Churches

Königsberg Cathedral

Königsberg Cathedral

Address

Kaliningrad

I. Kanta street, 1

Contacts

+7 (4012) 52-40-30

Königsberg Cathedral

The bookmark of the cathedral dates back to 1333. The construction of the cathedral was started by Bishop Johannes Clara, who in 1327 began building a walled bishop's courtyard on the eastern half of Kneiphof, to which a covered gallery and a shelter were added later in the southern part. Initially, the cathedral was designed as a fortification, as evidenced by the three-meter thickness of the eastern wall. A wide passage for the defenders was also to be built on top of this massive wall, with corner towers attached to it. The owner of the territory, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order Luther von Braunschweig opposed these plans, and the thickness of the northern and southern walls was reduced by half.

By 1351, the cathedral was covered with a roof, and according to the decision of the Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode, its reconstruction began immediately, which lasted until 1382. In the middle of the XVI century, both towers of the cathedral burned to the ground and were rebuilt with a noticeable influence of the Renaissance. Since 1558, all the professors standing in front of the university had the right to be buried in an open gallery along the northern wall of the choir. Immanuel Kant was the last in 1804 to find peace by the walls of the Cathedral.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the cathedral underwent restoration, which lasted 6 years. Were released from the plaster frescoes, restored some of the original elements. The cathedral was completely burned out by the bombings in 1944, the floors, the towers and part of the walls were destroyed. New reconstruction began in 1990 and continues to this day. Now the Orthodox and Protestant chapels are located in the premises of the Cathedral, and in the tower part of the Cathedral there is a museum, where the exposition “The Cathedral. Rebirth from the Ruins "," The History of Kneiphof Island "and" Immanuel Kant and His City ". & Amp; nbsp;

Story

In the XIV century on the island of Kneiphof, as it was then called the island of Kant, the construction of the Cathedral, dedicated to Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and all the Saints, began. The founding date of the cathedral is considered to be September 13, 1333, when the Supreme Master of the Teutonic Order Luther of Brunswick signed a charter for the construction of the church. Almost immediately, the first organ appeared in the cathedral: the building had not yet acquired a roof, and people had already come to church services. But what kind of service without music? The first organ in the cathedral was small and portable; two monks brought it to the church especially for worship.

In 1380 the main construction of the building was completed, but the work in the cathedral continued later. The naves were painted with frescoes, towers were attached to the facades, and a mermaid weathervane was installed on the spire of one of them. The majestic temple became the spiritual center of the city and, over time, “demanded” a corresponding musical instrument for itself - this is how a new organ appeared in the cathedral, and it existed here almost until the end of the 16th century.

Three huge naves, massive Gothic vaults, two strict towers on the western facade, and a carved wooden altar - the inhabitants of Königsberg were proud of the architecture and decoration of the cathedral. Until 1528 the cathedral had the status of the main Catholic church of the city. But the era of the Reformation made its own adjustments, and in the XVI century the church became a parish Lutheran church for the Kneiphof community, and a few years later it was transferred to the University of Albertine.

Together with the cathedral, the organ also changed - it improved and “acquired” the registers. The famous Duke Albrecht (1490-1568), who ruled East Prussia, dreamed of creating a special organ school in his domain, and by the end of the century musicians from Krakow and other cities came to the Cathedral to study organ skills.

In 1587, the cathedral again changes the organ, which after several years already has 60 registers, and thanks to a spectacular decoration, it gains the glory of "the largest and most representative in all of Prussia." But this turned out to be not enough for the parishioners of the Cathedral, and already in 1721 the master Johann Mozengel created a new large instrument - in the Baroque style, with 78 registers and almost four thousand pipes. Contemporaries called this organ just as “an outstanding work of art” - the parishioners of the cathedral enjoyed its sounds for more than two centuries. It was on the instrument of the master Mozengel that the basics of music were comprehended by the famous writer Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann.

In the XIX century, the cathedral experienced difficult times. In 1807, when Napoleon's troops occupied Königsberg, the temple turned into a prison, and a little later - into a hospital. Fortunately, this period did not last long, and the cathedral was able to return to normal life. And in 1880, in memory of the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant, a chapel was added to the building, where the remains of the scientist were buried.

The last, fourth, organ appeared in the Königsberg Cathedral in 1928. The Hannover firm Emil Hammer built a new instrument, retaining the baroque appearance and decorations. Alas, fate prepared for this body a short life: on the night of August 28-29, 1944, a British air raid and the fire that followed it turned once alive


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