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Kaliningrad Region

Kaliningrad Region is the only administrative subject of Russia that does not share common borders with any other Region and is separated from the main territory being a semi-exclave, since it is connected with Russia by maritime domains. It borders with Poland and Lithuania. Kaliningrad Region is one hour behind Moscow time and is located in UTC +2 time zone. The Region territory is 15 100 sq. km. and has 937 360 people population with 76% living in towns and cities.

The capital is Kaliningrad, which is 1100 km far from Moscow. The Region relief is plain. Major rivers are Neman, Pregel, Rzhevka, Prohladnaya. The largest lake of the region is the Vistytis lake of 16,6 sq. km.

Kaliningrad is the former German city of Königsberg, the home city and the last shelter for the greatest German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Kant is buried in the city Cathedral. On the way there don’t miss the plate in memory of the great philosopher with his famous aphorism «… the starry sky above me and the moral law within me». Hence, the whole small island with the Cathedral on it is named as Kant Island.

The richness of Kaliningrad Region with amber becomes obvious in the Kaliningrad Amber Museum. The exhibit tells you about the history of amber extractions, about amber in general. It shows the most interesting artifacts, pieces of art made of amber. The total exhibition area is 1000 sq. m.

Small shops in the Museum vicinity offer various unusual amber souvenirs.

Kaliningrad has preserved a lot of old buildings and fortifications (Lithuanian rampart, some of the city gates, towers (the Wrangler and the Dohna Towers), part of a wall near the South station, forts). Some of these have been made museums like «the Friedland Gate» in the fortress. The Museum’s exhibition is devoted to the history of Königsberg’s fortifications and includes armory and art halls, halls representing the history of the local dwellers. The Museum is the host of the Annual International Chivalry Festival that takes place in early autumn and marks the City Celebration Day.

Kaliningrad is a multicultural city where in one day you can visit a Catholic and an Evangelical cathedrals, an Orthodox church and a Buddhist temple.

One of the must-see tourist attractions is the Zone Time Sign.

Besides Kaliningrad you should visit Polessk — formerly a Prussian town of Labiau with its preserved old-style German architecture, secular oak trees, an old station building, a medieval castle with the WWII marks and even sewer covers with stamped German inscriptions and dates of 1920-30s.

If you enjoy classical music you should visit an organ hall in Svetlogorsk with its Hugo Mayer Organ, the sound of which ideally suits the building. The Svetlogorsk Hall is considered to be Russia’s second best in terms of acoustics after the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire. The World’s best organists give concerts in the Hall on a regular basis.

There is a natural area of preferential protection in the region — the «Curonian Spit» National Park famous for its unique landscape, fauna and flora. Three settlements on the Russian territory of the Spit — Lesnoy, Rybachiy and Morskoy offer their private estates or tourist centers and rest houses for long-term or short-term vacation. Serenity, nature wilderness and the unique energy of the area help build up your power and health for a long time.

The National Park tourist centre can suggest various types of tourism and leisure on the Curonian Spit and help find lodging on the National Park territory or in the vicinity, for example, in resort towns of Svetlogorsk and Zelenogradsk. Recreation and health-improving are traditionally the most common types of tourism on the Curonian Spit territory (vacation in recreation centres with beach access). To this day there are over 30 recreation centres and about 20 hotels and guest houses for 20 — 600 guests that can lodge the National Park visitors. All of these, including the «Alye Parusa» (Scarlet Sails) recreation camp for children, are located in picturesque settlements along the Spit surrounded by a pine forest. Guests are welcome to use parking zones, view points, stationary rest and picnic areas and special places for sea bathing. Thus, the infrastructure is developed specifically for calm family recreation. Tourists who prefer staying in the private sector can seek information at the National Park information centres about the opportunities of the three settlements along the Spit.

The uniqueness of the Spit has always been attracting tourists; however, its weak protection requires special attention and care to the territory use. Thus, the most welcome type of tourism on the Curonian Spit is the ecological and observational tourism oriented for various groups of the Park visitors.

For more detailed information on the region, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.

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