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
TRACES OF A VIRTUAL HISTORY IN A VERY REAL CITY
Bert Hoppe / Berlin, Germany
For a long time the historiography of each European city has been dominated by its own distinctive narrative, a certain way of interpreting the city's past and present. In the case of Koenigsberg/Kaliningrad there have been two such narratives since 1945 - a German one and a new Soviet one - each of which claims to be the unique "true" story. Whereas the German point of view almost completely neglected the existence of present-day Kaliningrad, the Soviets similarly disregarded the pre-war past of Koenigsberg. Until 1991, an uninformed observer might have the impression that the historians were engaged with entirely different cities.
The end of the Cold War in 1991 brought an end to these one-dimensional viewpoints and paved the way for multi-dimensional approaches to the "broken past" of this double city Koenigsberg/Kaliningrad. Since historical interpretations are no longer used to justify or attack the actual status of Kaliningrad (at the very least, they are no longer broadly applied to this purpose), they may be analyzed as historical phenomena in and of themselves.
The case of Kaliningrad is particularly interesting because the Soviet interpretation of the city's past had a deep impact on the cityscape; it influenced plans for the restructuring of the severely damaged city after the war. The core of this project was not only the establishment of a modern Soviet city but also the simultaneous creation of a "virtual history" architecturally. Unfortunately, this resulted first of all in the destruction of many pre-war architectural monuments and landmarks that were to be replaced by new Soviet buildings. These planned landmarks, however, were never realized or completed due to the chronic lack of resources in Kaliningrad. Nevertheless, an attentive observer who knows how to read the city as a "text" will be able to decipher the rare and in most cases forgotten fragments of the original plans to create a "virtual history" for Soviet Kaliningrad.
1. The Evil City
Stalinist propaganda depicted the destruction of Koenigsberg by air raids during August 1944 and the street fighting of March/April 1945 as a deserved purgatory, where the old town burned to ashes together with its mischievous past.
One day after Koenigsberg's German defenders surrendered Pravda already rejoiced over this event: Koenigsberg, this "robber's lair of German imperialism," had been "liquidated forever" by the Red Army. The newspaper stated that this victory over the Germans marked the final defeat of the German "Drive towards the East" (Drang nach Osten). A series of articles in Pravda laid down the general line of how the city's past had to be interpreted from now on: "Koenigsberg - this is the history of Germany's crimes. During the last centuries of her past the city lived a life full of fights and attacks, another life was not granted to her."
Soviet propaganda characterised the city as the home of all evil, and the Soviet lieu de memoire (place of memory) of Koenigsberg had barely any connection to the city's real past. Instead, the discourse on Koenigsberg as the starting point of the German "Drive towards the East" was used to legitimate the Soviet Union's annexation of the city. In that context, Soviet propaganda sought to retreat from Stalin's statement in 1941 that East Prussia was "original Slavic soil seen from an historical point of view." The new Soviet administration defined the city's entire pre-war history simply as a long period of occupation that had begun with the invasion of the Teutonic Order in the 13th century and that was interrupted only once during the Seven Years' War, when East Prussia was part of the Russian empire (1758-1762).
The damage that Koenigsberg suffered during WWII - more than 90% of the houses in the inner districts were ruined, according to the statistics of the Soviet city administration - was officially considered a positive result of the war in the first postwar years. In spring 1946 he newly created Soviet administration of the Kenigsbergskaia Oblast' (Koenigsberg Region) even pleaded for the idea to permanently displace the center of the city: The internal policy paper "On the question of the rebuilding and the reconstruction of the city of Koenigsberg" (the city was to be renamed Kaliningrad just two months later) stated that reconstruction of the city center would take "more than ten years." Therefore, it would make sense to leave the center in its devastated state, to "preserve it as a monument to the victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 over German Fascism" and to erect a completely new center nearby.
Because of its radicalism, the idea of converting the old town into a kind of open-air museum did not have many supporters, yet in the immediate postwar years Soviet architects seriously discussed the idea of allowing the center within the old fortifications to lie idle for some years for pragmatic reasons. A provisional center for the new Kaliningrad was intended to be erected anew near the North train station or on the territory of the burned German East Fair. Another proposal was to build the new center on the territory of the old fortification as a circle around the former center of Koenigsberg. The "dead zone" of the old town would be separated from the new city by a ring of parks - to a certain extent as a cordon sanitaire. The former center between the North and the South station was seen as a reserve for future urban planning, in case there would be need for new residential areas in the distant future.
2. The virtual past
Just as the pre-war history of Koenigsberg was off-limits in Soviet propaganda and eventually completely ignored, the new rulers endeavored to integrate the cityscape of Kaliningrad into a common Soviet culture. Beneath the changing of names of all cities, villages and streets during the late 1940s, the plans for the reconstruction of Koenigsberg were considered the most important instrument to achieve two things: strengthening the identification of the Soviet settlers with their new homeland and the legitimation of the Soviet Union's claim to the city. The new society, the new state needed a new architecture. Kaliningradskaia Pravda stated that "The German [architectural] standard" should be "completely discharged since it is causing despair among the Russian people."
Hence, in November 1947 Dmitrii Tian considered the creation of new general plans for the cities of the Kaliningrad oblast' to be one of the most urgent tasks of reconstruction. He judged that this would not be an easy task, "as the architecture of the German cities in its form is strange to Soviet architecture and in its content it is unacceptable… Our architecture, on the contrary, is based on the principles of the new, Soviet era of the development of mankind." Hence, the most important task of the new general plans was to express the "new socio-economic structure" of the cities.
Dmitrii Navalikhin, the new chief architect of Kaliningrad, also stressed the contrast between German und Soviet cities in his first publication in May 1948: "Our Soviet man has come to a capitalist city devastated by air raids and artillery fire - the victor and creator, the man of a new progressive and leading culture… The demands that our Soviet man makes toward his socialist city are much higher than the principles of planning and the norms in capitalist countries." Based upon his analysis Navalikhin urged up to the 1950s that the "formerly German city of Koenigsberg which is transforming into a Russian-Soviet city cannot be and must not be rebuilt in its original state."
During the following years the planners surpassed one another in drawing projects for the reconstruction of the city that were intended to be impressive "not only for Soviet men and their friends, but also for their opponents." Each new project became a part of the bright Soviet future: "The soil that has been liberated from an occupation that it endured for hundreds of years shall blossom in splendid colors and the most Western city of the land of the Soviets - Kaliningrad - serves for its embellishment. Magnificent luck and great honor is granted to those who began to build a new Soviet city."
Yet contrary to other Soviet cities an official general plan was developed rather late for Kaliningrad. Only in May1948 did the administration for architecture of the RSFSR make the State Institute for the Planning of Cities (Giprogor) responsible for drawing up a general plan for Kaliningrad. The key elements of Giprogor`s first draft of the general plan were the widening and straightening of the streets and construction of a monumental Palace of Soviets where the castle was located. Overall, however, the planners from Moscow followed an approach that was more pragmatic than ideological. Their design sought to preserve the main part of the existing road network and most of the pre-war buildings that had survived the war in order to save resources and to continue using the German supply network.
Local planners, on the other hand, thought mainly about how to make the new center more representative when they drew their blueprints. Their approaches, therefore, were far more radical than those of the planners from the capital. They were predominately concerned with how others would perceive of the new city: "Kaliningrad will appear as the Western outpost, as the forecourt of the Russian Federation. The architectural planning of the city shall express the power of our great state and Russian hospitality."
Navalikhin, Kaliningrad`s chief architect, criticized the planners from Moscow for their timidity concerning extant pre-war structures. In his eyes, the very preservation to the greatest extent possible of existing German buildings and of the supply network was wrong since their real value could be neglected. Navalikhin demanded conception of the center as a tabula rasa. From his point of view, "overall, the possibilities emerging as a result of the destructions to create a maximum of comfort for the population" were not used widely enough.
Despite Navalikhin's reference to the new inhabitants' comfort, this matter was clearly of secondary importance to him. His designs for the re-planning of Kaliningrad's center emulated the Soviet capital and envisioned a city well-suited for mass parades. With a great flourish, he designed a panorama of the future Kaliningrad, wherein the essential structure of the general plan Moscow of 1937 could be recognized. On the site of the castle Navalikhin planned a House of Soviets with a height of about 120 meters that would be the epicenter of a number of wide boulevards. Following the example of contemporaneous building projects in Moscow, the city would be encircled by ring roads that featured additional skyscrapers at their junctions.
After World War II the general plan of Moscow provided the model for the reconstruction of nearly all devastated Soviet cities, but Navalikhin?s project went one step further: it completely ignored local circumstances. He and the leaders of Kaliningrad's Communist Party organisation wanted the city to loose all of its uniqueness in to order be seen as an ordinary Soviet city and therefore to be accepted by the new inhabitants as their rodnoi gorod (native town). Navalikhin presented Kaliningrad as the quintessence of Soviet urban planning: The new city would serve as a common background where the "settlers" could integrate personal memories brought along from all over the Soviet Empire.
Within this array of references to other Soviet cities a second connection of Kaliningrad (beside that to Moscow) stood out: the connection to Stalingrad - a city that had become a central Soviet lieu de memoire in its own right. In the beginning, this reference was created by the act of re-naming. Firstly, the main road in the western district of Kaliningrad (a former suburb, which was developed as the new administrative and commercial center of Kaliningrad as it was less severely damaged) was renamed Stalingradskii prospekt. Secondly, Navalikhin wanted to create an "Avenue of the Brave" and an "Avenue of Heroes" in emulation of thoroughfares existing in Stalingrad. In doing so, Kaliningrad was equated with the "Hero City" on the Volga. Stalingrad symbolized the Soviet resistance and the onset of the defeat of the German invaders and Kaliningrad symbolized - just by its mere existence -complete victory over the Germans.
The repeated reference to the topos of the "original Slavic soil," however, already implies that the contemporary Soviet cultural norms implemented in Kaliningrad were not sufficient to satisfy the settlers' need for identification with their new home and the rulers' need for legitimation of the city's annexation. Because of this, Navalikhin and his team planned not only projects that clearly resembled contemporaneous reconstruction projects in Moscow, but also projects that cited medieval buildings of the Russian capital. Already in the late 1940s, for example, he planned to complement the Koenigsberg Northern Station, built in the 1920s, with a copy of the Spaskaia Tower of the Moscow Kremlin (figure). With this and similar projects Navalikhin wanted to achieve two aims. On the one hand, the new role of Kaliningrad as a well-fortified outpost of the Soviet Union on the Baltic Sea should be illustrated. On the other hand, the city should be mentally relocated deep into the Russian land in order to create the impression that Kaliningrad belonged to the pre-Petrine core of the Russian empire.
Since Kaliningrad, as Navalikhin himself admitted, did not possess any "old Russian traditions," a new virtual Russian past should be created by means of architecture. All these great plans, however, were never realized. The only large scale project that Navalikhin was able to implement was the Agricultural Exhibition of the Kaliningrad Oblast' (1954-55). Just as his plans for Kaliningrad as a whole were modeled on Moscow, the Kaliningrad exhibition duplicated the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition in Moscow. However, the concept of the exhibition in the Soviet capital could not be put into practice under the circumstances of Kaliningrad: While even details of the planning, such as the design of the main entrance as a triumphal arch and the central pavilion with its ancient Russian peak, were meticulously copied, the pathos of the exhibition in the Soviet capital was transformed into an involuntary caricature in its Kaliningrad variant (figure).
While the plans for the exhibition grounds were partially applied, the plans for the new city were only realized in fragments. One of the few fragments that was brought to fruition is the upper part of Leninskii Prospekt, between Ploshad' Pobedy (Victory Square) and Tsentral'naia Ploshad' (Central Square). A comparison between Navalikhin's draft for the general plan and the actual map shows clearly that Leninskii Prospekt - now aiming into a void - was supposed to lead to the planned Dom Sovetov (House of the Soviets). General Sommer Street - now a quiet although astonishingly broad street - was to become a part of the important second street ring (figure). It was obvious that projects of this scale were utopian, as they could not be realized with the resources available at the time.
Until Kaliningrad's appearance was finally adapted to other Soviet cities in the mid-1960s by the first slab-built residential blocks (called "Khrushchevki" as they were the result of Nikita Khrushchev's campaign to concentrate building efforts on residential housing instead of prestigious buildings for the Party), architects could not do much more than represent the new Soviet era through monuments, i.e., to replace the great reconstruction and re-planning of the city with cosmetic adaptations. Although Navalikhin in his function as chief architect of Kaliningrad and later on as head of the architectural administration of the Kaliningrad oblast' hoped until 1958 to remodel Kaliningrad entirely into a memorial to the victory of the Soviet Union in the "Great Patriotic War," he was aware that this was impossible due to limited resources. Thus, in order to "enrich the city symbolically and compositionally" at least and to "render her close and understandable to the Soviet people" he proposed to erect a number of monuments. "It will be possible to create a completely new sound for the central [architectural] ensembles and, hence, of the whole city with relatively little resources." Navalikhin proposed to create a "closed, interdependent and interpenetrating system" of monuments. The center of Kaliningrad would be saturated with monuments to express "the new Russian, socialist character of the city."
Hence, in the following years Kaliningrad was embellished with signs of a common Soviet culture so that by the end of the 1950s Leninskii Prospekt was transformed into a modest triumphal boulevard leading from the main railway station to the south of the old center to the new civic center in the Northwest. It was packed with monuments to Lenin, Stalin and to the person after whom the city was named in 1946: Mikhail I. Kalinin.
Furthermore, a couple of monuments were erected with the intention of creating a historical connection between the Soviet present and the alleged "Slavic" past. In particular, the busts of the Russian generals A. V. Suvorov and M. I. Kutuzov, both of whom were briefly resident in Koenigsberg, were intended to strengthen the thesis of the "original Slavic soil" of East Prussia. Official propaganda presented the generals as fighters for the "liberation" of Eastern Prussia from its German occupation - a mission that was finally accomplished by the Red Army in April 1945.
Later on, the tsarist generals became less and less important for the collective memory of Kaliningrad. As the pre-war history of the city was increasingly ignored, monuments to the Soviet soldiers fallen in World War II became absolutely dominant in the city's memorial culture. Already in September 1945 a monumental memorial to the 1200 soldiers of the 11th Army who perished during the city's capture by the Red Army was raised on a bastion of the former fortification of Koenigsberg. In the following years, it was supplemented by further monuments and memorial tablets that were distributed throughout the city like a network. Beginning in the early 1960s, guided tours routinely stopped at all of these monuments, which was not surprising as most tourists visiting Kaliningrad were veterans who had taken part in the street fighting in April 1945.
Memorials to the Sturm Kenigsberga (Battle of Koenigsberg) also played an important role in Kaliningrad's calendar of festivities. Every inauguration of a new monument was celebrated with a great event. The central aim of these festivities was not only to commemorate the fallen soldiers, but also to fill the neighborhoods surrounding the new monuments with new meaning, just as if a re-formatting had been done. Even though the tangible city remained the same, its symbolic content was to change fundamentally in the mind of the residents. Moreover, by connecting the commemoration of the Sturm Kenigsberga to the foundation of the Kaliningrad oblast' a central Soviet foundation narrative was created: The conquest and destruction of the old city were interpreted as necessary and historically justified conditions for the birth of the new, Soviet Kaliningrad, which was to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes.
I. Chechot's notes to B. Hoppe's article
As a supplement to B. Hoppe's article we present a small and far from complete list of Kaliningrad monuments of Soviet architecture and art from approximately 1945 to 1980. This list should awaken in users of our guidebook an interest in "collecting" fragments of Soviet Kaliningrad that are disappearing from view. The order of enumeration is arbitrary.
1. The M. I. Kalinin monument at the Southern Railway Station, circa 1960. This is a masterpiece of the official severe style, with a beautiful polished pedestal.
2. The Bus Station, 1970s. The interesting metal texture of the facade is of note, as is the volume in the spirit of New Brutalism.
3. Movie theater on Alleia Smelykh (Alley of the Brave), 1950s. A specimen of the intimate empire style in the tradition of I. Fomin and I. Zholtovskii. A typical construction.
4. The Iunost (Youth) Sports Palace, early 1970s. Traversed by German concrete ceilings that are visible only from within. A wall composition on themes of sports, beautiful in rhythm, with images of elongated naked figures.
5. V. I. Lenin's monument and tribunes on Victory Square. This ensemble is no longer extant. This quite good monument logically completed the panorama of the square. It is a shame that the Cathedral and a shy sense of political correctness have evicted the monument and have deprived Kaliningrad of an ensemble that would rival the mausoleum on Red Square in Moscow.
6. A fountain vase in the public garden on the square before the Russia Movie Theater. This fountain is a magnificent example of the heavy empire style, whose dense neo-classical ornament reminds one simultaneously of specimens of the 1830s and 1840s from Moscow, France and Wurtemberg. The work of a brilliant master draftsperson.
7. The building of the Russia Movie Theater, 1960s. An excellent construction, beautiful in proportions and lines. The disclosure of internal space on the exterior has been superbly solved. An effective concrete apron.
8. Monument to the Motherland. Not the best, but a typical sculpture of the final phase of Stalinism, with a tendency to ennoble "socialism with a human face." Notably, her Russian features are not accentuated. This is an image of a European woman, somewhat dry and Baltic. The type recalls a statue in Piskarevskoe Cemetery in Leningrad (by the sculptors Isaeva and Taurit).
9. The Drama Theatre. It is a reconstructed and stylistically completely rethought version of the New Drama Theatre, or Luisentheater, of 1911. Magnificent empire style details.
10. Triumphal arch at the entrance to the Baltika Stadium. Its type and proportions are somewhat reminiscent of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Interesting thin columns. An odd variant of the post-war style that shows the influence of western traditions.
11. Sculptures of animals on the pavilions at an entrance to the Zoo. They are Soviet sculptures, but they are quite original and expressive. The animals are fearsome and aggressive.
12. The House of Culture for Fishermen on Prospect Mira. A very interesting building for its details and spatial decision. A combination of Palladian motifs in the spirit of Giacomo Quarengi with Neo-Renaissance ornaments of the Zholtovskii school. Inside are chandeliers that are tremendous in the complexity of their design and richness of ornamentation. There are also other remarkable features.
13. The ensemble of Prospect Mira. The greater part of the buildings from the German era have been preserved, but with alterations. Having been plastered, all of the structures have lost their red brick surfaces, and the details of the architectural orders have been painted in color. The house with a semicircular ledge at a corner of Koloskov Street was once an expressive building in the style of the Bauhaus; nowadays it ends with a colonnade and obelisks. The Universal Club building, German in origin, was endowed in the 1950s with enormous pilasters and a very effective colonnade hall with choirs. It now houses a restaurant and casino, which are worth viewing by all aesthetes, as the hall presents the image of a chic establishment pushed to the point of parody with marble sculptures, pictures in gold frames, candelabra, and so forth etc. This surprising "reformatting" - as B. Hoppe writes - has transformed the Soviet image of a white-pillared cultural institution into a bourgeois delight with pretzels.
14. Monument to the Cosmonauts, 1964. The sculptor is the Kalingrad artist Duniman. In the Cathedral on the Island one should note this artist's intimate image of Kant in bronze. The monument to "the Ninth" stands opposite a street named for the Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, a native of Kaliningrad and an artist. An excellent example of the "science fiction" style in art of the 1960s.
15. Karl Marx's bust on Karl Marx Prospect. A not bad monumental thing. Plants and little bushes have been planted around it in the spirit of the time.
16. A monument to Pushkin by M. Anikushin. Good work in a lyrical style by a well-known academic professor. Komsomolskaia Street.
17. The Bath-House on Pionerskaia Street, not far from the Lithuanian Embankment. This construction is so successful in its proportions and lines and so convincingly connected to the plane of the ground that is possible to think that it is an altered German building from the 1920s. But this is not the case. An example of the high architectural culture of the mid-1960s.
