Schaaken Castle: the present Middle Ages in modern Kaliningrad

The lands that make up the modernKaliningrad region, once were part of East Prussia. The history of these places is full of various events, many historical monuments of architecture are preserved here. One of them is Schaaken Castle, built in the 13th century.

History of the fortress

Schaaken Castle
The Teutonic Order is a monastic association,which arose during the third crusade (the beginning of the XII century). It is this organization that built the fortification structure, which entered the world history under the name Shaaken Castle (Saken). The first mention of this building dates back to 1258. The new fortress began to be erected on the site of the more ancient - Prussian, which was called Zoke. Shaaken was built in accordance with the traditions of the Teutonic Order. This castle is not on the elevated terrain, but on the contrary - in the marshy lowland. What is remarkable is that such a landscape was created specially. Builders of the fortress built a dam, thanks to which the swamp began directly from the fortress walls. And this is an excellent natural protection no less effective than deep moats and embankments. What is interesting, Shaaken received his name in honor of the surrounding area, literally this beautiful word is translated as "grass". And this is not surprising - because in the marshes there are often dense thickets of sedges.

The former majesty of the castle of Shaaken

Excursions in Kaliningrad
In its heyday, the fortress couldboast good conditions of comfort. Schaaken Castle had a central heating system. Also, baths and toilets were organized in it, while sewage wastes merged directly behind the walls of the fortress into the swamp. The layout was also thought out - the first floor was always used for household needs, and the monks lived on the second and third floors. For the first time the castle was captured and destroyed quite strongly only at the beginning of the 16th century. And at the turn of the XVI-XVII centuries a serious fire occurred. The fortress was completely restored only by the end of the 17th century. Today, during an excursion around Kaliningrad, tourists are often told who among the great figures of the past visited these places in past centuries. Shaaken was visited by Peter I, there are legends that the king was delighted with the simplicity and severity of the fortress. Once he brought Catherine along with them, but she did not like the ascetic castle, she did not come here again.

Modern history of the fortress

Many beautiful buildings of past centuries stronglysuffered or completely disappeared from the face of the earth during the revolution of 1917 and the Great Patriotic War. Schaaken Castle is a happy exception, none of the listed wars has caused serious damage to it. After the war, the orphanage was located on the territory of the fortress, and then the stables were set up here. Were in the ancient fortress once and the most real communal. All this time the ancient monument of architecture was mercilessly exploited and remained thus without due attention and regular repair. Until now, the fortress has reached a dilapidated and greatly dilapidated state. In the early 2000s, the castle, at last, became interested as an ancient building. The ruins were leased to private individuals who were engaged in the reconstruction of the fortress and offered new tours around Kaliningrad with a visit to Shaaken. However, in the restoration of a relatively small section of the fortress wall, the restoration was completed due to the lack of the necessary means. Since 2011, the fortress is run by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Tourist program today

Schaaken Castle how to get there
Visit the historic fortress today. Despite considerable devastation, tourists are offered several interesting objects for inspection: the museum of torture of the Inquisition, the stables, the fireplace hall. Undoubtedly, the general impression of the fortress also makes a special impression. Schaaken Castle offers a wide variety of excursions, including night walks, during which you can admire the view of this impressive structure by torchlight. Conducted in the fortress knight battles and other costumed medieval performances. For tourists there is a restaurant in medieval style. What is most pleasant - the cost of visiting the ancient castle is only about 100 rubles.

How to get to the fortress of Shaaken?

Shaaken Castle, Kaliningrad Region
Address of ancient site: Kaliningrad region, Guryevsky district, Nekrasovo village. If you go on an excursion from Kaliningrad - you can buy a ready tour from local operators. An alternative option is to arrive by public transport to the village of Nekrasovo, here any local resident will tell you how to get to Shaaken Castle. How to get to this landmark by car? From Kaliningrad you need to move towards Nekrasovo, you have to drive through the village of Khrabrovo and Privolnoye. It is more convenient to use the navigator, but if you like, it's easy to navigate along the road signs.

Reviews of tourists

Schaaken Castle excursions
Among those who visited Shaaken, it is difficult to findpeople left indifferent. The castle, despite its neglected state, amazes and allows you to completely penetrate the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. Interesting enough and the Museum of the Inquisition. In his collection you can see genuine historical instruments of torture and modern reconstruction. For completeness, here and there you can see severed limbs and skeletons of tortured prisoners. The real luck is to come to the story during some festivals and reconstructed knight battles. If you have the opportunity, be sure to visit Shaaken Castle (Kaliningrad region), this is an inexpensive, accessible to everyone excursion, during which a lot of new impressions are guaranteed!

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