Tilse River

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The Tilse (from tilszus, meaning "swampy") is a 27-kilometre-long (17 mi) river in the former East Prussia discharging into the Neman [1] at Sovetsk which until 1946 was called Tilsit in accordance with it. [2]

East Prussia province of Prussia

East Prussia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773 to 1829 and again from 1878 ; following World War I it formed part of the Weimar Republic's Free State of Prussia, until 1945. Its capital city was Königsberg. East Prussia was the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast.

Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Oblast Town in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia

Sovetsk, before 1946 known as Tilsit in East Prussia, is a town in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located on the south bank of the Neman River. Population: 41,705 (2010 Census); 43,224 (2002 Census); 41,881 (1989 Census).


Name and course

The river Tilsot or Tilsete is mentioned in reports of the Teutonic Knights. The Lithuanians who immigrated in the 15th and 16th century made Tilszele of it which then became its colloquial name. [2]


The source of the Tilse is located in the southern part of the former district Ragnit, 5 km from the railway station Paballen on the rail line Tilsit - Szillen - Grünheide - Insterburg - Königsberg. In a grove consisting of alders, birches and spruces near Meldienen-Patilßen several streams flow together to form the river Tilse. [2]

Chernyakhovsk Town in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia

Chernyakhovsk – known prior to 1946 by its German name of Insterburg – is a town in the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia, where it is the administrative center of Chernyakhovsky District. Located at the confluence of the Instruch and Angrapa Rivers, which unite to become the Pregolya River below Chernyakhovsk, the town had a population in 2017 of 36,423.

Königsberg capital city in Prussia

Königsberg is the name for a former German city that is now Kaliningrad, Russia. Originally a Sambian or Old Prussian city, it later belonged to the State of the Teutonic Order, the Duchy of Prussia, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany until 1945. After being largely destroyed in World War II by Allied bombing and Soviet forces and annexed by the Soviet Union thereafter, the city was renamed Kaliningrad. Few traces of the former Königsberg remain today.


It flows relatively quickly in the stony river bed in which large erratic boulders lie near Buttkuhnen. There the Tilse is already 1.5 m wide and a bridge crosses it on the road from Szillen to Kraupischken. Turning northward from here, it passes through Tilsewischken, Balandßen, Ruddecken, Podßuhnen, Pucknen, Kindschen, Jonienen, Kurschen, Schuppinnen, Woydehnen, Moritzkehmen and Tilsit-Kallkappen. On the partially rather high banks groves and meadows stretch out. Picturesque landscapes are the castle hill between Kurschen and Schuppinnen and the gorge at Kurschen. The Grauden forest was an impenetrable wilderness. In the grove of Kindschen the Tilse takes in the Liepart stream and at Kurschen the Malan stream. [2]

The Grauden was a jungle between Pregola and Neman. At its edge is the town Graudenz.


Since the Tilse flows through low-lying terrain, the adjacent lands could be well drained. The district administration Tilsit-Ragnit determined in 1931/32 to conduct it into a new bed near Woydehnen. At the same time the lower Tilse between Kurschen and Tilsit was regulated. At the Willmann hill a 20-metre-long (66 ft) bridge for the railway Stallupönen - Tilsit was built. Through Moritzkehmen and Kallkappen the river reaches the castle mill pond and passes through the Tilszele harbor into the Neman. [2]

Castle Mill Pond at Tilsit

1562 the reigning governor of Tilsit Kaspar von Nostitz [3] had the castle mill pond dammed, because, when the water volume was sufficient, Duke Albrecht of Brandenburg wanted to construct a water mill for economic reasons. [2]

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  1. Ambrassat, August: Die Provinz Ostpreußen, ein Handbuch der Heimatkunde (The province East Prussia, a handbook of local history), 1912, reprint Weidlich, Frankfurt a.M. 1978, p.144
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Heinz Kebesch: Unsere Tilszele (Our Tilszele). 8. Tilsiter Rundbrief (Tilsit Newsletter) 1978/79, p. 30 et.seq.
  3. Kaspar von Nostiz

1. ↑ a b c d e f Heinz Kebesch: Our Tilszele. 8th Tilsit Newsletter (1978/79), pp. 30 et seq 2. ↑ Kaspar von Nostitz [ edit ] External links • Tilse (GenWiki)

Coordinates: 55°05′N21°55′E / 55.083°N 21.917°E / 55.083; 21.917