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Korolevskaya gora (King‟s Mountain) in Kaliningrad: Projects and concepts for its development Historical and analytical review Introduction In early 2008, the local authorities and the city’s general population recognized the need to take a decision on the design concept for the redevelopment of Kaliningrad’s city centre. This area, which has been excluded from the city’s evolution for over 60 years, has now got a historic chance to return to a vibrant existence and give a new impulse to the city. To encourage an informed public and professional discussion of forthcoming architectural proposals, the Regional Branch Office of the Union of Architects of Russia decided to compile all existing concepts for this area and its “heart” – Korolevskaya gora (King’s Mountain) – into a single summary report so that the whole range of concepts could be apparent to any citizen or a future designer. Similar historical and analytical elaborations not only serve a generally useful function of making the discussion substantive and to avoid repeating previous mistakes, but also allow for visualization of different design approaches to the same area. It became apparent that projects are strongly influenced by the political circumstances of the time as well as by economic factors, which will give rise to the best possible architectural and planning concept for Korolevskaya gora in the future. Considering the impossibility of making such a review fully comprehensive, the authors decided initially to limit themselves only to those projects and intentions that have been widely presented to the general public or, in due course, extensively discussed in the mass media. Therefore, many of the projects and intentions that were more of a low-key or private nature were not included in this document. In the second place, the character of such a review requires it to be regularly updated. Thus, it is being published open for amendments, i.e. it will be regularly complemented and revised. 0. Historical background: the emergence of a settlement and the role of Korolevskaya gora Korolevskaya gora is a hill on the river floodplain levee at the confluence of two river arms, the Old and New Pregolya rivers. Since the 12th-13th century it has played a dominant role at the junction of the routes from Sambia to Natangia and water routes from the Baltics to the inland regions upstream of Pregolya. Due to its location and dominating height over its surroundings it was chosen as a fortification site by the German (Teutonic) Knights led by the Bohemian king Przemysl Ottokar II during their crusade to colonize pagan lands and to annex them to the Order’s possessions. It was during this crusade that the Order founded the castle of Königsberg (the King’s Mountain) on the upland of the river floodplain. Fig. 1. General plan of Königsberg Castle on the Twangste mountain in the 13th century (according to Erhardt, 1988) 1. Site of the ancient Old Prussian settlement. 2. The Order‟s castle under construction. 3. Territory outside the castle. 4. Original city area. 5. Dike dam of Melnichnyi Prud (Mill‟s Pond). Korolevskaya gora: projects and intentions for its development 1

Oleg Vasyutin, Alexander Popadin. Historical and Analytical Review "King's Mountain in Kaliningrad"

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