Ermak Travel Guide

 

Zheleznodorozhniy

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Description of Zheleznodorozhniy

Zheleznodorozhniy (until 1946 Gerdauen, Ger. Gerdauen, lit. Girdava, Polish. Gierdawy) is an urban-type settlement in the Pravdinsky district of the Kaliningrad region of Russia, the administrative center of the city settlement Zheleznodorozhny.

 

 

 

Geographical position
Zheleznodorozhniy is located on the Stogovka River (Pregolya basin), near the border with Poland, 70 km south-east of Kaliningrad and 22 km from the city of Pravdinsk. Zheleznodorozhniy has a railway station on the line Chernyakhovsk - Olsztyn (Poland).

 

History of Zheleznodorozhniy

The settlement was founded in the XIV century as the city of Gerdauen. The name Gerdauen is derived from the name of Girdava, one of the tribal leaders of the Prussians from the noble family of Rendalia. The name Girdava is derived from the Prussian word "girdin", which means "to speak". In 1260, Girdava together with his father voluntarily converted to Christianity. During the Prussian uprising of 1262, he fled to Konigsberg, under the protection of the Teutonic Order. Dynasty ceased to exist as the ruling, and the town became the property of the Order.

In 1325, the knight of the Teutonic Order, Heinrich von Eisenberg, built a stone castle and a dam with a water-mill on the site of the former fortifications. German immigrants began to arrive in Gerdauen, settling around the fortress. Over time, Gerdauen became a major provincial city. 66 land plots, which the Order gave to the city, were mastered in seven years. From the same time in the village stands the church.

In 1398, the settlement near the walls of the castle of Gerdauen received city rights. In 1404 there were 60 courtyards in the city. In 1409 a school was opened.

In the XV century in Gerdauen completed the arrangement of fortifications. The wall of the church was connected with the fortress wall (later for these disappeared city gates they began to consider a residential building built next door and having an entrance arch). In 1585 and 1665 marked by strong fires that destroyed almost the entire city.

Gerdauen sought to be a free city, led the fight against the Teutonic Order. After forty years of war, the crusader von Schlieben from Saxony restored order and calm in the city. Having become a possession, the city lost its administrative independence, becoming a private city (the citizens' rights did not change at the same time). In the 18th century, half of the villagers died of plague in the estate of von Schlieben, about 800 people survived.

In 1718, the castle had 50 breweries. From all these breweries by 1939, only one Brauerei Kinderhof brewery remained.

In 1909, a castle mill was built in Gerdauen.

In the pre-war guides to Prussia there were routes passing through Gerdauen, including the Bactinsee lake near the dam, where until the XVIII century there was a four-meter floating island.

In the First World War, the city lost about half of its buildings, and was rebuilt in 1916-1918. a team of authors under the leadership of Heinz Shtoffregena, becoming an outstanding example of the "East Prussian restoration". The Second World War, preserving the rebuilt buildings, destroyed most of the older houses.

After World War II Gerdauen in the USSR. In 1946, renamed Zheleznodorozhny.

The status of urban settlement MO "City settlement Zheleznodorozhny" - from February 1, 2006.

The settlement is far from the regional center (74 km along the road, 135 km along the railway). It represents the best example of a revived city, which even contemporaries confused with the preserved medieval buildings, fairly, however, dilapidated and continuing to collapse.

 

 


 

Transportation

 

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

 

Interesting information and useful tips