The resort town of Zelenogradsk is located on the coast of the Baltic sea. Before the World war II, this resort in East Prussia was called Cranz. It is smaller than Svetlogorsk, but located near the Curonian spit, so holiday in Zelenogradsk can be combined with trips to the protected areas of the Curonian spit.
The first settlement of Prussian fishermen appeared on this site in 1252. Later, the Teutonic knights built a tavern Kranta-Krug here, so that travelers could rest after a difficult crossing through the Sands of the Curonian spit. The Curonian spit was an important trade and military road from Konigsberg to Memel. However, the problem of the onset of sand dunes on the spit, which absorbed entire villages, in those years, was very serious.
Cranz received the status of a Royal resort in 1816, when Friedrich Kassel, doctor of medicine, opened warm sea baths here. Kassel noted several factors for the development of the resort. Here is clear water, dense pine forest, as well as a strong impact of waves on the embankment, so that the air is saturated with useful substances. It was also very important to be able to sunbathe in the famous "Cranz’s beaches-pans". “Pans” are hidden places in the sand dunes at the base of the Curonian spit, which are very warm in the sun and protected from the Baltic wind. Thus, you can sunbathe from the beginning of May until late autumn, even if the water in the Baltic sea is cold.
Today, the historical center of the resort of Cranz, where the architecture of East Prussia has been preserved, is, alas, quite small. In fact, we are talking about a section of Resort Boulevard with a length of 400 meters. Old houses of the 19th century have been preserved in other places of Zelenogradsk, but they are located in different places, and many of them have lost their historical appearance due to reconstruction of the Soviet period.
Zelenogradsk embankment stretches along the Baltic sea coast for 2 kilometers. It is very wide, there are special paths for bicyclists and for walking. Many people prefer to go down to the beach rather than along the high embankment. The sea brings amber ashore, and sometimes it can be found on the sand right under your feet. In the Central part of the embankment, The Queen Louise well room has been built, where you can drink local mineral water "Zelenogradskaya".
The beaches for swimming here are magnificent. Someone swims directly on the beach of the Central promenade, but it is best to go to the Northern district of Zelenogradsk, to the City Park. At this point begins the Curonian spit, where there are sand dunes with the famous pan-beaches.