Kaliningrad celebrates 750 years of existence

1st July 2005, Comments 0 comments

1 July 2005, KALININGRAD - Three-day celebrations began on Friday in the Russian city of Kaliningrad under the theme 'One city - one history' marking the 750th anniversary of the Russian enclave of the same name.The city became part of the Soviet Union after World War II and is now Russia's westernmost city. The festivities mark its founding in 1255 by German knights under the name Koenigsberg. Dozens of events were held on Friday in the city, secured by 4,000 security forces, and climaxed with the parade

1 July 2005

KALININGRAD - Three-day celebrations began on Friday in the Russian city of Kaliningrad under the theme 'One city - one history' marking the 750th anniversary of the Russian enclave of the same name.

The city became part of the Soviet Union after World War II and is now Russia's westernmost city. The festivities mark its founding in 1255 by German knights under the name Koenigsberg.

Dozens of events were held on Friday in the city, secured by 4,000 security forces, and climaxed with the parade to the King's Gate for its festive reopening, watched by thousands of residents and guests including 46 foreign delegations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is to meet German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac on Sunday in the city. Only lower-ranking Polish and Lithuanian officials have been invited.

Specialists from St. Petersburg recently went to great lengths to restore the Neo-Gothic brick gate, formerly part of Koenigsberg's fortress. It is the official symbol of the festivities and visible on countless flags and posters decorating the inner city.

The name Koenigsberg was not being used during the celebrations - simply '750 years of Kaliningrad'.

About 2,000 costumed participants showed all periods of the city's history - from the Knights of the Cross, Prussian kings and the most famous people of Koenigsberg, the philosopher Immanuel Kant to the Red Army soldiers who stormed the city in April 1945.

DPA

Subject: German news

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