Explore the Historical Kalingrad Russia
Kaliningrad has had a long and involved history since it was founded in 1255 by Teutonic knights as they battled their way through Prussia. It was originally given the name Konigsberg after King Otakar II who came to assist the knights in their supposed 'Northern Crusade'. German colonization of the area led to a slow extermination of Baltic Prussians, but at the same time lent the area a rich, cultural and architectural influence.
Kaliningrad suffered much in later years, coming under Polish rule and then later being somewhat destroyed in the Second World War After the war it was decided that the city was to become part of the Soviet Union and it was renamed Kaliningrad (Russian name) in 1946 after Soviet President Mikhail Kalinin. Kalingrad is the Polish version of the name which is used quite frequently.
Throughout the years, Kaliningrad's location at the mouth of the Pregel River has made it an important ice-free Baltic port. Its value to the USSR has never been underestimated and it has served as an important naval base and is currently a major port for trade.
Today, even with the extensive damage suffered during World War II, Kaliningrad offers an amazing opportunity to see a Russian world still somewhat untainted by the world of fast food and easy living. Here you can get a feel for the communism that once existed as well as just relax and appreciate the attractive parks, gardens and monuments. There are also a number of museums and old buildings worth visiting.
Besides seeing the sights, you can spend time at the few nightspots or restaurants that dot the city. There are also great hotels available as well as the nearby Svetlogorsk which is a costal spa resort. If you like to return to nature once in a while, the Kursche Spit is a stunning peninsula of sand which is rich in plants and animals. Kaliningrad is a challenging but unforgettable and rewarding destination for the more intrepid traveler.