June 3, 2023

The Russian Geographical Society announces a competitive recruitment for the youth research expedition “Secrets of the Baltic Citadel”. It will be held from 1 to 10 August in the city of Baltiysk, Kaliningrad region.

The expedition will take place as part of the second season of the large-scale project of the Russian Geographical Society “Secrets of the Amber Region”, in which 223 volunteers applied for participation in 2023. Thanks to the partnership of the Russian Geographical Society with the Rediscovering Russia project, those who did not have time to apply for participation in the competitive selection have a unique opportunity to join the project, the purpose of which is to search for and examine objects of military history and fortification.

The ancient fortress, built in 1626, is shrouded in secrets and legends. For several hundred years it belonged to different countries, but was always used as a military facility. Each of its bastions has its own name: Albrecht, Prussia, Koenig, Koenigen, Kronprinz.

The citadel, shaped like a pentagon, is surrounded by a wide moat, on the outer side of which there are five ravelins. During the Second World War, this monument of military architecture suffered from military operations – a number of casemates fell into the ground, the galleries were covered with sand. Scientists believe that the citadel kept stolen valuables that the Nazis were going to evacuate to the west, including the Amber Room and the crown of King Sigismund II.

In previous expeditions, the specialists of the Russian Geographical Society began work on the study of the ancient fortification and the surrounding wet ditch, using modern scientific methods – magnetometric, georadar and sonar studies, as well as laser scanning. Volunteers cleared a number of premises, which were previously checked by sappers of the Baltic Fleet.

In the new season, the expedition members will continue to explore the ancient fortress, search for objects of its centuries-old military-technical history, preserved in the territories of the military units of the Baltic Fleet and in the Baltic Sea. They will gain new skills: they will get acquainted with the principles of operation and the device of a 3D scanner, master the technologies and methods of its application.

Volunteers will not only expand their research horizons and a set of methods used in studying history and working with historical sources, but will also prepare materials for exhibitions of the Russian Geographical Society and the creation of an expeditionary and tourist center of the Russian Geographical Society on the territory of the fortress, will develop and implement new tourist routes, create an educational tourist content.

The Russian Geographical Society is waiting for students of humanitarian and technical specialties who are interested in studying and preserving the cultural heritage of Russia. Young people should be ready for physical work on clearing rooms, territories, water areas of objects from technological waste. The expedition will be of interest to historians and archive specialists, tourism professionals and content creators: popular science texts, photos, videos.

Competitive applications for participation in the expedition are accepted until May 20.

Learn more and apply on the website of the project “Rediscovering Russia”

“Rediscovering Russia” is an all-Russian inter-university program of student expeditions, in which students of Russian educational institutions of higher education become participants in socially significant projects of strategic volunteering that change life in the regions for the better. Contest partners: Higher School of Economics, ANO “Russia is a Land of Opportunities” and ANO “More than a Journey”.

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