Trakehnen Bumper Sticker
The village of Trakehnen in East Prussia, named after the old Prussian word trakis, meaning "large bog". In 1731 King Frederick William I of Prussia had the marshy territory of the Pissa River drained to establish the famous warmblood Trakehner horse breed stable (Königliches Stutamt Trakehnen) north west of the region. Intended for the supplying to the Prussian Army cavalry, the stud farm at the time of its opening in 1732 had about 11,000 horses standing on an area of 25 square kilometres. The King however became dissatisfied with poor efficiency of the stud farm and in 1739 granted it to his son, crown prince Frederick II of Prussia. Upon Frederick's death in 1786, it was taken over by the Prussian state and renamed Königlich Preußisches Hauptgestüt Trakehnen. In professional hands, the stud and the village of Trakehnen greatly prospered. From 1911 it was the site of an annual cross-country race, named in the memory of Colmar von der Goltz in 1931. Until 1945 Trakehnen was part of the Stallupönen district in the East Prussian Regierungsbezirk Gumbinnen. After the USSR occupied the entire eastern Germany at the end of WW2 the province of East Prussia was later annexed between the USSR and newly established communist Poland. Trakehnen was renamed to Yasnaya Polyana (clear glade). This made Russian name has a similar reference to the land, as Polje means "field" or "glade". The land was made forbidden to all people outside of the USSR for fifty years and information about it was made non-existent. After the collapse of the USSR, some ethnic Germans from Russia and Kazakstan were resettled to the present day Trakehnen area. It was unfortunately not maintained as a stable, although the grounds do today have a museum for the Trakehner horse breed. Joint Russian and German cultural initiatives have brought Trakehner horses back to nearby areas.