Prior to the war, the capital of East Prussia was a real work of architectural art, however, the Soviet Union aviation bombed the town leaving it in ruins. The Soviet authorities tried their best to liquidate the heirloom so strange for them as quickly as possible with no perception of remaining structure values. Fortunately, the modern Kaliningrad still has some islets of the German past retained. Some of them are restored and operated, the other facilities still await services.
The Queen Louise Church is worth noting as the facility that withstood both the war period and the Soviet Union reign among those noticeable buildings. This building styled by the Romanesque Revival architecture was employed as a Lutheran church founded in honor of the famous monarch in Prussia. In German, the building is known as LuisenkircheKönigsberg (Königin-Luise-Gedächtniskirche). To date, it houses the Kaliningrad Regional Puppet Theater being one of places much appreciated by the city children. If you plan to visit the Amber Region with your children, please, visit this place.
History and today’s world
Today the Queen Louise Church is located at PobedyProspekt, 1 in the Central City Park. This is one of the coziest and green places in the city to find lots of amusing sights. You will enjoy a variety of amusement, the singing platform that hosts concerts and various events. The Vladimir Vysotsky Monument is nearby. In winter, the Central Park (formerly known as Kalinin Park) offers ice sliding, and in summer – rides on the «Orbit» or «Typhoon» or just options to relax in the shade of spreading trees near the fountain.
As for the church, it is also rich in history. It was built within 1899 to 1901, at the turn of centuries, as per the project of the German architect Friedrich Heitmann. Unfortunately, the extensions, the houses for the priest and those receiving the rite of confirmation have been completely ruined to date. Yet, the house of worship was harmed during the war and was in ruins for quite a long time.
In ’60s, German ruins were actively demolished in Kaliningrad. Outstanding works of architecture were destroyed posing a threat to the Queen Louise Church either. Kaliningrad was built anew. The Soviet authorities attempted to create a «communist model city», so, today modern prefabricated facilities replaced ancient villas, profitable houses and public buildings.
Thanks to Yuri Vaganov, the architect of the State design institute, the Church building was retrieved by retrofitting to the Puppet Theater. Kaliningrad was short in cultural facilities, indeed. The architect’s plan was approved by higher authorities though the building was fully restored in 1976 only to stage the first performance.
Upon the reconstructed, the building retained its exterior of the iconic structure as it was before the war. However, the interior was considerably changed due to re-profiling. The vaults were removed and the church hall was divided into two floors: one to hold exhibitions, another – to stage performances.
The Queen Louise Church is conditionally referred to the architectural style of neo-Renaissance since elements of this building have some features of the Normanesque and modern. The designer somewhat tried to interpret the past in the romantic patter.
The building is 47 meters in length and 22 meters in width. The watch is installed on the Main Tower. It is easy to get there. It takes 15 to 20 minutes on foot from the Victory Square considered to be the central city. The public transport runs properly. The Church is located in the Central region, the place that is least damaged during war actions. The place is known for lots of stunning buildings and streets non-damaged that retain the good spirit of old Königsberg.
Louise – the Queen of Prussia
The history of Königsberg dating back to more than 760 years attracts the tourist flow to the Amber Region that is long associated with Russia. Until 1945, East Prussia twice formed a part of the Russian Empire, and Louise, the Queen of Prussia, that the church was named in her honor, is the grandmother of the sovereign Alexander II. Her name is forever written in history of Germany and not neglected by nationals until now.
The Queen is mostly known for her confrontation with Napoleon who sought to conquer East Prussia. The majority of significant wars was broken at the territory of the East Prussia (including the Battle of Friedland, whichis currently known as Pravdinsk of the Kaliningrad region). Her spouse, the King Frederick William was deported to Königsberg along with Louise by the French conqueror and only years after he was given the opportunity to return to Berlin. That time, he governed the remaining territories from the East Prussia.
Soon after Louise returned to the capital, she died, and in 1811 a monument was installed in Königsberg projected by the King. Later on, the Order of Louise was developed to award for special merits to females inclusively. Disputes on her personality still continue among historians but the fact that Louise was the extraordinary ruler is not under the doubt.
Where to stay in Kaliningrad?
There are lots of sights in our ancient town to definitely see. To do this, a traveler should have the comfortable accommodation for the affordable price. You’d better choose a hotel not far from the center, in the green belt, on the shore of the superb Verkhneye Lake.
The Oberteich Hotel Chain is located next to another Yunost Park. The neighborhood with perfectly preserved buildings by German architects is next to it. Magnificent villas were reconstructed to neighbor with the recreation area to offer bicycle paths, walking areas, amusements, skating park, the option to enjoy catamaran and taste the Königsberg cuisine.