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City in modern Russia, Kaliningrad is situated in the Kaliningrad Oblast, a small isolated piece of Russian territory between Poland and Lithuania with access to the Baltic Sea. Originally called Königsberg, it was part of Germany for most of its history until the end of the Second World War, when it was annexed to the U.S.S.R.. As Königsberg, it was the home of the philosopher Immanuel Kant.

History of Königsberg

Beginnings in the Middle Ages

The city of Königsberg was named after the king Ottocar II, who came to the area with the Baltic or Northern Crusaders. Ottocar II, who also tried to claim Austria, was later killed in battle.

Königsberg was the capital city of Prussia, later called East Prussia.

The Teutonic Knights, who secured their authority directly from the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, held the administration of Prussia beginning in 1228. By 1440 the merchant leaders of the Hanse cities of Prussia founded the Prussian Confederation ( Ger. Preussischer Bund) against the Teutonic Knights, whose authority they found restrictive.

The Prussian Confederation was under the leadership of the Hanse cities Elbing, Danzig and Thorn. The Prussian Confederation had to appear before the emperor Frederick III in their case against the Teutonic Knights.

It was arranged that Casimir IV and his wife Elisabeth would grant protection to Prussia. However, Casimir IV tried to annex Prussia and war broke out against him (1453-1466). When the Teutonic Knights could not pay the German and Bohemian soldiers, the soldiers took the Marienburg (Malbork) castle in lieu of pay and sold it to the Grand Duke of Lithuania, King of Poland. The Teutonic Knights moved out of Marienburg and moved their headquarters to Königsberg .

Königsberg in the Early Modern Period

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Modern Königsberg

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Königsberg Becomes Kaliningrad

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Famous People from Königsberg

For more info after 1945 see : Kaliningrad Oblast and Trakehnen.

Outside link to J. Lemmens photos from current East Prussia and Koenigsberg territory: http://www.euronet.nl/~jlemmens/trakehnen.html