Sambia

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Sambia (Russian: Земландский полуостров, Zemlandsky poluostrov, literally the Zemlandsky Peninsula) or Samland (About this sound listen ) is a peninsula in the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia, on the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea. The Curonian Lagoon (to the north-east) and the Vistula Lagoon (on the southwest) demarcate the peninsula. Prior to 1945 it formed an important part of East Prussia.

Contents

Names

Sambia is named after the Sambians, an extinct tribe of Old Prussians. Samland is the name for peninsula in the Germanic languages. Polish and Latin speakers call the area Sambia, while the Lithuanian name is Semba.

History

Sambia was originally sparsely populated by the Sambians. The German Teutonic Knights conquered the region 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, and the Sambian Prussians gradually became 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 Albert of brandenburg-Ansbach, the 37th Grand Master, secularized the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights in 1525. The Margraviate of Brandenburg inherited the duchy in 1618, and its Hohenzollern ruler proclaimed the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Sambia became part of the Province of East Prussia in 1773. (The Kingdom of Prussia completed the unification of Germany by setting up the German Empire in 1871.)

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