The Friedrichsburg Gate
The Friedrichsburg Gate is the only historical gate in Kaliningrad that led not to Koenigsberg but to the similarly-named fortress built on the south Pregol river bank in 1657 by the order of Frederick Willliam, the Great Prince Elector. The fortress was built by the project of Christian Otter and it was square according to a topographic plan. There were four bastions at its corners. The bastions were harmoniously named as Ruby, Emerald, Diamond and Pearl.
A quadrangular courtyard was surrounded by earthworks. There were various buildings located in the courtyard: a commandant's office, barracks, an armoury, warehouses, a guardhouse, a jail and a church.
In 1697, Peter I under the name of a sergeant Peter Mikhailov studied artillery in the Friedrichsburg and Pillau Fortresses during his stay in Koenigsberg with the Grand Embassy. Colonel von Sternfeld, an experienced specialist from Brandenburg, taught the 25-year-old apprentice and noted his talents. When Peter I came back to Moscow he got a certificate proving that: “Peter Mikhailov should be recognized and honoured for his perfect talent in bombs throwing and as a careful and skillful firing artist”. And Peter himself used to say several times that he was going to Europe to study shipbuilding.
In the mid-XIX century the Friedrichsburg Fortress was rebuilt into a similarly-named fort during the construction of new earthworks round Koenigsberg. In 1852, a brick gate was erected in the Friedrichsburg Fort. August Stüler, a court architect of the Prussian King Frederich William IV, was the author of the gate.
On August 23, 1910 the Friedrichsburg Fort was excluded from the Koenigsberg defensive constructions and sold to the Imperial railway. The earthworks were dismantled and moats of the Friedrichsburg Fort were backfilled. The major part of the constructions was disassembled. Railway lines were laid on the former territory of the fort. Only the gate and the barracks near the wall of the south-east bastion were left.
The Friedrichsburg Gate was damaged during the storm of Koenigsberg in 1945. The south-east tower and a south part of the east guardhouse’s wall were lost. In the post-war period a field military typography and then a motorcade were located in the gate. In 1960, the Friedrichsburg Gate became an architectural monument and was protected by the state and in 2007, it was passed to the Museum of the World Ocean.
The restoration was made with modern brickwork and materials which show the damage – almost a quarter of the unique historical object was destroyed. In 2011, the unusual architectural construction with towers, an emblem on the façade, a heavy iron gate and the paved courtyard looked original. Restorers from Nizhny Novgorod, Saint-Petersburg and Kaliningrad did their best to preserve the beauty of the old times.
20 April What's on today
Main building of the museum:
Peter the Great emb. 1, Kaliningrad, Russia
007 4012 531-744, 007 4012 340-244