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    Zelenogradsk (Cranz)

Chronicles claim 1252 to be the year the town was founded. In the second half of XIII century Teutonic Knights built a small inn in the Couronian lagoon for having a rest before a long and unpleasant journey through the sands. Later the inn turned into a little fisherman village, where life went n on a slow pace. The village woke up for life only in the XIX century.

In 1861 chief medical advisor of Koenigsberg (now Kaliningrad) Friedrich Christian Kessel opened warm seawater baths in Cranz. Kessel tried his best, and Cranz became a seaside resort. Its popularity consisted of strong waves, which were considered to be an important part of therapy, coniferous and deciduous forests, descending to the seacoast, warm seawater and mud baths and picturesque promenades.

In 1885 a railway connected Cranz with Koenigsberg a journey between two towns took about half an hour. Locomotives bore names of seabirds. Little town was heaven for a wonderful rest: visitors could swim, take baths, travel around and play lawn tennis. In 1913 the towns population reached 2670 citizens. Cranz had 29 guest houses and hotels, such as Castle near the sea, Marine mirror, Monopol and others. All buildings boasted original architecture.

Steam ships were frequent guests near the seaside. Visitors chose from many possible trips, for instance they enjoyed a 30-minute trip to sea baths of the Couronian lagoon, where everyday concerts feasted their ears. The town of Cranz slowly turned into a medical resort. However, many fishermen were still engaged in their daily routine they caught fish in the sea or in the lagoon, salted, dried and smoked it. Later berths for fishing boats appeared in the western and eastern part of the town. Commercial fishes were flounder, cod, Baltic sprat and salmon. Flounders were cooked in a special delicious way fishes were smoked on pine cones. Odorous Flounder of Cranz was sold at every corner of the town in summer and was a must-eat for every guest. This fish was considered to be the tastiest Flounder in Europe. That is why a flounder can be found on Cranzs coat-of-arms, which the town acquired in 1937. The upper part of the coat-of-arms has red moose horns on white background, and flounder rests lower on the blue background. Mooses liked to visit Cranzs streets and eagerly let people to come close, and that is why horns of this decent animal are displayed on Cranzs coat-of-arms.

Cranz welcomed many guests, since it became a resort in 1816, and many celebrities were among them. Some visitors dedicated poems to the town; some painted its streets and wrote prose about Cranz. In 1824 Adam Mitskevich, famous Polish poet and friend of Alexander Pushkin, reinstated his health in Cranz. Royal resort was the favourite vacation spot for St. Petersburgs noblemen. Czarist Russians were fond of going to spas, preferring Baltic resorts to Crimea and Caucasus.

Peaceful life of the resort was broken by the beginning of the World War II. Soviet troops entered the town in February 1945. Cranz didnt suffer from heavy destruction. After the war ended, the town changed its name several times, and in 1947 was finally named Zelenogradsk.

Today Zelenogradsk is a federal resort. Vast sandy beaches, seaside dunes and clear atmosphere of the seaside attract visitors. The town is a balneotherapeutic health resort, where patients can cure cardio-vascular diseases, dysfunctions of locomotor system, gynecological and neurological diseases. Therapy includes local mud, mineral waters, ozone and solar therapy.


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