Queen Louise Bridge ( German: Königin-Luise-Brücke , lit. Karalienės Luizos tiltas ) is a border road bridge across the Neman River , connecting Sovetsk ( Kaliningrad Oblast of the Russian Federation ) and Panyamune ( Lithuania ). The bridge is named after the wife of King of Prussia Friedrich Wilhelm III Queen Louise .
|Queen Louise Bridge|
Portal at the entrance to the bridge
|Application area||car and pedestrian|
|Location||Sovetsk , Panyamune|
|Type of construction||reinforced concrete|
|total length||416 meters|
1947 (restored with wooden spans)
1965 (rebuilt with reinforced concrete spans)
The portal of the bridge, resembling a triumphal arch , is depicted on the former coat of arms of Sovetsk and is a symbol of the city. In honor of the Queen in Kaliningrad, the Queen of Louise Kirche is named. A monument to Queen Louise was also restored in Sovetsk.
The construction of a new bridge 416 meters long, named after the Prussian Queen revered in Germany, began in 1904. The width of the river at this place reached 220 meters. The bridge rested on two “bulls” and the rise of its three arches became the pride of the city.
The opening ceremony of the bridge took place on October 18, 1907 and was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the conclusion of the Tilsit Peace . In memory of the opening of the bridge in Tilsit, a medal was struck. The bridge entrances were decorated with portals. The construction cost taxpayers 2 million marks.
After World War I, the bridge became a border bridge; a checkpoint and customs were set up on it. The first “border” period in the history of the bridge lasted until 1939, when the Memel Territory became part of Germany.
From May 1, 1914 to 1944, an electric tram ran across the bridge  . After the Second World War, the Tilsit tram network was not restored.
On October 22, 1944, the engineering units of the Wehrmacht blew up the bridge in order to delay the advance of the Soviet army. The bridge spans and the northern portal were destroyed.
The bridge was rebuilt in 1947. At first, the spans were wooden, in 1965 they were replaced with reinforced concrete. A bas-relief depicting Queen Louise was removed from the preserved southern portal of the bridge, and in 1964 it was replaced with the emblem of the Soviet Union . Also changed the date indicated on the portal: 1907 was replaced by 1947. The German inscription Königin Luise Brücke was removed from the portal.
Machine houses have lost their pointed tile roofs, and the manual mechanism for lifting the hinged span is still operational. By the spring of 1965, the wooden bridge had ceased to exist. The modern bridge was built in the period from 1965 to 1966.
After the collapse of the USSR, the bridge became border again. In the nineties, the first attempts were made to restore the bridge. On March 6, 1995, the emblem of the USSR was removed from the portal, and work was completed on this. Large-scale restoration of the portal was carried out in 2002-2003. In the course of these works, all the lost details of the portal were restored: returning to its historical place the bas-relief of Queen Louise, bronze vases and other architectural elements of the main arch of the bridge. The houses for the technical equipment of the bridge were also restored, the bridge itself was equipped with lighting. The adjustable span was brewed, the mechanism gradually became unusable.
The monumental creation was carried out according to the project of the construction adviser Kersey and the firm “Beiheld and Co.” from Grünberg (Silesia). From the side of the city (from the south side), a sandstone portal with two baroque towers, forming a single architectural ensemble with the forms of the Order Church, is erected on the second river support of the bridge. The portal project was carried out by the government advisor Fürstenau. The southern portal (from the present Russian side) was decorated with a bas-relief depicting Queen Louise by sculptor Stephen Walter in Fritenau and cast in bronze by Martin and Piltzing in Berlin. The same company cast letters for words on the pediment of the arch of the bridge: “Queen Louise Bridge”, the north (the current Lithuanian side has not been preserved) - the coat of arms of East Prussia .
The south-preserved portal was metal and decorated with the coat of arms of East Prussia. The bas-relief on the southern portal was a cartouche, 3.6 m wide and 4 m high, in the center of which there was an image of Queen Louise, crowned with a royal crown, surrounded by two cupids with floral wreaths. The top of the arch of the bridge was decorated with decorative vases - there were six of them (only two remained). Above the pedestrian walkways of 1.5 m wide are two bas-reliefs representing the movement of water and land. The bridge portal and engine houses were made in the workshop of the court master, the stone-cutter Carl Schilling in Tempelin. Moisture-resistant yellowish sandstone from the quarries in Wunshelburg, at the foot of Heusheuer, which does not require painting and plaster, was used for their manufacture.
|Bas-relief in honor of the Queen||Arches of the bridge (1910-1930)||Bridge on the pre-war postcard|
On July 5, 2017, the Bank of Russia issued commemorative silver coins with a face value of 3 rubles “ The Queen Louise Bridge , Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Region” in the series “Monuments of Russian Architecture”  .
- Magazine Eisenbahn Kurier (Germany), EK-special 52 Ostpreussen, 1 Quartal 1999. ISSN 0170-5288. page 45
- Bank of Russia. Information on the issuance of precious metal coins
- Rutman I.V. From Sovetsk to Tilsit. - 1993. - 226 p.