In the westernmost territory of Russia in the city of Kaliningrad, the former German Königsberg, on the shore of Lake Superior there is a majestic defensive structure – the Wrangel Tower. It was erected back in Konigsberg, which became part of Russia after the Great Patriotic War.
Origin and purpose of the tower
The tower was built in 1853 by the German military engineer Ludwig von Astaire. She was part of the city’s defensive fortifications and stood guard over the Prussian center. This huge fort defended Lake Superior, which was a weak point in the city’s defenses.
The tower bears the name of one of the representatives of the old aristocratic family – Wrangel, a Prussian military leader, General – Field Marshal Friedrich von Wrangel, he conquered two duchies in Denmark for Prussia.
The Wrangel Tower is a massive three-story structure. A round bastion with an inner courtyard is made of special baked bricks several times. From the north and west, the structure is surrounded by a moat filled with water, and from the east – green spaces. Above the entrance to the tower there is still a sign in German “Wrangel”.
The body of the tower is reinforced with 16 concentric walls. The building is 34 meters in diameter and 12 in height. The thickness of the walls and ceilings reaches 3 meters. Symmetrical arched openings in the walls were intended for artillery pieces.
The upper level was accessed by stairs passing through three floors. They are enclosed in special turrets. An earthen embankment was arranged on the roof and guns were placed. They were lifted using powerful winches. Special lifting mechanisms delivered ammunition to the top. For this, a special add-on has been made.
In the courtyard there was a small-diameter semicircular turret with observation windows. On both sides of the gate there are two hexagonal towers.
Years of war
On April 10, 1945, after the storming of Konigsberg, the Wrangel tower came under the command of the Red Army. It housed an army warehouse and a military hospital.
The sappers had to clear the building and clear the adjacent ditch of ammunition. Shrapnel and bullets stuck in the walls began to be removed only decades later.
Tower in modern life
In the post-war years, the building was given to a vegetable store, the historical building was gradually destroyed. In the 90s, it was in private hands. Now the building is under state protection. Restoration work is being carried out and options are being discussed on how to transform this room.
Today it is heated by fireplaces, as in the 19th century. Inside, they plan to place a museum of weapons, a museum of military and peaceful history of the region, exhibition halls, a pavilion for the sale of handicrafts.
The park adjacent to the object, a moat with water, is being restored, and a historical site is being equipped. Tourists will soon be able to explore the Wrangel Tower.