What stands in place of the Königsberg Castle is obscene

By September 17, 2019 5 Comments
Königsberg Castle 4

Kaliningrad, Russia was once the East Prussian capital Königsberg. It only became part of Russia at the end of World War 2, when the Soviet Union expelled all Germans and remade the city as a model city of Soviet design.

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Pre war photo of Königsberg Castle

On of the main landmarks of Königsberg was the castle started in 1257. This very large, square fortress was built around a courtyard and was greatly enlarged and refortified in several stages between the 16th to 18th centuries. Among the usual trapping of a castle this one contained a large church, a public museum containing 24,000 exhibits, and the Königsberg State and University Library. It was also the site where two Prussian kings were crowned.

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The excavated cellars of the old castle

During World War 2 many works of art stolen from Russia were stored here including the fabled Amber Room, but by the end of the war bombardment, siege, and assault by the Allies reduced the entire town to rubble, but the thick walls of the castle still stood even though the entire structure was burnt out, without a roof, and a ruin.

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One retaining wall is the rest of all that is still visible of the castle

The remains stood until 1967 when Soviet leaders chose to destroy the 700 year old structure because “it was a reminder of Germany and was the center of fascism. Instead the 21 story House of Soviets was started as a central government building and to show Soviet might. This building was built on the remains of the castle moat and the swampy land caused problems for the structure (while the castle remains were buried under the new central square). Construction was halted in 1985 (15 years after starting) and the exterior was painted and windows installed in 2005 for Kaliningrad’s 60th, Königsberg’s 750th anniversary, and a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the interior has still not been finished and the building was never used.

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The House of Soviets or as it is known to locals “The Monster”

As I was checking out the few castle remains visible after an excavation in 2001 (a few cellars and one wall) a young guy asked if I wanted to check out a virtual reality tour of the castle. I figured for $10 why not and I am glad I did. He took me to four different locations around the castle and had me put on the VR head piece and ear phones. What I saw was a still 360 degree photo of what the castle would look like if it stood in today’s city for each different angle, while an audio guide told about the castle. Quite fascinating and I am glad I did not just dismiss the guys offer out of hand as I almost did. It is a shame the original castle remains were not left stand or restored, but that was Soviet policy at the time.


  • Edwin Boehringer says:

    I agree . What a shame !

  • Shane says:


    I agree that is would be amazing to see that crap of a building torn down and the castle restored!!!!!


  • João E. Gata says:

    The time will come when the soviet monstrous buildings will be blown up and the centuries old castle restored. Hopefully, in a not too distant future, nothing will remain that may remind people of the soviet/russian occupation since WWII.

  • Shane says:


    That is cool you have family from Konigsburg. It is a shame the castle was destroyed. It was heavily damaged in WW2, but the Soviets could have still kept the ruins. Sadly they had a desire to get rid of anything German. They do still excavate the ruins for archeological purposes. You should really go. I enjoyed my time there!!!!


  • Connie Stinson says:

    I have family from Konigsburg, it is a travesty the castle was destroyed utterly. I wonder if excavations still are happening? I want to visit Kaliningrad, and do research there anyway. Thank you for this!

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