Place:Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad, Severo-zapadny, Russia

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NameKaliningrad
Alt namesKrólewiecsource: Encyclopedia Britannica Online (1994-2001) accessed 10/24/00
Königsbergsource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-89; Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 347
TypeCity or town
Coordinates54.717°N 20.517°E
Located inKaliningrad, Severo-zapadny, Russia     (1286 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


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

Kaliningrad is a city in the administrative centre of Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea.

In the Middle Ages it was the site of the Old Prussian settlement Twangste. In 1255, during the Northern Crusades, a new fortress named Königsberg was built by the Teutonic Knights. Königsberg became the capital of the Duchy of Prussia, a fiefdom of Poland from 1525 to 1657, and later East Prussia, Germany. It was heavily damaged during World War II, and its population fled or were removed by force. Königsberg became a Russian city, renamed Kaliningrad in 1946. At the 2010 Census, Kaliningrad's population was 431,902.[1]

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Historical Names

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


History

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

Sambians

Königsberg was preceded by a Sambian (Old Prussian) fort called Twangste (Tuwangste or Tvankste), meaning Oak Forest. During the conquest of the Sambians by the Teutonic Knights in 1255, Twangste was destroyed and replaced with a new fortress named Königsberg. The declining Old Prussian culture finally became extinct around the 17th century, after the surviving Old Prussians were integrated through assimilation and Germanization.

Teutonic Order

The settlement at the site of the present day Kaliningrad was founded as a military fortress in 1255 after the Prussian Crusade by the Teutonic Knights against Baltic Prussians, a non-Germanic ethnic group related to the ancestors of the present-day Lithuanians and Latvians. The new town was named in honor of the Bohemian King Ottokar II. The crusade was followed by immigration from Germany and other regions of Western Europe.

East Prussia

Within the following seven centuries, the area became predominantly German, with Polish and Lithuanian minorities. During World War II the city of Königsberg was heavily damaged by a British bombing attack in 1944 and the massive Soviet siege in spring 1945.

Soviet Union

At the end of World War II in 1945, the city became part of the Soviet Union (as part of the Russian SFSR). At the Potsdam Conference of July/August 1945 the Allies agreed on the Soviet annexation pending the final determination of territorial questions at the peace settlement:

The Conference has agreed in principle to the proposal of the Soviet Government concerning the ultimate transfer to the Soviet Union of the City of Koenigsberg and the area adjacent to it as described above subject to expert examination of the actual frontier.

The U.S. President Harry Truman and the British Prime Minister Clement Attlee declared that they would support the proposal of the Conference at the forthcoming peace settlement.

On 4 July 1946 the Soviet authorities renamed Königsberg to Kaliningrad following the death on 3 June 1946 of the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (titular head of state) of the USSR, Mikhail Kalinin, one of the original Bolsheviks. The survivors of the German population were forcibly expelled in 1946–1949, and the city was repopulated with Soviet citizens. The city's language of administration was changed from German to Russian.

The city was rebuilt, and as the westernmost territory of the USSR, the Kaliningrad Oblast became a strategically important area during the Cold War. The Soviet Baltic Fleet was headquartered in the city in the 1950s. Because of its strategic importance, Kaliningrad Oblast was closed to foreign visitors.

In 1957 an agreement was signed and later came into force which delimited the border between Poland and the Soviet Union.

Russia

The town of Baltiysk, just outside Kaliningrad, is the only Russian Baltic Sea port said to be "ice-free" all year round, and the region hence plays an important role in maintenance of the Baltic Fleet.

Due to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Kaliningrad Oblast became an exclave, geographically separated from the rest of Russia. This isolation from the rest of Russia became even more pronounced politically when Poland and Lithuania became members of NATO and subsequently the European Union in 2004. All military and civilian land links between the region and the rest of Russia have to pass through members of NATO and the EU. Special travel arrangements for the territory's inhabitants have been made through the Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD).

While in the 1990s many Soviet-era city names commemorating Communist leaders were changed (e.g. Leningrad reverting to Saint Petersburg), Kaliningrad remains named as it was.

Since the early 1990s, the Kaliningrad oblast has been a Free Economic Zone (FEZ Yantar). In 2005 the city marked 750 years of existence as Königsberg/Kaliningrad. In July 2007, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov declared that if US-controlled missile defense systems were deployed in Poland, then nuclear weapons might be deployed in Kaliningrad. On November 5, 2008, Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev said that installing missiles in Kaliningrad was almost a certainty. These plans were suspended, however, in January 2009.

But during late 2011, a long range Voronezh radar was commissioned to monitor missile launches within about . It is situated in the settlement of Pionersky (formerly German Neukuhren) in Kaliningrad Oblast.

Even though the current German government has stated it has no claim over Kaliningrad, the former Königsberg, the possibility of such a return to German rule at some future time continues to come up in discussion, creating what is known as "The Kaliningrad question".

In 2018, Kaliningrad hosted some games of the World Cup.

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