Museums

Ruslan Shamukov/ТАSS

One of the most unusual museums in Kaliningrad is housed in an apartment in a red-brick house built in 1907. Altes Haus' founders, Alexander and Natalia Bychenkos, replicated the setting of a typical Königsberg apartment of the early 20th century. While visiting Altes Hous you will hear the story about the district the house is located in and about household furnishing and lifestyles of that period. The museum regularly organizes lectures.

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The Friedland Gate is a young museum. It was established in 2002. It is housed in a fortification that used to be part of Königsberg's defence ring. The Friedland Gate was built in 1862 presumably based on the design of German architect Friedrich Stuler. The gate's facade is decorated with two sculptures of Teutonic Order rulers. The museum's collection is dedicated to Königsberg's everyday life, mostly of the pre-war period. The Friedland Gate Museum offers a possibility to make a virtual tour along the streets of the East Prussian capital with the help of animated old photographs.
Руслан Шамуков/ТАСС

Founded in 1988, the Kaliningrad Art Gallery is a collection of the 20th century art and embraces the German, Soviet and Russian periods. The core of the collection is paintings, pieces of graphic art and sculpture by Soviet and Russian artists of the 1950s-1990s. The Gallery is known for its temporary exhibitions organised jointly with Russia's leading museums. Its major project is the Kaliningrad–Koenigsberg Baltic States Biennale of Graphic Art.

The Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts is housed in the Kronprinz Barracks built in 1849 as part of the second defence ring around Königsberg. The mansard of this old building was rearranged for exhibitions of contemporary arts, festivals and lectures.

The memorial house museum of German sculptor Hermann Brachert was opened in 1993 in his former country house in the settlement of Otradnoye (known as Georgenswalde before 1947). The house was built based on the design of Hans Hopp, a German architect who worked in Königsberg. The museum is very small and cozy. On display are Brachert's works, letters, memoirs and photos from the family archives. The key exhibit of the museum is Bracher's statue Girl with a Jug, also known as Carrying Water (Wasserträgerin in German). The original statue was brought here from Svetlogorsk's Listvennichny (Larch) Park in 2002 and restored.

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The Insterburg Castle is located in Chernyakhovsk, the third biggest city in Russia's westernmost Kaliningrad Oblast. The castle was built by Teutonic Knights in 1336 and has been heavily rebuilt since then. It was severely damaged during an assault in 1945 and in the post-WWII period. In 1997, activists concerned by the plight of the castle pooled their efforts together under the umbrella of the House Castle Foundation and embarked on the amelioration of the territory, organization of the museum exposition and research works. Visitors can watch medieval fencing matches, have a tour around the castle's underground vaults and try ancient crafts.

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Housed in the rebuilt building of the former city concert hall Stadthalle, the Museum of History and Arts is the oldest museum in the region. Over the 70 years of its existence, the museum has collected numerous exhibits linked with the history, archaeology, nature and culture of the Kaliningrad region. Thus, the museum's archaeology hall tells about the history of ancient Prussians and Vikings and can boast of having tens of thousands of artefacts from Königsberg's Prussia Museum which until the 1990s had been believed to be lost. The history of the Great Patriotic War and the Königsberg assault occupies a very special place in the museum. Apart from that, the Museum of History and Arts organises exhibitions by Kaliningrad contemporary artists.

Ruslan Shamukov/ТАSS

The King's Gate that houses the Grand Embassy Historical and Cultural Centre was the key symbol of the city's 750th anniversary marked in 2005. By that date, the building had been restored and handed over to the Museum of the World Ocean. Now the museum offers an exposition dedicated to Peter the Great's Grand Embassy. Apart from that, the museum organises exhibitions and other events here. The King's Gate is decorated with restored bas-reliefs of the rulers who played a major role in Königsberg's life: Ottokar II, Duke of Prussia Albrecht and Friedrich I. Do not miss the sculpture of the Prussian Cat, the keeper of the city keys, which is believed to bring good luck.

Baltyisk is Russia's westernmost city and the biggest base of the Russian Baltic Fleet. The museum is housed in an original 1903 pseudo-Gothic building which initially accommodated Pillau's (the former name of Baltyisk before 1945) court authorities. The museum's collection is dedicated to the history of the Baltic Fleet and the city. Of special interest are honorary cold steel arms awarded to prominent Navy officers and admirals, as well as models of the Pallada sailing frigate, the Kremlin armor-plated floating battery, the Petropavlovsk frigate, and the Kirov cruiser.

The Kaliningrad Railway History Museum with an open air exhibition site directly at Kaliningrad's Southern Railway Terminal (Ulitsa Kiyevskaya, 1 (Kiyevskaya Street)) was opened in 2000. The open space exhibits trains and engines used by the Kaliningrad railway in various years. Among the exhibits are an L-0282 steam engine designed by Leo Lebedyansky and though to be the best in the former Soviet Union, a car of a 1929 armored train, a pre-war German steam engine, etc.

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Fort No. 5, named King Frederick Wilhelm III, was one of the network of over a dozen of forts built in the second half of the 19th century along the circular road around Königsberg. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, the fort was the scene of mass heroic exploits of Soviet soldiers during the assault of Königsberg. Fifteen soldiers and officers taking part in the assault were later awarded the title of Heroes of the Soviet Union. Their names are inscribed on the memorial stone. Nowadays, Fort No. 5 is a war memorial, a branch of the Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Art. The exhibition of military equipment, including a famous Katyusha multiple rocket launcher, is placed along the fort's moat. Not long ago some of the fort's inner spaces were opened for visitors.