History

The history of the Kaliningrad Region is original and unique. The Region was established following the victory of the Soviet Union over the Nazi Germany. According to the decision of the Potsdam Conference in 1945, one third of the area of the former East Prussia including the city of Koenigsberg became part of the USSR. On April 7, 1946 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR passed a Decree “On the establishment of the Koenigsberg Oblast as part of the RSFSR”, and on July 4 its administrative center was renamed Kaliningrad as well as the Region.
The war caused irreparable damage to the regional economy. 186 industrial enterprises out of 364 were completely destroyed. Most of the buildings were in ruins. Power, transport, communication, water supply, sewerage were out of order. Unexploded ordnance on the territory were a serious problem. In July 1946, the Council of Ministers adopted a decision on the economic revival of the city and region. So, a new story of ancient land began.
The settling of the Kaliningrad Region is regarded amongst the largest in scale migration processes in the post-war history of the USSR. In August 1946 settlers from Russia, Belorussia and autonomous republics started coming to the Region. This determined the multinational structure of the region’s population and development of the culture featuring interpenetration of traditions and customs of nations and peoples.
In May 1947, the Kaliningrad City Executive Committee was established, and in December the first elections to the local councils were held. Within quite a short period of time they managed to arrange industry functioning, the main sectors of which were fishing and processing complexes, building and repairs of vessels, pulp and paper sector, carriage engineering. In 1948 the Kaliningrad Amber Factory, the largest in the world in amber mining and processing, was set in operation. Port facilities were developing. In 1948 the first herring fishing expedition set off to the North Atlantic. Bridges were restored; the Southern Railway station was opened after repairs in the city of Kaliningrad. In September 1945, schoolchildren went to school for the first time in the Region. In 1948, lectures started at the Kaliningrad State Teachers’ Training Institute. As soon as the War ended, the first Soviet resort spas at the seaside began receiving holidaymakers. It is during the Soviet times when the main sectors of the economy were developed. In 1975, oil extraction started. The city changed its appearance having turned from a German Koenigsberg into a Russian Kaliningrad. In 1996, the foundation of the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior was laid in the Victory Square in Kaliningrad. In September 2006, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II conducted illumination of the Cathedral. The restored Cathedral on Kant’s island hosts concerts of the Festival “Baltic Seasons”, the organ complex was reestablished.
The present-day geopolitical position, as well as the main sectors of the economy, natural resources and raw materials, ice-free ports, educational and cultural institutions, proximity to the European markets, determine the Oblast’s fate. In 1991, the Kaliningrad Region was opened for visits to foreigners.