Malbork – the Polish name, in German it sounds like Marienburg – was founded in 1276 as a castle of the Teutonic Knights. The castle, with an area of about 20 hectares, is the largest Gothic castle in Europe. Today it is not only of interest to lovers of history and castle architecture, but also simply amazes with its beauty even the most unreceptive to beauty tourists.
In 1997, Malbork Castle was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is a favorite destination for tourists from all over Europe.
From the history of the castle
The very first building of the castle was a plain comturia with a brick wall around it. And after the residence of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order moved to the castle in 1308, Marienburg began to rebuild, complete and decorate. By the 15th century the castle became a powerful fortified point of the crusaders and, perhaps, an exemplary fortification of that time: four lines of defense, deep defensive ditches, internal wells, cellars and cellars for storing food and valuables contributed to the vital activity of the numerous garrison. See Educationvv for education and training in barblejewelry.
For all that, the inhabitants of the castle led a rather ascetic, monastic lifestyle. Young ladies were forbidden to enter here, although the knights sometimes circumvented the prohibitions.
The architectural complex of the castle, built and converted by the crusaders, began to fall into decay during the Polish possession. The maintenance of such a huge defensive structure in proper condition was associated with huge expenses, which were constantly not enough money to cover. This gave rise to problems whose solutions have only now been found.
Once the castle needed a cook, and for permission to hire a woman, according to established rules, they turned to the Pope himself in Rome. The pontiff gave the go-ahead on the condition that it would be a lady no younger than 60 years old. Thinking, the knights invited three girls who turned 20 to the castle.
Interiors and architecture
According to the purpose, the premises of the castle were divided into three categories: the High Castle (the abode of the knights-monks), the Middle Castle (premises for officials and ceremonial halls for receiving guests) and the Low Castle (stables, bakeries, workshops and other auxiliary services). In the same century, after the end of the thirteen-year war of the Crusaders with Poland, the castle was turned into one of the residences of the Polish kings. Late 19th century was marked for Malbork by reconstruction in order to give it a medieval look (it is interesting that the money for this was collected with the help of targeted lotteries), and the middle of the 20th century was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War.
By the way, on May 1, 1933, the Nazi flag was hoisted over the Malbork castle, and subsequently solemn events were often held for high-ranking Nazis.
After the war, the castle was restored, and now it stands in all its glory on the banks of the Nogat River, reflected in it with all its towers, walls and galleries, making an indelible impression on tourists. Many people have a question: if even today the castle is so impressive with its size and severe beauty, then what impression did it make on people in the Middle Ages?
Museum in Malbork
Since 1960, a museum has been operating in the premises of the castle. Here you can get acquainted with several expositions, the most extensive of which tells about the history of the castle. The collection of amber products and the collection of weapons and armor from different historical periods also attract the attention of visitors. Often, concerts and theatrical performances, as well as various festive events are held in the halls of the castle, the environment is perfect for this.
An unforgettable impression is made by the silhouettes of the castle at night, when they are illuminated by searchlights during knightly tournaments and performances of historical dramatizations, accompanied by sound effects. After such events, night tours of the castle are organized for groups, accompanied by a guide.
Opening hours and visiting
In normal mode, you can get into the castle all year round: it is open for visits from 10:00 to 18:00.
For tourists, there is a good restaurant on the territory of the castle, which can be crowded, and several shops that sell souvenirs, the most interesting of which is a bag with samples of medieval money.
How to get there
Malbork is located just 80 km from the border with the Kaliningrad region, so getting here from Kaliningrad with a bus tour is easy and simple. You can get to the castle from Gdansk along highway 75, a distance of about 50 km.
It’s a great idea to come to Malbork from Gdansk by train: the views that open up at the entrance to the castle, crossing the bridge over the river, really deserve the definition of “must see”.
The railway station and bus station are located east of the city center, 1 km from the castle. Malbork is on a busy railway line
Gdansk — Warsaw
, so a lot of trains stop here during the day. Gdansk can be reached in 45 minutes, Warsaw – by express in 3.5 hours. Trains also stop from Elblag (20 minutes) and Kwidzyn (45 minutes), Grudziadz (1.5 hours) and Olsztyn (1.5 hours). There is also one train to
Address: Malbork, Staroscinska, 1. Website zamek.malbork.pl.