Konigsberg Cathedral - Religious Landmark of Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad was formerly known as Konigsberg. After the defeat of the Germans in World War II, the Russian retook the city, and renamed the city a Soviet name. Joseph Stalin renamed the city in 1946, and Kaliningrad was in honor of Mikhail Kalinin. Kalinin was one of Joseph Stalin’s henchmen. Konigsberg Cathedral survived the war, and it is a popular and beautiful Kaliningrad landmark.

Construction on the Konigsberg Cathedral, can still be said, is still continuing today, as the west tower was never completed. The construction of the Konigsberg Cathedral was first recorded in 1333, but it can be deducted that it had started before this date. According to historical documents, the construction lasted till into the 16th century.

The Konigsberg Cathedral is located on Kneiphof Island, which is on the Pregolya River in Kalininberg. The Wallenrodt Library that was donated by Martin von Wallenrodt, in the year 1650, is within the main tower of the cathedral. Murals dating from the 14th and 15th centuries and wooden late gothic carvings are found in the choir. The statue of Albert of Prussia and other medieval monuments that were carved in a Renaissance style by Cornelis Floris de Vriendt in 1570 are also located in the choir.

In the vaults of the Konigsberg Cathedral, lie many Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order and a few Prussian princes. The philosopher and scientist, Immanuel Kant, also known as the “sage of Konigsberg”, was laid to rest on the north side of the choir. A marble pedestal, in Carrara Marble, holding a bust stands over Immanuel Kant, and a copy of Raphael’s “School of Athens”, is painted on the wall behind. Immanuel Kant was a professor at the Konigsberg University, and many of his fellow educators were buried here as well.

During the World War II bombardments, the cathedral suffered heavy damages, but was not restored after the war. Restoration to this historical building only started in the early 90’s, almost forty years later. The Konigsberg Cathedral now has a Lutheran chapel, an Orthodox Chapel, a museum and a concert hall that is reserved for religious and classical music.

 



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