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Remains of the Preußisch Eylau Castle
|Federal subject||Kaliningrad Oblast|
|Administrative district||Bagrationovsky District|
|Town of district significance||Bagrationovsk|
|Town status since||1585|
|• Total||10.7 km2 (4.1 sq mi)|
|Elevation||70 m (230 ft)|
|• Density||600/km2 (1,500/sq mi)|
|• Administrative center of||Bagrationovsky District, town of district significance of Bagrationovsk|
|• Municipal district||Bagrationovsky Municipal District|
|• Urban settlement||Bagrationovskoye Urban Settlement|
|• Administrative center of||Bagrationovsky Municipal District, Bagrationovskoye Urban Settlement|
|Time zone||USZ1 (UTC+02:00)|
Bagrationovsk (Russian: Багратио́новск), before 1946 known by its German name Preußisch Eylau (Lithuanian: Ylava or Prūsų Ylava; Polish: Pruska Iława or Iławka) is a town and the administrative center of Bagrationovsky District in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located 37 kilometers (23 mi) south of Kaliningrad, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 6,400 (2010 Census).
Teutonic Order 1466–1525 (fief of Poland)
Duchy of Prussia 1525–1657 (fief of Poland)
Duchy of Prussia 1657–1701
Kingdom of Prussia 1701–1871
German Empire 1871–1918
Weimar Republic 1918–1933
Nazi Germany 1933–1945
Polish People's Republic 1945-1946
Soviet Union 1946–1991
In 1325, the Teutonic Knights built a Ordensburg castle called "Yladia" or "Ilaw", later known as "Preussisch Eylau", in the center of the Old Prussian region Natangia. 'Ylow' is the Old Prussian term for 'mud' or 'swamp'. The settlement nearby developed in 1336, but in 1348 the Teutonic Order gave the privilege to establish twelve pubs in the area around the castle. Although the settlement had only a few inhabitants, due to its central position it was often used as meeting place for officials of the Order. During the Thirteen Years' War, the castle was besieged on 24 May 1455 by troops of the Prussian Confederation under the command of Remschel von Krixen, but the garrison defeated these troops. During the Horsemen's War in 1520, the castle was unsuccessfully besieged by troops of the Polish Kingdom, which devastated the settlement.
The bloody Battle of Eylau (7–8 February 1807) during the Napoleonic Wars involved the French troops of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Russian troops of General Bennigsen, and the Prussian troops of General Anton Wilhelm von L'Estocq. Only 3 inhabitants of Eylau died in the battle, but 605 persons died due to hunger and diseases in 1807 (with the average death rate in "normal" years being around 80-90). Napoleon used the local courthouse as his headquarters in Eylau on 7–17 February 1807.
On 1 April 1819, the town became the seat of the administrative district Preußisch Eylau (Kreis Pr. Eylau). In 1834, a Teachers' Seminary was founded, educating every East Prussian teacher until it was closed down in 1924. The town was connected to the railway on 2 September 1866. The town was occupied without a struggle by Russian troops on 27 August 1914, but these troops left on 3 September 1914 after massacring 65 civilians.
On February 10, 1945, during the Soviet Red Army's East Prussian Offensive, the town was occupied by troops of the 55th Guards "Irkutsk-Pinsk" Division commanded by Major General Adam Turchinsky. The German population that had not already fled during the evacuation of East Prussia was subsequently expelled, with the last transport leaving on November 23, 1947. The NKVD established a prison camp for German civilians inside the former Wehrmacht barracks in 1945-1949. It held an estimated 13,000 inmates, of whom some 6,000 people died.
In early August 1945, Polish officials took over the administrative power in the town, but left again on January 1, 1946, as the new borderline between the Soviet Union and Poland was set just at the southern outskirts of the town. The Polish administrative area south of the border was called "Powiat Ilawka" until 1958.
In January 1946, the town became a part of the newly established Kaliningrad Oblast within the Russian SFSR and the town was given its present name, honoring General Pyotr Bagration, who was one of the senior Russian leaders in the Napoleonic Wars.
Today the main border crossing point between Russia and Poland (Bezledy/Bagrationovsk) is 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) south of the town. Since April 2007, government restrictions on visits to border areas have been tightened and travel to Sovetsk and Bagrationovsk is only allowed with special permission, unless in transit.
Within the framework of administrative divisions, Bagrationovsk serves as the administrative center of Bagrationovsky District. As an administrative division, it is incorporated within Bagrationovsky District as the town of district significance of Bagrationovsk. As a municipal division, the town of district significance of Bagrationovsk is incorporated within Bagrationovsky Municipal District as Bagrationovskoye Urban Settlement.
Bagrationovsk is twinned with: