The Queen Louise ring

Queen Louise ring. What is that?

The Kaliningrad region and the Klaipėda region are located in the eastern part of the former Kingdom of Prussia, East Prussia, on the geographically connected Nemunas River. After World War II, and later after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Nemunas allowed the external border, the Republic of Lithuania and the Kaliningrad region. But this area is rich in the surviving common example of East Prussia and the information systems of tourists who have not gone to any extent, the lack of a common tourism strategy in the border region (Pagėgiai and Sovetsk), the emerging means of cultural dialogue and identity.

Pagėgiai Region Tourism Information Center and Sovetsk City Municipality Administration in 2019. August 10 launched the international project "Creation, Promotion and Development of a Targeted Tourism Attraction Area between Eastern and Western Europe", funded in 2014-2020. Lithuanian-Russian Cross-Border Cooperation Program (hereinafter - ENPI).

The aim of this project is to revive the history of Kaliningrad region and Klaipeda region without borders through joint activities, to properly represent it with innovative measures to increase interest of local people and tourists in common heritage and thus contribute to cultural dialogue, attractiveness and cross-border tourism.

One of the most important tasks of the project is to bring together institutions, tourist centers, museums and associations around the Nemunas for joint activities and to create an international tourist route "Queen Louise's Ring". Why Queen Louise?

The Kingdom of Prussia is a historic state that no longer exists and has had a major influence on German and pan-European history for several centuries. One of the most prominent personalities of the time is Prussian Queen Louise, who has left a deep mark on human history. During the project implemantation, are trying to save the historical heritage,  places and objects of the Prussian Queen Louise on both sides of the river Nemunas. As a result, during the 2nd year of the project implementation, the tourist route “Queen Louise Ring” will be created, covering over 300 km.

Tourists will be able to travel in the ring of Queen Louise as follows: the start of the route Vilkyškiai “History Incubator” (Pagėgiai municipality), the second most significant point - Panemunė, the border of the Republic of Lithuania and Kaliningrad region, border crossing point. Today, local and foreign tourists have excellent opportunities to travel to the Kaliningrad region using free electronic visas. Therefore, the first historic city to meet tourists is Tilsit (now Sovetsk). Not only the old urban architecture is interesting in Tilsit, but also in the former Jokūbynė Park in 2014. a sculpture of Prussian Queen Louise was restored. The Queen Louise ring continues to the city of Kaliningrad, through the Curonian Spit to the city of Klaipėda and its surroundings, until finally the ring ends in Piktupėnai, Pagėgiai municipality. A preliminary route has now been drawn up which will be developed in the long run. At the end of the project, brochures and maps with a detailed and specific description of the route will be published. In order to strengthen cooperation between institutions and the tourism sector on both sides of the river Nemunas.

The first step was taken this year. on December 9. On that day, the project partner - the administration of Sovetsk city municipality, organized the project opening conference. Representatives of Pagėgiai and Sovetsk municipalities, members of the project working group took part in the conference. Successful mutual cooperation is also proved by the fact that Darius Junelis, the Third Secretary of the Consulate of the Republic of Lithuania in Sovetsk, participated in the conference.

Following the welcome speech, a more detailed examination of Louise's footprints in the Kaliningrad region began. Presentations on this topic were made by Ala Petrova Čiūbūn, a specialist at the Sovetsk City History Museum, AdatovBoris Nikolaev, head of the Kaliningrad Local History Club, and others. The reports revealed many unknown historical facts concerning the life, political and social activities of Prussian Queen Louise. And most importantly, we discussed how to apply this historical knowledge in practice to the needs of tourists. At the end of the conference, the project manager Sigitas Stonys presented a video about the tourism resources of Pagėgiai region.

It is necessary to note that the project is characterized by several aspects of added value and novelty. First of all, the project aims to create an active representative office with its headquarters "History Incubator" in Vilkyškiai. The representative office should become the initiator of the Prussian History Network, which unites tourist centers, museums, associations and various societies in Western Lithuania and the Kaliningrad region.

It is worth emphasizing the internationality and thematic nature of the tourist route, which, in the opinion of tourism analysts, is usually more popular and attractive than just combining attractions into a common route. There are only a few well-developed and actively used international tourist routes covering the territories of Lithuania and Russia. One of them is the Baltic Way, which covers the historic Baltic settlements (Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Belarus, Poland). Therefore, the promotion and development of the "Queen Louise's Ring" tourist route is of great cultural and economic importance.

It is very important to point out that the international thematic route will be adapted for those who want to get acquainted with the culture of East Prussia, but for various reasons do not have the opportunity to travel from one state to another. In both countries, tourists will be able to get acquainted with the history of the countries in absent - remotely with the help of information technologies (virtual tours, animations, representations).

Pagėgiai Region Tourism Information Center is the main beneficiary. The partner of the project is the administration of Sovetsk City Municipality. The total value of the project is EUR 698,867.00, of which EUR -628,980.30 is financed by the EU. Project implementation duration - 24 months. Project working group: project manager Sigitas Stonys, project financier Dalia Šėperienė, project coordinator Gintarė Šimkūnaitė, project coordinator in Sovetsk OlegVašūrin, financier Natalia Eremenko, project coordinator assistant OlesiaSoloveva.

To find out more about the joint project, follow us on facebook  "History Incubator".

This information has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this information are the sole responsibility of Pagėgiai Region Tourism Information Center and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. The EU Union is not responsible for the information provided.


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