Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Oblast

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Tilsit_bridge.jpg
A railway bridge in Tilsit

Sovetsk (Советск) is a town on the Neman River in the Russian Kaliningrad Oblast, which prior to 1945 was known by its German name, Tilsit, and was in East Prussia. It is located at Template:Coor dm, and has 43,278 inhabitants (2004).

Tilsit, which received civic rights in 1552, grew up around a castle of the Teutonic order, known as the Schalauner Haus, founded in 1288. It owes most of its interest to the peace treaty signed here in July 1807, the preliminaries of which were settled by the emperors Alexander and Napoleon on a raft moored in the Neman. This treaty, which constituted the kingdom of Westphalia and the duchy of Warsaw, registers the nadir of Prussia's humiliation under Napoleon.

The poet Max von Schenkendorf was born at Tilsit in 1784; John Kay, lead singer of the popular late 1960s rock band Steppenwolf, was also born there, in 1944. Hitler visited the town just before the start of World War II, and there is a famous picture of him on the bridge over the river. Modern Sovetsk has tried to keep Tilsit's rich traditions of cheese production (Tilsiter, Sovetsky).

External link and references

de:Sowjetsk lb:Sowetsk (Oblast Kaliningrad) nl:Sovjetsk no:Sovetsk pl:Sowietsk ru:Советск fr:Tilsit

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