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    Svetlogorsk

Svetlogorsk is first mentioned in the chronicles in 1258 at that time it is a small village, inhabited by fishermen, which is located in the shores of Tikhoe (Quiet) lake called Rauche Moter (Land of cellars). Years go by, XIV century begins, and the villages name transforms into Rauchen. For a long time Rauchen has been a little settlement, and only in XIX century the town becomes famous as a resort centre. 1820 is the year, when Rauchen resort is born.

In 1840 Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm IV visits the Baltic shores near Rauchen. The king o fascinated with beautiful scenery and orders to plant forests around the lake and along sandy dunes down to the sea. More and more people from surrounding towns spend their vacation in Rauchen. In 1895 the town consists of 215 inhabitants and 800 visitors, and in 1930 of 2000 inhabitants and 6000 visitors. These are the times, when military elite begins building summer villas in Rauchen, and towns golden era starts.

In 1900 a railway is built together with Rauchen railway station, connecting the town with Konigsberg (later known as Kalinigrad) many more visitors can arrive and stay in this fantastic recreational area. In 1904 the Promenade Keyserlingk is built, followed by cable-way Georgienswalde in 1906 and a red-brick gothic church in 1907.

Rauchens famous sight is hydropathic establishment, raised in 1908, which boasts a huge bathing hall and 25 m tall water tower this building is seen from any point of the town. In 1912 town authorities build funicular railway to make the way to the sea even more convenient. The area is quickly covered with summer houses and pensions. With time the town becomes a famous seaside climatic health resort with excellently developed infrastructure of tourism and medical treatment.

Another sight of Rauchen is a unique plant collection. The Arboretum is collected by Rauchens citizens, who loved their town and wanted to see it beautiful. Seamen have to bring little plants from countries they have visited. Any one, who wants to enter the town either for vacation or on business, has to bring a tree or a bush with him as a pass. Japanese magnolia and evergreen rhododendron, azalea and North American hydrangea, larches, pines, maples, bird cherry trees, sea-buckthorns and many more plants please eyes of resorts dwellers and visitors.

Resorts life freezes only during wars World Wars I and II, when pensions serve as hospitals for wounded soldiers. Rauchen enters Russian Federation in 1947 as Svetlogorsk.

Today Svetlogorsk is a climatic and mud-bath health resort with a wide network of health centres, preventoriums, pensions and holiday homes. Resorts peat mud and hydrocarbonate sodium mineral water attract many guests. Since 1971 the town is a republican resort, and in 2000 it acquires federal importance. In 1973 a new promenade and a staircase with 265 steps are built. The staircase leads to the sundial, made of colourful mosaic glass and oriented on the North Star.

In 1991 an Orthodox church named after Saint Seraphim of Sarov is built, and first foreign guests from Germany visit the town. In 1995 a concert hall with organ opens in a picturesque district of the town. In any weather it is a great pleasure to take a walk along ancient streets with turrets, domes, weathercocks and red tiled roofs.



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