|More on Königsberg
|1939 and 1948
|The beautiful Albertina University founded by Albert of Prussia in 1544 made Königsberg a
respected center of education, and the first printed books in the Lithuanian language were published
in Königsberg which remained the center of Lithuanian publishing. Königsberg was the home of
philosopher Immanuel Kant and other figures of greatness throughout her long intellectual history.
It was here in 1736 that mathematician Leonhard Euler used the arrangement of bridges and islands
at Königsberg as the basis for the "Seven Bridges of Königsberg Problem" which led to the
mathematical branches of topology and graph theory.
Nearby was the Palaestra Albertina, established in 1898 for sports, the Academy of Art with a large
painting collection of the Italian and Dutch Masters. There was also a magnificent Exchange, a
Bahnhof, a famous Observatory fitted up by astronomer Friedrich Bessel, a Botanical Garden, a
Zoological Museum and the "Physikalisch" which housed botanical and anthropological collections
and prehistoric antiquities.
Lastly, Königsberg's most notable structure was the magnificent palace with its high gothic tower,
formerly a seat of the Teutonic Order. The west wing contained the lovely Schloßkirche where
Friedrich I of Prussia was crowned in 1701, and Wilhelm I in 1861. The castle was the core of the
city and symbolic of its monarchs' closeness with his people throughout the centuries. It stood regally
weathering good times and bad in this ancient German city.
By 1800, the city was approximately five miles in circumference and had 60,000 inhabitants and
after the abolition of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Königsberg remained the capital of East
Prussia, even though it was outside the formal borders of Germany. In 1871 it was incorporated
into the German Empire and it flourished with an extensive local railway network which by 1860
connected the city to German cities such as Breslau and Berlin as well as other far away destinations
as St. Petersburg. By 1900, the city's population had grown to almost 200,000.
|1900 and 1943