Königsberg was the capital of Ostpreußen from the Late Middle Ages until 1946, and easternmost large German city until it was conquered by the Soviet Union near the end of World War II. In 1946 the city was renamed Kaliningrad. The later location of Königsberg was preceded by an Old Preußen fort known as Twangste (Tuwangste, Tvankste) as well as several Preußen settlements. During the conquest of the Preußen Sambians by the Teutonic Knights in 1255, Twangste was destroyed and replaced with a new fortress known as Conigsberg in honour of King Ottokar II of Bohemia.
Historically, the official name was Königsberg in Preußen (abbreviated Königsberg i. Pr. (until 1936) and later Königsberg (Pr) (1936–1946)). Königsberg's literal meaning is 'King's Mountain'. Historically, several regional names were used for Königsberg. Its Latinised form was Regimontium Prussorum. In Modern Saxon or "Low German", a Germanic language spoken by many of its German inhabitants, the name was Königsbarg), mixing German König (king) with Low German barg (hill, mountain). Further names include Lithuanian: Karaliaučius; Polish: Królewiec and the modern Russian and current official name Калинингра́д, Kaliningrad).
The city successively became the capital of the Teutonic Knights monastic state, the Duchy of Preußen, and Ostpreußen. The Baltic port developed into a German cultural centre, being the residence of, among others, Simon Dach, Immanuel Kant, Käthe Kollwitz, E.T.A. Hoffmann, David Hilbert, Agnes Miegel and Michael Wieck.
Königsberg was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in 1944 during World War II and was subsequently conquered by the Red Army after the Battle of Königsberg in 1945. The city was annexed by the Soviet Union, its German population expelled and repopulated with Russians and other people from the Soviet Union. Briefly Russified as Кёнигсберг (Kyonigsberg), it was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946 after Soviet leader Mikhail Kalinin. The city is now the capital of Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast.