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|Federal subject||Kaliningrad Oblast|
|Administrative district||Chernyakhovsky District|
|Town of district significance||Chernyakhovsk|
|Town status since||10 October 1583|
|• Total||58 km2 (22 sq mi)|
|Elevation||30 m (100 ft)|
|• Density||628/km2 (1,630/sq mi)|
|• Administrative center of||Chernyakhovsky District, town of district significance of Chernyakhovsk|
|• Municipal district||Chernyakhovsky Municipal District|
|• Urban settlement||Chernyakhovskoye Urban Settlement|
|• Administrative center of||Chernyakhovsky Municipal District, Chernyakhovskoye Urban Settlement|
|Time zone||UTC+2:00 (MSK–1 )|
238150–238154, 238158, 238165, 238169, 238170, 238816
|Dialing code(s)||+7 40141|
Chernyakhovsk (Russian: Черняхо́вск) – known prior to 1946 by its German name of Insterburg (Lithuanian: Įsrutis; Polish: Wystruć) – is a town in the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia, where it is the administrative center of Chernyakhovsky District. Located at the confluence of the Instruch and Angrapa Rivers, which unite to become the Pregolya River below Chernyakhovsk, the town had a population in 2017 of 36,423.
Chernyakhovsk was founded in 1336 by the Teutonic Knights on the site of a former Old Prussian fortification when Dietrich von Altenburg, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, built a castle called Insterburg following the Prussian Crusade. During the Teutonic Knights' Northern Crusades campaign against the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the town was devastated in 1376 and then again by Polish troops in 1457. The castle had been rebuilt as the seat of a Procurator and a settlement also named Insterburg grew up to serve it.
When the Prussian Duke Albert of Brandenburg-Ansbach in 1525 secularized the monastic State of the Teutonic Order, Insterburg became part of the Duchy of Prussia and was granted town privileges on 10 October 1583 by the Prussian regent Margrave George Frederick. Insterburg became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, and because the area had been depopulated by plague in the early 18th century, King Frederick William I of Prussia invited Protestant refugees who had been expelled from the Archbishopric of Salzburg to settle in Insterburg in 1732.
In 1818, after the Napoleonic Wars, the town became the seat of Insterburg District within the Gumbinnen Region. Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly died at Insterburg in 1818 on his way from his Livonian manor to Germany, where he wanted to renew his health. In 1863, a Polish secret organization was founded and operated in Insterburg, which was involved in arms trafficking to the Russian Partition of Poland during the January Uprising. Since May 1864, the leader of the organization was Józef Racewicz.
Insterburg became a part of the German Empire following the 1871 unification of Germany, and on May 1, 1901, it became an independent city separate from Insterburg District. During World War I the Russian Army seized Insterburg on 24 August 1914, but it was quickly reclaimed by Germany on 11 September 1914. The Weimar Germany era after World War I saw the town separated from the rest of the country as the province of East Prussia had become an exclave. The association football club Yorck Boyen Insterburg was formed in 1921. During World War II, Insterburg was heavily bombed by the British Royal Air Force on July 27, 1944. The town was stormed by Red Army troops on January 21–22, 1945. As part of the northern part of East Prussia, Insterburg was transferred from Germany to the Soviet Union after the war as previously agreed between the victorious powers at the Potsdam Conference. The German population was either evacuated or expelled and replaced with Russians. In 7 April 1946, Insterburg was renamed as Chernyakhovsk in honor of the Soviet World War II General of the Army, Ivan Chernyakhovsky, who commanded the army that first entered East Prussia in 1944.
Within the framework of administrative divisions, Chernyakhovsk serves as the administrative center of Chernyakhovsky District. As an administrative division, it is, together with five rural localities, incorporated within Chernyakhovsky District as the town of district significance of Chernyakhovsk. As a municipal division, the town of district significance of Chernyakhovsk is incorporated within Chernyakhovsky Municipal District as Chernyakhovskoye Urban Settlement.
|1790||4,972, without military|
|1890||31,624, incl. 437 Catholics and 348 Jews|
|1900||27,787, incl. 788 Catholics and 350 Jews|
|1910||31,624, incl. 29,672 Protestants and 1,040 Catholics|
|1925||39,311, incl. 36,792 Protestants, 1,174 Catholics, 86 other Christians, and 338 Jews|
|1933||41,230, incl. 39,458 Protestants, 1,078 Catholics, five other Christians, and 273 Jews|
|1939||43,620, incl. 40,677 Protestants, 1,388 Catholics, 563 other Christians, and 87 Jews|
|1959||approx. 29,100|
|1979||approx. 35,600|
Chernyakhovsk is home to the Chernyakhovsk naval air facility.
Chernyakhovsk is twinned with: