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Königsberg

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Königsberg was the capital of East Prussia from the Late Middle Ages until 1945, and the easternmost large German city until it was conquered by the Soviet Union near the end of World War II. In 1946 the city was renamed Kaliningrad.

Königsberg was founded on the site of the ancient Old Prussian settlement Twangste by the Teutonic Knights in 1255 during the Northern Crusades, and was named in honour of King Ottokar II of Bohemia. The city successively became the capital of their monastic state, the Duchy of Prussia, and later on, East Prussia. The Baltic port developed into a German cultural center.

Königsberg was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in 1944 during World War II and was subsequently conquered by the Red Army after the Battle of Königsberg in 1945. The city was annexed by the Soviet Union, its German population expelled and repopulated with Russians and other people from the Soviet Union. Briefly Russified as Кёнигсберг (Kyonigsberg), it was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946 after Soviet leader Mikhail Kalinin. The city is now the capital of Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast.

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