .

The Museum of the World Ocean was set up on board the former research vessel Vitjas on the banks of the Pregel. The exhibition inside the museum shows the latest technologies in marine research as well as fauna and flora of the world's oceans. An exhibition about the Russian submarine fleet is housed on the submarine B-413 moored next door .


The Kaliningrad Philharmonic is housed in the former Catholic Church "To the Holy Family". It was built in 1907, destroyed in World War II and rebuilt after the war. The organ hall there with good acoustics opened in 1980.

The playhouse and former Königsberg playhouse was completed in 1910. After almost complete destruction in World War II, it was rebuilt in 1960 according to older plans. The porch was built on the model of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

Since 1975 the Luisenkirche has served as the performance location of the nationally known Kaliningrad Puppet Theater (“Kaliningradski teatr kukol”) . The neo-Romanesque church was built in 1901 according to plans by the architect Fritz Heitmann.

Cityscape, buildings

Friedrichsburg Gate
In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kaliningrad, the service is held in both German and Russian
Typical development with apartment blocks
Dilapidated block of flats opposite the fish village
Outskirts of Barklaja de Tolli (formerly Lerchenweg in Rothenstein)

The previously densely built-up city center from pre-war times now consists of parks, wide streets and open spaces, e.g. B. the place where the castle used to stand, and only two buildings: next to the site of the former Königsberg castle , the ruins of the House of the Soviets (Dom Sowetow) , into which the city administration was to move in the 1960s, are located but remained unusable for static reasons.

Otherwise, in Soviet times, the buildings that had been destroyed in the war were torn down and flat-panel rental housing that conformed to the area was built. Only in the central and peripheral zones, which were less damaged, has the building fabric been spared and z. Some of them have been restored or supplemented by new buildings to scale.

The second building on the Kantinsel (formerly Kneiphof ) is the Königsberg Cathedral , which is the only building left from the old inner city development. It is currently used as a cultural center. Inside there are two small prayer rooms and Immanuel Kant's grave behind the cathedral . On August 29, 2009, a stone cross was erected on the green area next to the cathedral to commemorate the more than 5000 victims of the British air raids on Königsberg at the end of August 1944. In January 2010 the MDR organized a themed week “Kaliningrad Cultural Bridge”. On January 23, it ended with a symphony concert in the packed cathedral .

The current city center is located in the northwest of the old city center on Siegesplatz , formerly Hansaplatz , where the theater, north train station, city administration, many shops and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior are located.

Also worth seeing are the Neue Börse , the villa suburbs, the now orthodox Swjato-Nikolski chram ( Nikolaitempel , formerly Juditter parish church ) and various other churches, as well as the Wallenrodt library located in a university building and parts of a city fortification from the 19th century with several city ​​gates : Roßgärter Tor (Rosgartenskije worota) , Wrangelturm (Baschnja Wrangelja) , Dohnaturm (Baschnja Dona) with amber museum , King's Gate (Korolewskije worota) , Sackheimer Tor (Sakchaimskije worota) , Friedländer Tor (Fridlandskijeburger worota) and Friedrichsbeburger Tor. (Brandenburg ) , Brandenburg Gate Gate (Vorota kreposti Fridrichsburg) .

Another striking structure is the 151-meter-high Wessjolowka transmission mast, built in 1965, with its six transverse girders that extend from the mast construction to the guy ropes.


Statue of Duke Albrecht of Prussia with the bilingual inscription on the base: Duke Albrecht, founder of the Königsberg University

The statues and monuments worth mentioning include the statue of Immanuel Kant created by Christian Daniel Rauch and unveiled in 1864 . The statue, which was lost in 1945, was re-poured at the instigation and expense of Marion Countess Dönhoff and re-erected at the university in 1992. The statue of Duke Albrecht was also created by Rauch and destroyed during the war , a replica of which can be seen today on the Kneiphof Island where the first university originally stood. The cosmonaut memorial is also worth seeing. With the monument, Kaliningrad honors the cosmonauts and honorary citizens of the city Alexei Leonow , Yuri Romanenko and Alexander Viktorenko . Other monuments are the Kutuzov monument, the Schiller monument, the monument to Tsar Peter I , the “Mother Russia” monument and the monument to the 1,200 guardsmen. There is a monument to Kalinin on the forecourt of the Kaliningrad South Railway Station . The memorial of the 1200 guardsmen of the 11th Guard Army for those who fell in the storm on Königsberg is located on Gwardeiski Prospect .


