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Pravdinsk - Friedland

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After they subdued the local Natangian tribe in Prussia, the Teutonic Knights in 1312 founded the settlement at a ford across the Lava, it received city rights in 1335 under Grand Master Luth-er von Braunschweig.

The town was devastated during the Thirteen Years' War 1454-66 between the Order and the Prussian Confederation. Known then by its German name Friedland ("peaceful land"), the town became part of the Duchy of Prussia after the secularization of the Order-State in 1525.
Under the ruling Hohenzollern dynasty, Friedland became part of Brandenburg-Prussia in 1618 and was again ravaged by Swedish troops in the course of the Second Northern War 1655-60.

Friedland belonged to the Kingdom of Prussia from 1701; on June 14, 1807, Napoleon Bonaparte won the nearby Battle of Friedland against a combined Russian-Prussian army.

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The town became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the Prussian-led unification of Germany.

Conquered by the Soviet Army during World War II, the town was transferred from Germany to the Soviet Union according to the 1945 Potsdam Agreement and the German population was expelled.
The town was renamed from Friedland to Pravdinsk (Pravda meaning "truth" in Russian).

The Late Gothic church of St. George in the town centre is well preserved and today used by the Moscow Patriarchate.


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