Kaliningrad - Koenigsbergпечать
The largest city and the administrative center of Kaliningrad region is Kaliningrad (formerly known as Königsberg), which has historical significance as both a major city of the historical state of Prussia and the capital of the former German province of East Prussia, partitioned after World War II between the USSR and Poland, and renamed in 1946 after the Soviet Head of State Mikhail Kalinin.
The German population was expelled and the city was repopulated with Soviet citizens. German was replaced by Russian as the language of everyday life. The city was rebuilt, and went through industrialization and modernization.
As the westernmost territory of the USSR, the Kaliningrad Oblast became a strategically impor-tant area during the Cold Water. The Soviet Baltic Fleet was headquartered in the city in the 1950s. Because of its strategic importance, Kaliningrad has been closed to foreign visitors for many years.
Kaliningrad is the only Russian Baltic Sea port that is ice-free all year round and 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, geo-graphically 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 the European Union in 2004.
Many important figures, such as Immanuel Kant and E. T. A. Hoffmann, have their origins in this region. Despite being heavily damaged during World War II and thereafter, Kaliningrad still contains some typical German architecture, such as the Cathedral, Jugendstil, Koenigsberg city Gates and others, showcasing the rich German history and cultural importance of the area.
In July 2005, 750-year jubilee of city widely celebrated.