The diverse city of Kaliningrad has many faces — one is West European, yet another is of its Soviet past. Let’s follow the USSR tracks and dive into the Soviet page of the city’s history.
The starting point is the Southern Railway Station and Kalinin Square, where you will find a bronze monument to Mikhail Kalinin erected in 1959. Further, towards Leninsky Prospect you’ll see the “House of Arts” (155 Leninsky Prospect) with a monument to Vladimir Lenin. Back in the Soviet times, it used to be cinema “Oktyabr” built on the site of a 17th century Haberberg church.
Your next stop is 2, Ulitsa Marshala Baghramyana, where you will come across the Yunost Sports Complex and a Soviet monument to the Pioneers of Oceanic Fishing of 1978, right on the bank of the Pregol River. In 2009, a sculpture of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker was added to the monument, creating a curious neighbourship.
Credit: @Шура СтекловаAlexandra
Another interesting Soviet artefact is the submarine B-143 docked nearby, at 1 Naberezhnaya Petra Velikogo. A part of the Museum of the World Ocean exhibition, the boat is open for public tours.
Coming back from the Pregol River to the Central Square, you’ll get right to the House of Soviets, a symbol of Soviet Kaliningrad, erected in 1970, but never finished. It stands on the site of a Königsberg castle moat, which explains surface subsidence.
As you walk down Leninsky Prospect, make a stop at the monument called “Motherland” moved from Moscow in 1974. Next, follow Teatralnaya Ulitsa, towards the Regional Drama Theater located at 4 Prospect Mira. The earlier Königsberg Drama Theater burned down in 1945 and was rebuilt using Corinthian columns.
At this point, you are quite close to the Kaliningrad Zoo (26 Prospect Mira), the oldest Russian zoo open since 1896. Take some time to stroll along the neat and groomed alleys. But don’t forget to peek into the zoo as well.
Credit: @Анна Кубыштова
Your next stop is the “Zarya” cinema (41/43 Prospect Mira) (a.k.a. “Scala”). Once it was notorious for screening foreign and independent films that had at that point been banned in the USSR. Today it’s a go-to place to see alternative and indie films.
In the nearby square, you will find an original monument to the Conquerors of the Near Universe erected in 1980. You may also want to take a walk down the adjacent street — Ulitsa Leonova named after the Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, a city resident, and the first man to come out into open space in 1965. He spent some of his early years in Kaliningrad and graduated a local school.
Your next point on the Soviet era sightseeing list is a monument to Karl Marx located in Karl Marx Square on — wait for it! — Karla Marxa Ulitsa.
The tour ends at the Central Park, with a monument to famous Soviet singer-songwriter Vladimir Vysotsky, holding his trusted guitar. Here you can take a break and reflect on the bygone Soviet era.
Credit: @Юрий Борцов