Place:Gvardeysk, Kaliningrad, Severo-zapadny, Russia


Alt namesGvardejsksource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-67
Gwardeisksource: Family History Library Catalog
Tapiausource: Wikipedia
TypeCity or town
Coordinates54.65°N 21.017°E
Located inKaliningrad, Severo-zapadny, Russia
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Gvardeysk, known prior to 1946 by its German name, is a town and the administrative center of Gvardeysky District in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located on the right bank of the Pregolya River east of Kaliningrad, the administrative center of the oblast. Population:


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Peter of Dusburg wrote of a settlement known as Tapiow, first documented in 1254, and the neighboring fort Surgurbi built by 1265. The Old Prussian names were derived from the words tape, teplu, toplu, tapi, meaning "warm", and sur garbis, meaning "around the mountain". During the 13th century Prussian Crusade, the area was conquered by the Teutonic Knights. To protect Samland from the Nadruvians and Scalvians, the crusaders built a wooden fort between the Deime and Pregel Rivers in 1283–1290. This was replaced by Tapiau Castle, a stone Ordensburg, in 1351.

The settlement gradually became known by the German crusaders as Tapiau. Vytautas, the later Grand Duke of Lithuania, was baptized in Tapiau in 1385. After the transfer of the Grand Master's seat from Marienburg to Königsberg, Tapiau became the site of the Order's archives and library from 1469 to 1722.

Tapiau became a part of the Duchy of Prussia in 1525. The Tapiau Castle was often used as a second residence of the Prussian dukes; Albert of Prussia died there in 1568. It became a part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, receiving town privileges from King Frederick William I of Prussia in 1722. It was a part of the Prussian Province of East Prussia and was administered in Landkreis Wehlau (1818–1945). Tapiau became a part of the German Empire during the unification of Germany in 1871.

Unlike most other towns in northern East Prussia, Tapiau was largely undamaged during World War II. Following the war's end in 1945, it was annexed by the Soviet Union and renamed Gvardeysk ("guard town") in 1946. Of the town's German population of more than 9,000, those who had not fled or been killed in the final months of the war were expelled and gradually replaced by Soviet settlers.

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