Sambia ( _ru. Земландский полуостров, "Zemlandsky poluostrov") or Samland (Audio|De-Neumark.ogg|listen) is a peninsula in the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia, on the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea.


Sambia is named after the Sambians, an extinct tribe of Old Prussians. "Samland" is the German as well as other Germanic languages name for the peninsula. In Polish and Latin name it is called "Sambia", while the Lithuanian name is "Semba".


Sambia was originally sparsely populated by the Sambians. The region was conquered by the German Teutonic Knights during the 13th century and the Bishopric of Samland became, along with Bishopric of Pomesania, Bishopric of Ermland, and Bishopric of Culm, one of the four dioceses of Prussia in 1243. Settlers from the Holy Roman Empire began colonizing the region, while the Sambian Prussians were gradually assimilated. The peninsula was the last area in which the Old Prussian language was spoken before becoming extinct at the beginning of the 18th century.

The peninsula became part of the Duchy of Prussia when the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights was secularized in 1525. This duchy was inherited by the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1618, and the Hohenzollern monarchs eventually proclaimed the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Sambia became part of the Province of East Prussia in 1773. Prussia completed the unification of Germany with the creation of the German Empire in 1871.

After World War I, Sambia and East Prussia became exclaves of Weimar Germany. In 1945 after World War II, East Prussia was partitioned between Poland and the Soviet Union. Sambia became part of the Kaliningrad Oblast, named after the nearby city of Kaliningrad (historic _de. Königsberg or historic in Slavic languages Kráľovec), and its German inhabitants were expelled.

Sambia was subsequently repopulated with Russians and Belarusians. It has two famous seaside resorts, Zelenogradsk ("Cranz") and Svetlogorsk ("Rauschen").

Geography and geology

Baedeker [Karl Baedeker, "Northern Germany", Leipzig, London and New York: 1904 (fourteenth revised edition (English language)), pp.177-8.] describes Samland as "a fertile and partly-wooded district, with several lakes, lying to the north of Königsberg" (now Kaliningrad). The highest point, 360 feet, is found twelve miles north of Pereslavskoe ("Drugehnen") at the ski resort then called the Galtgarben. [Some place names given here are in German.] . There also used to be a Samland railway station. Today, the Pereslavskoe railway station serves the "Blue Arrow" railway line from Kaliningrad to Svetlogorsk.


Amber has been found in the area for over a thousand years, especially on the coast near Kaliningrad. In 1900, amber was chiefly exported to the East for crafting into pipe mouthpieces and ornaments. Until 1918, the right to collect amber was restricted to the Hohenzollern dynasty Dubious|date=April 2008of Prussia; visitors to Samland's beaches were forbidden to pick up any fragments they found. It is said that an ancient trade route known as the Amber Road led from the Old Prussian settlements of Kaup (in Sambia) and Truso (near Elbląg) to the Black Sea and further east.

See also

*Curonian Lagoon
*Curonian Spit
*Vistula Lagoon


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