The Königsberg Zoo (later Kaliningrad Zoo) was opened in 1896 and is therefore one of the oldest zoos in today's Russia. More than 2,200 animals live in today's zoo, which is also a dendropark . There are many animal sculptures on the territory, some buildings and facilities as well as a light fountain from the German history of the city have been preserved to this day. Bear and lion outdoor enclosures, eagle aviaries and sea animal houses with outdoor pools are a few preserved pre-war buildings.

The light fountain, which did not work for many decades, was also restored for the zoo's centenary in 1996 and put back into operation. With a water jet up to 18 meters high, it is one of the largest fountains in Kaliningrad. The society house built in 1911 in modern baroque style has also been preserved. The building projected by Otto Walter Kuckuck with two floors, palm hall and terraces was rebuilt after the Second World War and serves as an elephant house.

Not far from the main avenue there is a bronze figure in honor of the first zoo manager, Herman Claaß. The sculpture was created by Walter Rosenberg and shows a boy feeding a panther and two boys. This sculpture was unveiled on June 14, 1913 and was considered lost for a long time after the Second World War. It was only found in 1990, restored and placed on its base. There are also other stone and bronze animal sculptures in the zoo.

There is also the Botanical Garden in Kaliningrad , which is threatened with bankruptcy.


The most successful football club in the city is FK Baltika Kaliningrad , founded in 1954 and operating under this name since 1958 , which last played in the top Russian league in 2005 and qualified for the 1998 UEFA Intertoto Cup . For the 2019/20 season, Baltika competes in the second-class Perwenstwo FNL .

The 14,660 spectator Baltika-Stadion ( Стадион Балтика ) in the city center on the former Walter-Simon-Platz was the home ground of VfB Königsberg from 1905 to 1929 under the name Königsberg-Stadion , but has since expired. There is also a Junost sports complex ( Спорткомплекс Юность ) on the Pregelufer in the city center.

In the new Selma district, based on the model of the smaller Kazan Sports Palace, the sports facility Jantary (Bernstein) was built, which is said to be the largest sports facility in Europe. A mobile stage is available for performances, which is on the same level as the volleyball field. The building has the shape of an octagon, the largest sports hall has 7000 seats. The training halls with 500 seats and a concert hall are located in another part of the building. In addition to the main sports fields, there are mini soccer fields, three volleyball courts and a medical emergency station. The facility can also be used for other sports. The construction costs were around 1.4 billion rubles (about 32 million euros).

The Kaliningrad Stadium with a capacity of 35,000 was built on the island of Oktyabrsky for the 2018 World Cup .

In Kaliningrad there is the Koenig Bicycle Team cycling club .

Culinary specialties

Roßgärter Tor - restaurant

Among the culinary specialties of the city of Kaliningrad which includes brandy brand Stary Kjonigsberg and the beer brand Ostmark .

One of the most famous Russian dishes, borscht , a soup made from beetroot that is served hot with sour cream, and okroshka (cold kvass soup) are popular among the population. Other tasty dishes of Russian cuisine are Bœuf Stroganoff (sliced ​​beef fillet, braised in a sour sauce), Tschornaja or Krasnaja Ikra (black or red caviar), Bliny (pancakes, for example, served with caviar or salmon and sour sauce) and Aladyi (sweet blini with jam filling). Blintschiki (pancakes) made from semolina or buckwheat with a sweet sauce are particularly popular for dessert.

Economy and Infrastructure


New stock exchange on Pregel, today a commercial building, May 2017
Port (2017)

The city is an important economic and industrial center which is connected to the outer port of Baltiysk on the Baltic Sea via the Kaliningrad Maritime Canal. The most important economic sectors include the chemical industry, mechanical engineering, the furniture industry, the manufacture of musical instruments and the food industry. As a year-round ice-free seaport, Kaliningrad is an important Russian location for the shipbuilding industry.

