Kaliningrad is an administrative centre of Kaliningrad oblast (Region). This city bears the name Kaliningrad since 1946. It is formerly German Königsberg, Polish Królewiec (1255–1946).
The city is an exclave of the Russian Federation. The Kaliningrad region is unique. It does not have a land border with the rest of Russia. The Baltic Sea is located in the north and west, Poland in the south and Lithuania in the east.
Formerly the capital of the dukes of Prussia and later the capital of East Prussia, the city was ceded to the Soviet Union in 1945 under the Potsdam agreement.
Basic information about Kaliningrad and region
The size of the Kaliningrad region: from east to west, a maximum of 205 km, from north to south – only 108 km. The area is 15.1 thousand square kilometers.
The region was formed on April 7, 1946 by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR “On the formation of the Konigsberg region as part of the RSFSR.”
Until July 4, 1946, the city was called Königsberg and was renamed to Kaliningrad, as well as the region to Kaliningrad.
Population (January 1, 2018):
- Kaliningrad region – 994,600 people;
- Kaliningrad – 475,100 people.
Today, more than 1,000,000 people visit each year. Starting from July 1, 2019, people from a lot of foreign States may visit Kaliingrad region, Russia, with free e-visa. This visa don’t let to travel to another territory of Russia. Visitors can only be in Kaliningrad and the region as a tourist.
Distances to big cities from Kaliningrad:
- up to Moscow – 1289 km;
- up to St. Petersburg – 963 km;
- up to Pskov (the nearest center of another region of Russia) – 800 km;
- up to Vilnius – 350 km;
- up to Riga – 390 km;
- up to Warsaw – 400 km;
- up to Berlin – 600 km;
- up to Stockholm – 650 km;
- up to Copenhagen – 680 km;
- up to Oslo is 850 km away.
Kaliningrad lies on the Pregolya River, which flows into the Kaliningrad Gulf (Frisches Lagoon). There is no sea in Kaliningrad itself.
The Baltic Sea is 30 kilometers from Kaliningrad (the closest distance).
The following cities are located directly on the Baltic coast:
Geography and nature
The relief of the Kaliningrad region is a hilly plain. In the east of the region there is the Vyshtynetsk Upland; there are heights of up to 230 meters above sea level. There are also hills in the Bagrationovskiy district – the Warmia Upland. The lowest lands of the region are located in the Slavsky district. They are called polders. These lands are in danger of flooding.
In Russia, the Kaliningrad region is called the Amber Region due to the location of almost 90% of the world’s amber reserves here. Therefore, amber is used as a symbol of the Kaliningrad region. Many companies and organizations in this region have the word “amber” in their name.
In the Kaliningrad region there are deposits of mineral resources: oil, peat, coal, various salts, clay, sand and gravel, mineral water.
There are many rivers and streams in this area. The largest rivers are the Neman and the Pregol. Their tributaries: Shesupe, Tylzha, Pissa, Angrappa, Instruch, Lava. There are two bays of the Baltic Sea: Curonian and Kaliningrad (Vistula) bays. The bays are lagoons – estuaries, contain fresh water. These bays are fenced off from the Baltic Sea by sand spits: the Curonian and Baltic (Vistula).
Forests in the Kaliningrad region are mixed. Trees: spruce, pine, oak, linden, birch, alder, ash, hornbeam, beech.
The Red Forest is located in the south of the Nesterovsky district, near the border with Poland. This forest is part of the Rominten Forest. Most of the forests are concentrated in the east of the region: Krasnoznamensky, Nesterovsky and Chernyakhovsky districts.
The climate of Kaliningrad is transitional from marine to continental. The seasons are well defined. Spring and fall seasons are long, winters are mild (severe frosts are rare, snow melts quickly) and summers are moderate too (although the weather is hot).