18. The House of Arts, 1975. It stand in the former location of the Haberberger Church. The Soviet town planners did not want to mark this place vertically. A rather interesting comb facade. There are also some good things inside.
19. The sculptural facade decorations of a residential building that also houses a wedding palace. From an artistic point of view the sculptures are fairly weak, but the iconographic program is interesting. A cultural monument of the seventies and eighties.
20. The complex of new university buildings on Alexander Nevsky Street. A magnificent ensemble in the tradition of the modern architecture movement. It evokes the work of Alvar Aalto and Walter Gropius. Very beautiful bare white walls. The grouping of volumes is picturesque and convincing.
21. The Office of Public Prosecutor's building at the corner of Gorky and Lieutenant Ozerov Streets, 1970s. An asymmetrical expressive building with a sharp corner ledge.
22. A small white electro-technical building in the park opposite the Northern Railway Station. A quite good rhythm of ledges, the play of chiaroscuro, an adaptation of the traditions of the 1920s (both Russian and German).
23. An annex and residential building next to the former City Archive (by the architect Liebental), 1960s. A logical completion of Liebental's ensemble. An interesting rhythm of windows. The quality of realization leaves much to be desired.
24. The building of STRC Iantar (Amber), 1970s. The location was not chosen badly. The composition is overly complicated, but there are some good individual decisions. A final example of the dying noble Constructivist style before the beginning of the "pilon" architecture of the Brezhnev era.
25. Palace of Pioneers on Sergeiev Street. Attention should be paid to this building, which is not without signs of architectural art or, at the least, of serious professionalism.
26. A glass and concrete cafe at the end of Lake Verhnee. A correct choice of place and style. The spirit of the lyrical 1960s.
27. Monument to Baltic military pilots at a corner of Sovetskii Prospect and Gaidar Street, 1974. A paraphrase on the theme of the monument to the conquerors of space at VDNKh in Moscow (Vuchetich, Korin, et al.). In former Koenigsberg the upward soaring line may also recall the sculptures of German Expressionism (Weimar).
28. Tower at the corner of a military high school on Sovetskii Prospect. A Kaliningrad Stalinist vysotka (tall building). It is a remodeled German tower. The Soviet architect softened the brutal volumes of the thirties and forties with sculptural details and an open-work superstructure.
29. Monument to the 1200 Guardsmen, 1945. The sculptors are Mikenas and Vayvada. In every respect, this is an outstanding monument of the epoch. It is situated on the crest of an embankment and consists not only of a semi-circular platform with an obelisk and eternal fire, but also continues downwards with a monumental staircase and a bridge through a moat, wherefrom a second view of the obelisk is visible. The monument is a garden park ensemble. It is perfectly combined with a landscape, trees, old paving stones, the bridge on Gvardeiskii Prospect. It is interesting, that in its style it undoubtedly contains features not so much negating but grasping some moments of the style of the enemy: rigor, special granite masonry, flat reliefs, the blank wall motif. Even the configuration of the obelisk has little common with the classical forms favored at that time, and its ribbing recalls German forms (see the monument to the victims of the 1914-18 war in Polevoe-Mansfield on the Berlin Highway). The sculptures reveal the hand and expression of Baltic masters. The groups are very expressive, dynamic, and have sharp silhouettes. In essence, they are closer to pre-war art, being free of the picturesqueness of late Stalinism.
30. Garden of sculptures on the Island. This is a true sculpture garden. Since the 1960s they strove to develop similar gardens in various cities of the USSR. In Leningrad such a garden was never realized. In Riga and Tallinn the gardens were especially successful and well-groomed. The Kaliningrad Garden resembles these two, but it is very large. Sculpture gardens were connected to the vigorous activity of the Union of Artists. They iconographic program is curious and awaits a thoughtful interpreter. Let's turn our attention to a group of composers - Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Russians. Blok and Gorky. The cosmos and workers. A family and children. Peter the Great as the builder of the navy. There are quite good works. It is a shame that the park is neglected and will, most likely, depart to nonexistence.
Translation by S.Mikhailov