The Lower Pond, in colloquial speech, the name Lower Lake is more common - a large artificial pond located in the center of Kaliningrad.
Until 1949, the lake was known by the German name Schlossteich (Schloßteich), which means Castle Pond.
The pond was created in 1256 on the territory of the city of Konigsberg (now Kaliningrad), when the knights of the Teutonic Order blocked the tributary of the Pregel River (Pregel, now the Pregolya River) with an earthen dam. At that time, there was a watermill on the pond, thanks to which the pond was originally named as the Mill pond or Mill Pond (Mühlenteich).
By the time of the creation of the Prussian Duchy, the pond was known as the Castle Pond, thanks to the nearby Koenigsberg Castle. Then the pond was used to fill the moat near the castle with water.
Gradually, the residents of Konigsberg began to appreciate the beauty of the area around the pond, and the nobles began to build palaces and villas near the embankment. From 1830-70, recreational facilities were built near the pond. The picturesque embankment of the pond has become a favorite vacation spot for residents of Konigsberg. In summer, cafes worked near the lake, and you could go boating in the pond. During the cold winter months, the pond was used for ice skating. In 1919, 22 white and two black swans lived in the pond.
Most of the surrounding German-era buildings were destroyed during the 1944 bombing of Konigsberg and the 1945 Battle of Konigsberg.
Currently, the Lower Pond is the oldest structure of Konigsberg that has survived to this day. It has an irregular strongly elongated shape, stretches from Shevchenko Street to Chernyakhovsky Street, where it is connected and fed by water flowing from Lake Superior with the help of a water cascade.
The length of the Lower Lake is approximately 1200 - 1300 meters, and its width ranges from 50 to 100 meters. During the winter months, the waters of the lake can freeze.
The area around the shores of the Lower Lake is a green relaxation area and, together with the embankment of the Upper Lake, is one of the favorite places for walking and recreation among locals and visitors of the city. The lower pond is crossed by several bridges. There is a boat station on the lake during the summer season. Swans and ducks live in the lake.
On the shores of Lake Superior are:
- 5-star Crystal House Spa Hotel (Crystal House Suite Hotel & Spa) with a terrace, fitness center, 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included in the room rate;
- memorial stone "Alexander Marinesko Embankment. It was named in 1990 in honor of the Hero of the Soviet Union, a participant in the East Prussian operation of the legendary Baltic submariner Marinesko Alexander Ivanovich (1913 - 1963).";
- the historical monument "Normandy-Neman" is a memorial sign erected in honor of the French pilots of the Normandy-Neman regiment who fought during the Great Patriotic War against the Fascist invaders and participated in the East Prussian operation and the storming of the fortress city of Konigsberg (1941 - 1945).;
- monument to the Hero of the Soviet Union (May 5, 1990, posthumously) to the commander of the submarine "S-13" of the Baltic Fleet, Captain 3rd rank Marinesko A.I.;
- on the north side, near Chernyakhovsky Street, the territory of the Lower Lake is closed by the "Cascade of the Castle Pond" - a water cascade built in Konigsberg in the 1929-1930s and feeding the Lower Lake from the Upper Pond. From 1930 to 1933, the cascade niche was decorated with mosaics, and the sculpture "Dancing Girl" by Herman Brachert was installed in the upper part of the cascade.
The architectural features of the object are: cascade pools, a room for the source, stairs on both sides of the pools and semicircular arches of the room for the source.
By the Decree of the Government of the Kaliningrad Region No. 132 dated March 23, 2007, the cascade of the Castle Pond received the status of a cultural heritage object of local (municipal) significance.
Near the Lower Lake are:
- Upper Lake, which is an integral part of the Lower Lake;
- The Amber Museum, located in the historical fortification - the Don Tower;
- the site of the former defensive wall of the 19th century;
- Rosgarten Gate is one of the seven preserved city gates of Kaliningrad;
- the Wrangel Tower is a fortification built in Konigsberg;
- Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Art, Kaliningrad Regional Court, house of creativity of children and Youth, Kaliningrad State TV and Radio Station, military museum "Bunker", Kant Island, Fish village, Konigsberg Stock Exchange (Museum of Fine Arts) and the Museum of the World Ocean.