From the editors
CULTURE IN A "FOREIGN" SPACE: AN INTRODUCTION
TO GENIUS LOCI KALININGRAD AND KOENIGSBERG
KALININGRAD IN THE YEAR 2020 - A NOT QUITE FICTITIOUS CONVERSATION
DESTINATION - KALININGRAD
FROM KALININGRAD DICTIONARY
MAP OF THE CITY
FORMA URBIS. SYMBOLIC PARALLELS
IN OR OUT
THE RAILWAY STATION AND ENTRANCE TO THE CITY OF KALININGRAD
BINARY STATES OF "K" CITY
Eugeny Umansky, Karpenko-Karpenko
IN THE CENTER
Andrei Monastyrsky, Sabina Haensgen
EMPTY CENTER K.
FOLLOWING SILENT WORDS
FA+ (Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre)
THE MYTHICAL FOUNDATION OF KALININGRAD
PRETERITION: KNEIPHOF ISLAND
THE BRIDGES AND "THE PREGEL'S ODOR"
John Craig Freeman, Greg Ulmer
IMAGING KALININGRAD: THE SEVEN BRIGES OF KOENIGSBERG
FORGOTTEN KANT AND THE KANT-BRAND IN KOENIGSBERG
KANT'S BRIDES: A READYMADE PHOTOGRAPHIC CHRONOTOPE
THE CATHEDRAL AND KANT FOR EVERYONE, OR IS GOD FEARSOME WITHOUT MORAL
THE CASTLE OF SOVIETS
THE ROYAL CASTLE
A WHITE SEAGULL ABOVE THE CITY: THE SYMBOLS OF THE OLD NEW CITY
WRITING OF DREAMS
LIGHT UP DOM SOVETOV
THE HOUSE OF SOVIETS
THE MOST PROFOUND SECRET OF ONE KOENIGSBERG LAWYER: HOFFMANN
A LEGEND ABOUT FIVE LITTLE ULRICHEN AND FERRYMAN ANDRE
KOENIGSBERG-KALININGRAD. THE TASTE OF MARZIPAN
THE COUNTRY OF PENSIONERS - OR THE GERMANS
CONCRETE ELEMENTS OF KALININGRAD
THE UNDREAMED OF CITY
TOWN PLANNING MATHEMATICS
MOSKOVSKII PROSPECT & THE SHADOWS AROUND ALTSTADT
OUR TOWER Ivan Chechot
THE TOWER-REDAN "KRONPRINZ"
THE KRONPRINZ TOWER. Projects for the National Centre for Contemporary Arts by Students of the Institute for Theory and Design in Architecture (Braunschweig, Germany)
THE AMBER ROOM
BASTIONS IN DIAMONDS AND EMERALDS
THE HOUSE OF MACHINERY: THE RECONSTRACTION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE POPULATION
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
PLACE OF EXECUTION
TRACES OF A VIRTUAL HISTORY IN A VERY REAL CITY
CHRIST THE SAVIOR CATHEDRAL
LIFE AND EGGS (A sketch about trams)
A STROLL THROUGH THE CENTER
IN THE FLOW: FOUNTAIN SEASON
WILD WEST OF RUSSIA
ANIMALS IN KALININGRAD AND A MOSAIC
KOENIGSBERG'S SPIRITUAL HERITAGE IN TONS, ITEMS AND SACKS. From the history of lost and found cultural heritage
WE ALL ARE GOING TO BE THERE
MONUMENT TO 1200 GUARDSMEN IN KALININGRAD
MATTER AND SPIRIT
FRAGMENT OF A SYMPHONY FOR SLOW READING: IVANOV AND HIS SURROUNDINGS
ATTIC OF RECOGNITION
MAN AND WOMAN
THE SMALL SCULPTURE "GIRL"
ON THE STREET
Igor Isaev, Dmitrii Demidenko
THE FIRE HYDRANT
Kalle Brolin, Kristina Muntzing
THE WATERFALL HERACLES' BOLT
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
NATASHA POTERYASHINA. Inteview
TO BE IN THE MOOD FOR PACKING
Dmitrii Bulatov, Pavel Savel'ev
ACEPHALUS: OPTICAL MODELS
LIGHT THE CRYSTALS OF KALININGRAD!
