Samland, Prussia

SAMLAND, a peninsula of Germany, in the province of East Prussia, on the Baltic. It separates the Frisches Haff on the W. from the Kurisches Haff on the   N.E., and is bounded on the S. by the river Pregel and on the E. by the Deime. Its shape is oblong; it is 43 m. long, and 18 broad, and has an area of 900 sq. m. The surface is mostly flat, but on the W. sand-hills rise to a height of 300 ft. The chief product is amber. The former episcopal see of Samland was founded by Pope Innocent IV. in 1249 and subordinated to the archbishop of Riga. Bishop Georg von Polentz embraced the Reformation in 1523, and in 1525 the district was incorporated with the duchy of Prussia.

Sambia is named after the Sambians, an extinct tribe of Old Prussians. Samland is the German as well as other Germanic languages name for the peninsula. In Polish and Latin name it is called Sambia, while the Lithuanian name is Semba.

Samland within the Duchy of Prussia, ca. 1648.

The old name for Kaliningrad is Konigsberg



Baltiysk (Russian: Балти́йск), prior to 1946 known by its German name Pillau (Polish: Piława; Lithuanian: Piliava), is a seaport town and the administrative center of Baltiysky Di strict in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located on the northern part of the Vistula Spit, on the shore of the Strait of Baltiysk separating the Vistula Lagoon from the Gdańsk Bay. Baltiysk is the westernmost town of Russia. Population: 32,697 (2010 Census); 33,252 (2002 Census);27,070 (1989 Census).[8]

The town is a major naval base of the Baltic Fleet and a ferry port on the route to St. Petersburg.


Sambia was originally sparsely populated by the Sambians. The region was conquered by the German Teutonic Knights during the 13th century and the Bishopric of Samland became, along with Bishopric of Pomesania, Bishopric of Ermland, and Bishopric of Culm, one of the four dioceses of Prussia in 1243. Settlers from the Holy

Roman Empire began colonizing the region, while the Sambian Prussians were gradually assimilated. The peninsula was the last area in which the Old Prussian language was spoken before becoming extinct at the beginning of the 18th century.

The peninsula became part of the Duchy of Prussia when the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights was secularized in 1525. This duchy was inherited by the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1618, and the Hohenzollern monarchs eventually proclaimed the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Sambia became part of the Province of East Prussia in 1773. Prussia completed the unification of Germany with the creation of the German Empire in 1871.

After World War I, Sambia and East Prussia became exclaves of Weimar Germany. In 1945 after World War II, East Prussia was partitioned between Poland and the Soviet Union. Sambia became part of the Kaliningrad Oblast, named after the nearby city of Kaliningrad (historic German: Königsberg or historic in Slavic languages Kráľovec), and its German inhabitants were expelled.

Sambia was subsequently repopulated with Russians and Belarusians. It has two famous seaside resorts, Zelenogradsk (Cranz) and Svetlogorsk (Rauschen).

Geography and geology

Baedeker describes Samland as "a fertile and partly-wooded district, with several lakes, lying to the north of Königsberg" (now Kaliningrad). The highest point, 360 feet, is found twelve miles north of Pereslavskoe (Drugehnen) at the ski resort then called the Galtgarben.. There also used to be a Samland railway station. Today, the Pereslavskoe railway station serves the "Blue Arrow" railway line from Kaliningrad to Svetlogorsk.


Amber has been found in the area for over a thousand years, especially on the coast near Kaliningrad. In 1900, amber was chiefly exported to the East for crafting into pipe mouthpieces and ornaments. Until 1918, the right to collect amber was restricted to the Hohenzollern dynasty of Prussia; visitors to Samland's beaches were forbidden to pick up any fragments they found. It is said that an ancient trade route known as the Amber Road led from the Old Prussian settlements of Kaup (in Sambia) and Truso (near Elbląg) to the Black Sea and further east.

Used within the scope of GNU Free Documentation License, Wikipedia®




Home Page