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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.
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 -
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.
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 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
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
After World War II Gerdauen in the USSR. In
1946, renamed Zheleznodorozhny.
The status of urban
settlement MO "City settlement Zheleznodorozhny" - from February 1,
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.