THE BRIDGE THAT THE "RUSSIANS COULDN'T PULL DOWN"
THE ROAD TO BERLIN: FROM EPIC TO BANAL. Interview with Valerii Bugrov
HOAR-STONES AND BOUNDARY SYMBOLS
MUSCOVITES ARE HANGING
BEFORE THE CITY
DESTINATION - KALININGRAD
Aleksandr Sologubov / Kaliningrad, Russia
Kaliningrad (from Kalinin and grad, city). One quite popular way of naming cities is to take a word and add the suffix -grad (city) or the alternate form -gorod to a word: Stalingrad, Belgorod, Novgorod, Kitaigorod. Sometimes the German word for "city" (-stadt) is used, for example: Kronshtadt.
Koenigsberg was named Kaliningrad in 1946. In this very same year Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin, the "All-Union Elder Statesman" and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, passed away. Senior "comrades consulted and decided" to commemorate the deceased by giving his name to yet another inhabited place. It seemed that along with his name, the spirit of Kalinin also came to the city.
In the late 1980s discussion began about renaming the city. Many options were offered: Kantograd, Kantovsk, Prussk, Iantarburg, Kniazhgorod, Korolevogorsk, Korolevets (it is thought that Koenigsberg was referred to thus in Russian in the past). German guests, who were able to visit the city by then, hoped that Kaliningrad would once again be named Koenigsberg - "at least, the majority of young citizens of the city supported this idea."
As the double anniversary of the city - the 60th anniversary of our densely populated area with a 750 year-old history - approached, the issue of renaming the city became crucial again. It is natural that there were, are and will be both supporters and opponents of renaming (in German: Umbennennung; interestingly, in Kaliningrad Oblast the words Umbenennung and Regermanisierung are etymologically related).
There is one argument against renaming that is quite interesting: the word "Koenigsberg" is difficult for Russians to hear correctly. Some scrupulous supporters decided to test this and compiled statistics on spelling mistakes for both "Koenigsberg" and "Kaliningrad." According to their calculations, there were more mistakes in spelling the word "Kaliningrad" than in the word "Koenigsberg" (as if to disprove the argument introduced by the opponents of "Koenigsberg").
Here is an exceptional case: In July 2002 legislation was introduced in the local legislature "about the name Kaliningrad as a monument of historical significance." In accordance with it "all actions of any legal entity or natural person aimed at the distortion, modification or destruction of its form or meaning must be considered criminal and prosecuted by law as the encroachment or destruction of a monument of historic heritage and cultural significance" (up to two years of imprisonment!).
One of Kaliningrad's newspapers reacted to this legislation by launching a competition for a new name for the city. Readers submitted numerous variants: Koenigrad, Westberg, Zapadburg, Eurograd, Zagranburg, Rusberg, Baltburg, Iantarograd, Pribaltiisk, Vladibaltiisk, Tzaregorsk, Korolevskaya Gora (a literal translation of the German name), Ottokargrad (after the king who founded the city). There was also a proposal to reinterpret the present name: to leave the name as it is, but to dedicate it not to a person, but to a plant - the guelder rose (kalinin in Russian), and to cultivate this plant in the square near the South Railway Station, where the monument to Kalinin is located.
Let's symbolically plunge into this place-naming discussion and acquaint ourselves with the arguments for and against (pro et contra) it that are being proferred by officials, public figures, journalists, and ordinary citizens. I will lump everything together without classification; you will have to decide for yourselves what is pro and what is contra:
…As we already dealt with this naming hastily once, I believe it is not worth repeating this haste again…
…(renaming) was already realized long ago by other Russian cities, including those that have names of German origin, such as Petersburg, Ekaterinburg…
…Russian place names are mandated in the region by law…
…this problem has no resolution, as the name has been fixed in the Constitution of Russia and to change it would be extraordinarily difficult …
…the original name has been returned to Tver, formerly Kalinin, so there is no longer a Kaliningrad situated near Moscow. In Moscow itself the name Kalinin has been successfully removed from the names of a Metro station and a prospect, while a museum display and monument to Kalinin have been dismantled…
…the names of inhabited places in the Kaliningrad region are of value from the viewpoint of Russian history and are a genuine source of information about the origin and development of a multinational culture of the people of the Russia Federation on this territory…
…this is Soviet bureaucratic toponymy…
…in accordance with the worst Soviet traditions the many centuries of pre-war European and world history of this region are being emphatically neglected… …this is peaceful expansion: first names will be returned, then they will start buying up houses, then the land…
…the return of history…
…repudiating "germanishness" is something strange… the return of the old name is very disharmonious…
…the motivation is tied to the name Kalinin, which evokes negative emotions…
…Koenigsberg: it is already from another history, another culture and another language…
…750 years - this is European history, German history. We have no other name, we love this history and we want to honour this very history…
…permission was received to defile and spit on the the history of our country, our region. With name changing, they try to conceal fawning to the former regime…
…those to whom this amber region is precious, they will live and work in Kaliningrad, and those who don't like this name, which has already become a part of the Russian history, can move somewhere else…
…one shouldn't repudiate their past…
…a symbolic step towards a reconsideration of the results of World War II…
…it tarnishes the memory of the Soviet soldiers, who perished while taking the city…
…the memory of more than 90,000 Soviet warriors, who eternally reside in the earth of the present day Russian "enclave," will not allow us to do this…
…150,000 Soviet soldiers died on battlefields. Let the people who want a new-old name to be returned just think over these numbers. I can't but call their actions blasphemy…
…there is no Koenigsberg. There are some elements of the former German city in the architecture. But there is neither cultural environment, nor language…
…a significant part of the cultural and architectural monuments were dismantled in the Soviet period. We have to acknowledge our historic responsibility for this, and returning the former name to the city is a part of this process…
…the majority of Kaliningraders were born as Kaliningraders and not as Koenigsbergers…
…we are Europeans…
…the sense of vacantness, the need for for self-actualization, they desire to not feel provincial…
…former Eastern Prussia, like its former capital, HAVE FALEN INTO OBLIVION and the old names CAN NO LONGER EXIST!...
… the renaming of Kaliningrad to Koenigsberg is one step towards turning the whole region into Eastern Prussia and returning it to Germany…
…officially this is, of course, Russian territory. But historically, visually, and spiritually this is, of course, Eastern Prussia.
…those who promote this idea, are carrying out specific orders…
…it's necessary "to know about the nature of this phenomenon. It's trifling but dangerous only because it dwells in people's minds"… everything begins with disputes about the name of the future government and suggestions about renaming the regional capital Koenigsberg… "I even think that fiancing from abroad can't be ruled out"…
…specific separatism…the undermining of the political unity of Russia…
…the germ of revanchism…
…the prohibition against renaming entails serious human rights violations and threatens the dignity of the citizens…
…it's not clear which city's anniversary is going to be celebrated…
As you see, this question is popular and is under discussion. People are expressing their opinions. This matter is simple and is freely discussed. I have never heard of anybody being fought or imprisoned for this.
I will refrain from taking sides. But here is my own variant for the collection (even knowing beforehand that it is unacceptable, the main thing is to participate): Regiomons!
Regimons (Lat. regius, kingly; mons, mountain): The Latin name of Koenigsberg. This true story is worthy of citation. In 1998 the historical and cultural association Royal Mountain was registered in Kaliningrad. The founders of this association considered several names, but opted for this neutral Latin word Regimons.
The government official responsible for registering register this association disagreed with this name. He asked: "Is this the name of a monster?" At that time, the incursion of foreign words into the Russian language was being widely discussed; even the display of signboards in Latin letters was banned in the Kaliningrad region. The association was finally registered under the official name "The Historical and Cultural Association Royal Mountain"
But time flies. A while ago one of the association's members told this story to his friend over a glass of beer. The story had not been retold in vain: there is now a knights' festival in Kaliningrad called Rigiomons - The Royal Mountain. Nowadays there are many Royal Mountains in Kaliningrad, especially among the names of alcoholic beverages and investment funds.
Translation by L. Shevchenko & N. Shtok