Pravdinsk, prior to 1946 known by its German name Friedland is a town and the administrative center of Pravdinsky District in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located on the Lava River, approximately 30 kilometers east of Bagrationovsk and 53 kilometers southeast of Kaliningrad. Population figures: 4.323 ; 4.480 ; 4.143.
Pravdinsk was founded in 1312 at a ford across the Lava River after the local Natangian tribe in Prussia was subdued by the Teutonic Knights, and received town privileges in 1335 under Grand Master Luther von Braunschweig. Now known by its German language name Friedland "peaceful land", the town was devastated during the Thirteen Years War between the Teutonic Order and the Prussian Confederation. Friedland became a part of the Duchy of Prussia after the secularization of the State of the Teutonic Order in 1525. Under the ruling Hohenzollern dynasty, Friedland became a part of Brandenburg-Prussia in 1618, and was again damaged by Swedish troops in the course of the Second Northern War 1655-1660.
Friedland belonged to the Kingdom of Prussia from 1701, and during the Napoleonic Wars on June 14, 1807, Napoleons French army won the nearby Battle of Friedland against a combined Russian-Prussian army. The town became part of the German Empire in 1871, during the Prussian-led unification of Germany.
During World War II, Friedland was conquered by the Red Army on January 31, 1945 as part of the Soviet invasion of Germany. At the time Friedland belonged to Landkreis Bartenstein in the province of East Prussia, which was transferred from Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union according to the 1945 Potsdam Agreement. The German population fled or was expelled, and East Prussia was divided between the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of Poland, with Friedland belonging to the portion organized into Kaliningrad Oblast of the Russian SFSR. The town was made the administrative center of Fridlyandsky District under the name Fridlyand, but were renamed Pravdinsk and Pravdinsky District in 1946.
2. Administrative and municipal status
Within the framework of administrative divisions, Pravdinsk serves as the administrative center of Pravdinsky District. As an administrative division, it is, together with thirty-two rural localities, incorporated within Pravdinsky District as the town of district significance of Pravdinsk.
Within the framework of municipal divisions, since May 5, 2015, the territories of the town of district significance of Pravdinsk, the urban-type settlement of district significance of Zheleznodorozhny, and of two rural okrugs of Pravdinsky District are incorporated as Pravdinsky Urban Okrug. Before that, the town of district significance was incorporated within Pravdinsky Municipal District as Pravdinskoye Urban Settlement.
The Late Gothic church of St. George in the town center is well preserved and today used by the Moscow Patriarchate.
Pravdinsk is identified in some historical accounts with Romuva, said to be the center of Baltic paganism. The Lithuanian name for Pravdinsk is Romuva, and this was most likely its name in Old Prussian as well. Whether Romuva was in fact associated with Baltic paganism is disputed, however, as it has been suggested that this belief started when early Christian chroniclers were confused by the similarity between "Romuva" and "Rome", and by their own unwarranted assumption that Baltic paganism should resemble Roman paganism in being focused around a particular geographical center.
4. Notable people
- Otto Saro 1818–1888 a Prussian lawyer and chief state prosecutor in Konigsberg
- Sergey Kiselyov born 1990 an association football defender
- Florian Essenfelder 1855–1929 made pianos in Germany and Brazil
- Artyom Danilenko born 1990 a Russian professional football player
5. International relations
Pravdinsk is part of the Friedliches Land Peaceful Land municipal association with:
- Frydlant nad Ostravici, Czech Republic
- Korfantow Friedland in Oberschlesien, Poland
- Friedland, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
- Friedland, Lower Saxony, Germany
- Frydlant, Czech Republic
- Mieroszow Friedland in Niederschlesien, Poland
- Friedland, Brandenburg, Germany