Kaliningrad region overview
Kaliningrad oblast (region) (also spelled Kaliningradskaya; sometimes called Yantarny krai which means “The amber region”) is a federal subject of Russia.
The region is located on the Baltic coast (North-Western Federal District). Capital city and administrative center of the region is Kaliningrad.
Kaliningrad region population is about 955,000 (2012); land area - 15,125 sq. km.
Kaliningrad region features
Kaliningrad region is the most western province of Russia. It has no land connection to the rest of the Russian territory. The region is an exclave of the Russian Federation surrounded by Lithuania and Poland. Kaliningrad oblast possesses about 90% of the world’s amber deposits.
Nowadays several hundred tons of amber is mined annually, but only a small part of it is used for making jewelry in the region. Amber mining and removal is often beyond the law, contraband amber is delivered to West European countries.
Kaliningrad region nature
Kaliningrad region nature view
Kaliningradskaya oblast scenery
Kaliningrad region scenery
Kaliningrad region history
Till the 18th century, the territory of present Kaliningrad region was inhabited by Prussian tribes, the folk closely related to Latvian and Lithuanian peoples. In 1226, the Polish Prince Konrad Mazovetsky and the great Master of Teutonic Order Hermann von Saltz signed the treaty on dividing Prussian lands. After that German knights of Teutonic Order began colonization of Prussia.
During invasion which lasted about 50 years knights built castles. The first castle was Balga founded in 1239 on the coast of Vislinsky (Kaliningradsky) bay and it is still preserved. Germans settled near the walls of the castles. It was the way most of the towns of the region appeared including Kenigsberg (Kaliningrad).
Thus the state of knights-crusaders appeared on the territory of present Kaliningrad region (as well as on the territory of current Varminsko-Mazursky province of Poland).
This state had always initiated wars with Poland and Lithuania. Such extra tension lead to the crisis in Prussia and it became dependent from Poland in the second half of the 15th century.
In 1525, by the order of the great Master Albreht, the crusaders’ state was reformed into Prussian duchy. The last great Master of Teutonic Order duke Albreht became the first duke of Prussia. Protestantism of Lutheran type became the new state religion - thus, Prussia was the first state in the world which declared Protestantism its state religion.
In 1657, Prussia became a part of united Brandenburg-Prussian state and set free of Poland. During the War of Seven Years between 1758 and 1762, the Eastern Prussia was a part of the Russian Empire. This period was called “the first Russian time” in German chronicles.
Eastern Prussia, its northern part (approximately one third of all the territory of Eastern Prussia) became a part of Russia after the World War II, according to Potsdam agreements.
After the victory there was immediately organized Kenigsberg military district which dealt with civil affairs too. Soon it was reorganized into Kenigsberg region as a part of the RSFSR. This name didn’t exist for a long time, in 1946, it was renamed Kaliningradskaya after Soviet leader Mikhail Kalinin.
Officially the region was formed on April 7, 1946. The rest of the German population was deported to Germany by 1947.
After the war, Kaliningradskaya oblast became one of the most militarized regions of the USSR. Headquarters of the Baltic fleet was located in Kaliningrad, after 1991, the town of Baltiysk (former Pillau) remained the largest base of this fleet.
Kaliningrad region economics
The following industries are developed in Kaliningrad region: machine-building; ship-building and repairing; car assembling; production and assembling of gadgets; production of building materials; food industry; wood processing and furniture-making.
Commercial fishing is developed, large fishing ports are located in Kaliningrad and Pionersky, smaller ones - in Pybachiy and Svetly.
The most important kind of transportation in the region is automobile one. The net of highways is developed. Most of the roads do not correspond the width standard in Russia, besides, they are very twisting.
On most of roads in the region the max permitted speed is 70 km/h (instead of 90 km/h), this is due to trees growing along the roads and thus causing serious danger.