pyrrhiccomedy: (woah lump)
[personal profile] pyrrhiccomedy
I've always thought the history of Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg) was interesting anyway, but today I found out that Kaliningrad Oblast--a tiny spit of land on the Baltic Sea that's roughly the size of Connecticut, mind you--contains 90% of the world's amber reserves.

The Teutonic Knights captured a small Old Prussian village in 1255, and discovered that it sat on top of a magical gateway to an ancient abandoned fairy city where everything had turned into golden crystal. They built an unbreachable fortress on top of it, Königsberg, and made it the headquarters of its mililtary branch (Königsberg was the home of the Marshal of the Teutonic Knights). Thanks to the ambient fairy magic in the region, Königsberg remained the only large fort on the Baltic border to remain unconquered despite the crushing defeat of the Teutonic Knights during the Polish-Lithuanian/Teutonic War and again during the Polish-Teutonic War in 1520.

Skip ahead a bit to WW2. During the last year of the war, when the Red Army was advancing across Eastern Europe and Nazi Germany's defeat was assured, the British (who naturally knew about the ancient fairy city) bombed Königsberg for days in an attempt to destroy the gateway before it could fall into Soviet hands. Unfortunately, all this accomplished was to rouse the ancient fairy guardians from their millennia of slumber, and the Soviets were forced to bomb the city again and then conduct a grueling occupation in order to regain control.

Königsberg, now Kaliningrad, was not made a part of the geographically-adjacent Lithuanian SSR; instead, it was made into an exclave of the Russian SFSR, in order to keep its immense mystical power wholly within the hands of the Kremlin.

Kaliningrad Oblast is now the most well-guarded and militarized part of Russia, and its density of military installations is higher than anywhere else in Europe.

And this isn't even getting into how it has a magical sandbar cutting through the Baltic Sea that was apparently caused by giants!

This is what happened, right? Right, guys? Russia? Please stop keeping the magical fairy city to yourself, Russia. We all know it's there.

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