The city has the largest fishing fleet in Russia, as well as the car manufacturer Avtotor (which also produces for BMW ). 340 German companies are active in Kaliningrad. The German-Russian Business Circle meets every month. The Jantar shipyard (the former Schichau shipyard ) has been building frigates for the Indian Navy since 2007 .

As part of the preparation for the 2018 World Cup, 4 hotels were built.

Special Economic Zone (SEZ)

The establishment of a special economic zone " Jantar " (Eng: Bernstein) in Kaliningrad in 1991 showed only hesitant success, which is blamed on the ruling bureaucracy, the high crime rate and the common corruption. In 1996 the President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin , passed a new law, which also did not bring the economic success that had been hoped for. The ruble crisis of 1998 did the rest to severely shake the economic structure in Russia and thus also in Kaliningrad.

In May 2006, however, a new law was introduced which guarantees planning security for investors. The law is fixed for a period of 25 years and can therefore neither be modified nor abolished. For example, the law allows investors to take advantage of many tax breaks.

The economy suffers from the isolation of the area from its EU neighbors and the three national borders to be overcome on the way to the Russian heartland. However, contrary to expectations, this did not lead to a decline in exports. The establishment of the special economic zone seems to be bearing fruit. Great hopes are placed in the discovery of oil in the Baltic Sea. Large parts of the rural population in the vicinity of the city work in mostly cooperative agriculture and - on the coast - in fishing. A lot of agriculture is also done for self-sufficiency.

Despite high unemployment among the local population, a high proportion of migrants is noticeable in low-skilled fields of employment. Immigrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus in particular often work in the construction industry and in trade. In the construction of the Kaliningrad nuclear power plant , workers from large parts of Russia were also involved in simple jobs.


Südbahnhof , formerly Königsberg Hbf. (Opened 1929)

In Khrabrovo (Powunden) is located Kaliningrad airport with connections mainly to the Russian heartland and in various states of Western Europe and to Israel . From Baltijsk (Pillau) near Kaliningrad there is a regular ferry connection to Saint Petersburg , as well as to Copenhagen , Riga and Kiel as well as to the Sassnitz ferry port . The main road connection to the Russian heartland runs parallel to the railroad via Chernyachovsk (Insterburg) and Chernyshevskoje (Eydtkuhnen) , Lithuania and Belarus .

Kaliningrad's long-distance station is the Kaliningrad-Passaschirski station , the former Königsberg main station in the south. The Kaliningrad-Sortirowotschni marshalling yard is located directly to the south . Trains run to Baltiysk (Pillau) , via Chernyachovsk (Insterburg) and Lithuania to Moscow , to Saint Petersburg, Minsk - Homel , Kharkiv , Anapa and Bagrationovsk (Prussian Eylau) . The through car connection via Malbork in Poland to Berlin was discontinued in 2012. All railway lines today have Russian broad gauge except for the line to the border crossing Mamonowo (Heiligenbeil) / Braniewo (Braunsberg) , which is made in standard gauge and via which the connection to Berlin-Gesundbrunnen also led.

Next to the long-distance train station is the central bus station (Avtovokzal). Regional bus routes, which travel to all parts of the oblast, as well as international bus routes e.g. B. in the neighboring countries Poland, Lithuania and Germany.

Suburban trains run from the North Station to Zelenogradsk (Cranz) and Svetlogorsk (Rauschen) and once a day to Sovetsk (Tilsit) . Some suburban trains use the connecting route from the south to the north station.

On May 26, 1881, the Königsberg Horse Railroad Company opened the first horse tram and on May 31, 1895 the first city ​​electric tram . Traffic was stopped in January 1945 and resumed on November 7, 1946.

Trolleybuses ran from October 15, 1943 to January 27, 1945 in the city. After a 30-year interruption, trolleybus operations were resumed on November 5, 1975. A large part of the local public transport (ÖPNV) is handled by diesel-powered buses. A new trolleybus with senior and disabled-friendly equipment has been in operation since the beginning of 2011 and can also travel around 500 meters on battery power. The bus, which costs around 125,000 euros (8.6 million rubles), has a wheelchair ramp that the driver must use if necessary. Mayor Alexander Jaroschuk has agreed to procure additional vehicles for the disabled.


Albertus University of Königsberg ("Albertina"), around 1900
Immanuel Kant's tomb next to the Königsberg Cathedral

Kaliningrad is home to several universities, colleges and technical schools, academies, research institutes and libraries.

