Maritime museum of Kaliningrad

Text by Jouko Moisala
Translation by Ralf Strandell

Kaliningrad is a part of former Soviet Union, now part of Russia. It is obvious that annexing it to Lithuania would have been difficult if not impossible, as it was and still is a very important naval base.

The first thing to catch a visitors eye is submersible Pisces VII. Pisces (Paisis) stands for fish, and the numbering tells that it is not a unique underwater vessel. These “fishes” comprise some of the oldest submersible vessels used by the Soviet Academy of Sciences used for underwater research. It can dive down to a depth of 2000 m.

Inside the museum building there is a masterpiece of Finnish maritime engineering – Mir – 1.

These submersible research submarines were manufactured in the late 1980’s by Rauma-Repola Oceanics in Tampere, Finland. Manufacturing submarines for the Soviet Union caused a minor foreign political crisis. United States of America did not approve their manufacture and delivery to U.S.S.R. There was a clear motivation for this. These submersibles could dive to 6000 meters, a depth formerly only reached by U.S.A. submarines, and so they challenged the supremacy U.S.A.

Finding these is the reason to visit maritime museums, indeed!

Nikonov’s diver from the 17th century. We believe that this diving setup could actually work [but the helmet requires a lot of weights!], but it definitely belongs to the category “Do not attempt this at home (and especially not alone)”. Pay attention to the divers boots. They are worth a test dive! Who could to that sort of rope work?

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