Sunday, 11 March 2012

Kaliningrad, Russia

I only just realised that I haven't posted a Russian postcard here since December. ..and I have SO many I want to blog about! The ones here are from a swap I did with Maria last year. I couldn't decide which one to post about so I decided to include both :)

Kaliningrad is a seaport city and the administrative center of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. The territory, the northern part of the former East Prussia, borders on NATO and EU members Poland and Lithuania, and is geographically separated from the rest of Russia.

Originally named Königsberg in German, the town was founded in 1255 by the order of the Teutonic Knights in honour of the Czech king Přemysl Otakar II and was part of Prussia and then of Germany until 1945, but was largely destroyed during World War II. Its ruins were occupied by the Red Army in 1945 and its German population forced out. It was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946 in honor of Mikhail Kalinin.

According to the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, its population was 431,491 — an increase from 430,003 recorded in the 2002 Census. Its ethnic composition is 77.9% Russians, 8.0% Belarusians, 7.3% Ukrainians, 1.9% Lithuanians, 0.6% Germans, and 0.5% Poles.

On the left on this card you can see the Cathedral. This inactive Cathedral is located in the historic district of Kaliningrad, the former Kneiphof. It's a historical and cultural monument. Prior to the reformation oon the XVI century it was the main Catholic church of Königsberg, and then the main Lutheran church of Russia. Now it's one of the symbols of Kaliningrad. The Cathedral was built in the style of Gothic Baltic and it's one of the few Gothic structures in Russia. The Cathedral is used for museum and concerts. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant was buried there in 1804 and was the last man buried there.

On the right you can see the historical and architectural complex "Fishing Village". It represents a quarter built in Germany style.

This postcard shows the Pobeda Square. In the centre of the card you can see the Kaliningrad Business Center and on the right the shopping center "Kaliningrad Passage". In 1996, near the square began the construction of the Cathedral of the Christ the Savior. On the 950th Anniversary of Kaliningrad in 2005 Pobeda Square was reconstructed. During the reconstruction of the square fountains and Triumphal column were added (those are not shown on this card).

Maria sent the cards in this beautiful envelope showing the Curonian Spit. The stamp on the right is pretty amazing - the sand part is textured!

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