The fortifications around Kaliningrad offer a unique tour

By September 19, 2019Asia, Russia
Rosegarten Gate

Even though Kaliningrad was bombed heavily during World War 2 (then a German town known as Königsberg) many of fortifications from the mid 1800’s still exist. I read there are 11 bastions, 3 ravelins, 2 towers, defensive barracks, and 15 fortified city gates. They form a ring around the city center and visiting them will provide a unique perspective to the cities history.

King's Gate in Kaliningrad

King’s Gate

I did not visit every one of them (that would take days and many are not open or just parks), but I did find a nice stretch that I recommend. I started at the King’s Gate on the east side of the historic center. This is a beautiful building and just seeing it is worth the effort to get here. Inside there is a small museum with some interesting artifacts.

King's Gate interior

Interior of the King’s Gate

Moving a little north along the same main road you will find two building on either side of the road. The eastern one (away from the city) is Grolman Bastions and the one on the west side (towards the city) is the Kronprinz Barracks. Both of these are huge and neither is open to the public, but I was able to walk into the courtyard of barracks, which almost fort like in design.

Dohna Tower

Dohna Tower containing the Amber Museum

Moving farther north is the Oberteich Bastion, which is significant but has business all around it. Across the traffic circle is Rosgarten Gate, which is a large, gorgeous gate and well worth seeing (cover photo). I liked it even more than King’s Gate from the outside, but you can not go into this one and there is a cafe at it. Right next to the Rosegarten Gate is the very impressive Dohna Tower, which butts up to the Upper Lake. Inside the tower you will find the very cool Amber Museum, which I will write about in the next blog.

The entire walk I just described is only 1.3 km (just under 1 mile) long and follows the same main road. As I said there are many other parts of the old fortification and it goes all the way around the city, but I found this section to give a good example of different parts of the city defense, diverse architecture, and is a short segment taken a couple hours if you go into the museums.

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