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Discover Kaliningrad: the Royal Gate
February 28, 2018 14:46


(Source: https://ontheedge.ru/interesnosti/brandenburgskie-vorota-kaliningrad)

The King of Prussia Friedrich Wilhelm IV took part in the laying of the Royal Gate on August 30, 1843. The gate was being built for 7 years. The rulers entered the city, handicraftsmen and peasants passed through that gate.

Being a part of the Second Defensive Rampart, surrounding the city in a continuous 15-kilometer ring, the gate witnessed the passage of various historical persons. The events from the history of Prussia, Germany, Russia, Poland, the Baltic States and the whole world intertwined there.

The Second World War sharply changed the history and appearance of Koenigsberg, demolishing and destroying the monuments of architecture. The Royal Gate was no exception and had been in extremely poor state for a long time. In 2005 the image of the Royal Gate was chosen by the public as a symbol of the celebration of the 750th anniversary of Koenigsberg, nowadays known as Kaliningrad.

On February 10, 2005 this monument of architecture of XIX century was transferred to the Museum of the World Ocean for restoration. Then highly difficult work started. It was necessary to restore the lost fragments of the brickwork of the facade and internal rooms, lay communications, improve the adjacent territory, reconstruct the road junction, restore the sculptures of the crown-bearing rulers that adorned the facade of the gate. The best builders and restorers from Arkhangelsk, Gdansk, St. Petersburg were involved.

The work on creation of the exposition called “The Great Embassy” was carried out at the same time and virtually from scratch. Five months later the opening of the historical and cultural centre titled “The Great Embassy” at the Gate was at the same time the start of the celebration of the 750th anniversary of the city.

Nowadays the Royal Gate not only tells us about the emergence of Koenigsberg-Kaliningrad and its development at the crossroads, it is a museum with open exhibitions; solemn book presentations and wedding ceremonies are held there, and the Kaliningrad Consular Corps has chosen the Royal Gate as a venue for the annual celebration of the Diplomat’s Day.

And this is due to the diplomatic history of the museum that had lasted for 300 years and is presented in a permanent exposition titled “The Great Embassy”. The exposition tells about the visit of the Great Embassy of Peter I and other outstanding people to Koenigsberg by the, about the emergence of Russian diplomacy in the city, about the long-standing bonds of this land with Russia.

Since July 2005 the three “historical fathers” of the city have been looking at it from the gable of the Gate: Ottokar II Přzemysl, the King of Bohemia and founder of Koenigsberg Frederick I who ascended the royal throne in Koenigsberg with the help of Peter I, and the last Grand Master of the Teutonic Order that became Duke Albrecht - the founder of the first secular Lutheran state in Europe. Their sculptures have been recreated from scratch by hard labor and high skills of the restorers from the Hermitage. Right next to the Royal Gate there is an exhibition building of postern.

A postern (derived from the French word “poterne” meaning “a closed passage in the form of a gallery” in fortifications) was a part of the defensive ring that protected Koenigsberg of XIX century. During the postwar period it was abandoned, just like the gate, and used as a warehouse: the building was gradually destroying. Now it works as a hall for temporary exhibitions, a place for conducting workshops for children and schoolchildren as well as cultural events.

The visitors of the Royal Gate are greeted by the famous Prussian Cat - the key-keeper of the city. The Cat brings luck to those who stroke this sculpture.

 


Sources: http://strana.ru 


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Kaliningrad Kaliningrad Region    

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