Nesterov (Не́стеров; Stallupönen or Ebenrode; Stalupėnai; Stołupiany) is a town in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. Population: 5,000 (2004 est.); 5,049 (2002 Census); 4,826 (1989 Census).


In the Middle Ages, the area was occupied by the Nadruvian tribe of Old Prussians. The settlement was conquered by the Teutonic Knights and was incorporated into their monastic state in Prussia as Stallupoenen, Stallupönen, after a nearby river (Stalupė in Lithuanian). With the secularization of the Order's Prussian lands in 1525, Stallupönen became part of the Duchy of Prussia, later being inherited by the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg in 1618. The town became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701 and was administered in the Province of East Prussia beginning in 1773. During the Prussian-led unification of Germany, Stallupönen became part of the German Empire in 1871.

In August 1914, the city and the surrounding area were a focal point of Battle of Stalluponen between Russian and Imperial German armies, an opening battle on the Eastern Front of World War I.

Because of the Lithuanian minority living there, the Republic of Lithuania tried unsuccessfully to obtain the town from Germany after World War I. Because "Stallupönen" sounded too "un-German", the Nazi regime renamed the town Ebenrode in 1938.

The town was overrun by the Soviet Red Army during World War II. The region was transferred from Germany to the Russian SFSR in 1945 and made part of the Kaliningrad Oblast. The town, whose German inhabitants largely evacuated or were expelled westward, was renamed Nesterov after Sergey Nesterov, a Soviet war hero who was killed in the vicinity.

Today Nesterov is the administrative centre of Nesterovsky District (one of the oblast's raions) and one of the cultural centres of the Lithuanian minority in Russia. It lies on the Russian/Lithuanian border on the railway connecting Kaliningrad Oblast with Moscow.

People from Stallupönen

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