The Baltic Federal University of Immanuel Kant (until July 2005: Kaliningrad State University ) is an important educational institution in the city . It sees itself as the successor to the Albertina , the old University of Königsberg (Prussia) , which was founded in 1544 by Duke Albrecht . One of the best-known professors at the Albertina was the philosopher Immanuel Kant , who, like the German philosophers Fichte, Hegel and Schelling, is remembered in monuments today.

As part of the Alexander Herzen program for German-Russian cooperation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has made funds available to the Department of Foreign Policy and International Relations at the University to hold courses on European and international courses at the Immanuel Kant State University in Kaliningrad Conduct studies. The political scientist's project can build on traditional connections between Jena and the former Königsberg.

Other important educational institutions in Kaliningrad are the Baltic State Academy of Fishing Fleet, the Baltic Institute of Economics and Finance, the Baltic Military Naval Institute, the branch of the International Slavic G.R. Dershavin University, the branch of the Metropolitan Humanities Institute, the branch of the Moscow Humanities Institute JPDashkova, the branch of the Petersburg Institute for External Economic Relations, Economics and Law, the Institute "Kaliningrad High School of Administration", the University of the Ministry of Interior of Russia in Kaliningrad, the School of International Business Kaliningrad and the State Technical University of Kaliningrad .


Honorary citizen

sons and daughters of the town

For people who were born in Königsberg before 1945, see: List of sons and daughters of the city of Königsberg

See also


  • Stefan Berger (Ed.): Kaliningrad in Europe. Neighborhood perspectives after the end of the Cold War , Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-447-06163-6 .
  • Stefan Berger : A City and Its Past. Popular Histories in Kaliningrad between Regionalization and Nationalization. In: Stefan Berger, Chris Lorenz, Billie Melman (Eds.): Popularizing National Past. 1800 to Present. Routledge, London 2012, ISBN 978-0-415-89435-7 , pp. 288-307.
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde (Ed.): The future of Kaliningrad - layers of conflict and areas of cooperation. In: Eastern Europe . 53 (2003), pp. 2-3.
  • Markus Podehl: Architektura Kaliningrada. How Königsberg became Kaliningrad. Herder Institute, Marburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-87969-375-7 .
  • Eberhard Beckherrn, Aleksej Dubatov: The Königsberg Papers. New documents from Russian archives. Fate of a German city . Langen Müller, Munich 1994.
  • Valéry Galtsov : The problems of people's identification in the Kaliningrad region. Anthropological Journal on European Cultures 5/2 (1996).
  • Bert Hoppe: On the ruins of Königsberg. Kaliningrad 1946–1970 (series of the Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 80), R. Oldenbourg, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-486-64580-3 .
  • Per Brodersen: The city in the west. How Königsberg became Kaliningrad (with a foreword by Haug von Kuenheim ). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-525-36301-0 .
  • Per Brodersen: “Christ has not forsaken us.” Soviet power and religious practice on the Soviet periphery, Kaliningrad 1946–1950. In: Yearbooks for the History of Eastern Europe. New Volume 52 (2004), pp. 571-584.
  • Eckhard Matthes (ed.): As a Russian in East Prussia. Soviet resettlers about their new beginning in Königsberg / Kaliningrad after 1945. Ostfildern 1999.
  • Eckhard Matthes: Forbidden memory. The rediscovery of East Prussian history in the Kaliningrad region (1945–2001). In: Eastern Europe. 51 (2001), H. 11-12, pp. 1350-1390.
  • Michael Wieck : Testimony to the fall of Königsberg. A " Jew of respect " reports. Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2001, ISBN 3-8253-7123-9 .
  • Jürgen Manthey: Königsberg: History of a world citizenship republic. Hanser, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-446-20619-1 .
  • Walther Hubatsch: Königsberg i. Pr. (= German City Atlas. Volume: II, 7th Partial Volume). GSV-Städteatlas-Verlag, Dortmund-Altenbeken 1979, ISBN 3-8087-0018-1 .
  • Failed experimental object - urban planning in Kaliningrad. In: Birk Engmann: Building for Eternity: Monumental architecture of the twentieth century and urban planning in Leipzig in the fifties. Sax, Beucha 2006, ISBN 3-934544-81-9 .
  • Baldur Köster: Königsberg. Architecture from the German era. Husum , Husum 2000, ISBN 3-88042-923-5 .
  • Jens Maceiczyk: The Russian Kaliningrad region at the intersection of correlating partial interests. Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ISBN 3-631-49158-1 (also dissertation at the University of Munich 1995).
  • Luise Wolfram: Storks know no borders. Experiences in Königsberg-Kaliningrad and in northern East Prussia. Brunnen, Gießen / Basel 2005, ISBN 3-7655-3834-5 .
  • Andrzej Mencwel: Kaliningrad, mon amour . German Cultural Forum for Eastern Europe V., Potsdam 2007, ISBN 978-3-936168-36-5 .
  • Olga Sezneva: The education of memory: The politics of memory and historical writing in Kaliningrad, former Königsberg ( Memento from April 29, 2005 in the Internet Archive )
  • Alexander Sologubov: "Kaliningrad - our homeland". Selected topics of local discourses. In: Peter Oliver Loew , Christian Pletzing, Thomas Serrier (eds.): Recovered history. For appropriating the past in the interstices of Central Europe . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-447-05297-X , pp. 89-117.
  • Jadwiga Rogoża, Agata Wierzbowska-Miazga, Iwona Wiśniewska: A Captive Island. Kaliningrad between Moscow and the EU. In: OSW Studies. No. 41, July 2012, Warsaw, ISBN 978-83-62936-13-7 . [1] (PDF; 4.4 MB)

Web links

Commons : Kaliningrad  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Kaliningrad  - travel guide
File category Files: Kaliningrad  - local collection of pictures and media files
Wiktionary: Kaliningrad  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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  2. Ludwig von Baczko : An attempt at a history and description of Königsberg. Göbbels and Ungar, Königsberg 1804, pp. 10-12 ( online ).
  3. Bert Hoppe: On the ruins of Königsberg. Kaliningrad 1946–1970 (series of the Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 80), Munich 2000, p. 27.
  4. Bert Hoppe: On the ruins of Königsberg. Kaliningrad 1946–1970 , p. 29.
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  7. Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung / episode 31-11 of August 6, 2011 ( federation districts there called "federal region")
  8. Results of the 2010 census for the Kaliningrad Oblast near Kaliningradstat. Volume 4: Ethnic Composition (Excel file; Russian)
  9. Report on russlandonline.ru from October 16, 2012 "Local, regional and gubernatorial elections in Russia"
  10. Third term of office for Jaroschuk from January 12, 2018 on http://www.ostpreussen.de/
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  14. Наименование избирательной комиссии ( Russian ) Central Electoral Commission of the Russian Federation. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  15. Города-партнеры ǀ Официальный сайт администрации городского округа «Город Калининград» . Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  16. ^ Bremerhaven.de twin city Kaliningrad. In: Bremerhaven.de. Bremerhaven City Administration, accessed on September 7, 2010 .
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  19. Engmann, Birk: It doesn't always have to be Mallorca - or: A trip to the Kaliningrad area. (PDF) Ärzteblatt Sachsen, accessed on March 9, 2017 .
  20. newkenigsberg.ru ( Memento of the original dated December 8, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. - Official website (Russian) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.newkenigsberg.ru
  21. Felix Menzel: Approach on Music. In Königsberg, the MDR is looking for the same wavelength as the city's new citizens. In: Preussische Allgemeine Zeitung . No. 6, February 13, 2010, p. 13.
  22. ФК Балтика :: Официальный Сайт :: Стадион. In: website of the football club "Baltika". Футбольный клуб "Балтика", Retrieved August 16, 2015 (Russian).
  23. ^ The Ostpreußenblatt (PAZ) 1/2010 of January 9, 2010.
  24. Russia cuts budget for World Cup. In: zeit.de. Die Zeit, January 29, 2015, accessed on February 12, 2015 .
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  26. ^ Sönke Krüger: By train to Kaliningrad? There is not any! In: The world . October 16, 2014, accessed January 1, 2015 .
  27. http://avtovokzal39.ru/international.html International bus transport, accessed on August 12, 2019
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This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on December 3, 2005 .