Famous Locals

21 May 2018

So who should you know from Kaliningrad/Königsberg? The obvious place to start is with the Albertina University, founded in 1544 by the Duke of Prussia, Albrecht of Brandenburg (1490-1568), whose remains were interred in Königsberg Cathedral. Over several centuries, this establishment helped to develop Königsberg into a major European hub of culture/science and it should come as no surprise that many of the city's most famous sons and daughters were very closely associated to it.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the great German philosopher who both studied and taught there, and who is renowned for his strict daily schedule, is chief among them but a state-of-the-art observatory also provided the platform for leading 19th-century astronomers Friedrich Bessel (1784-1846) and Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander (1799-1875) to take huge steps in the identification and plotting of stars. As the century wore on, a series of hugely influential mathematicians including Otto Hesse (1811-74), Carl Neumann (1832-1925) and David Hilbert (1862-1943), all of whom were concerned with the development of algebra and integral equations, also came through the ranks of the Albertina. 

In other areas, Ludwig Rhesa (1776-1840) did much for Lithuanian folk culture while Romantic writer ETA Hoffmann (1776-1822) spent his formative years in his home town before moving on to Poland. Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945), granddaughter of the revolutionary theologian Julius Rupp (1809-84), documented the human suffering of two World Wars, primarily in prints and lithographs, and Agnes Miegel (1879-1964) was a revered author whose associations with the Nazi party did untold damage to her reputation in later years. 


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