Malbork Castle - History and Facts | History Hit

Malbork Castle

Malbork, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Malbork Castle in northern Poland was the medieval fortified castle of the Teutonic Knights.

Peta Stamper

02 Jul 2021

About Malbork Castle

Malbork Castle (Zamek w Malborku), known in Germany as the Marienburg, is a medieval fortified castle complex enclosed within thick walls. Including a vast palace, a monastery, three castles and hundreds of other buildings – mostly homes – Malbork Castle was built in the 13th century by the invading Teutonic Knights.

Malbork Castle history

In 1309, Malbork Castle became the headquarters of the Teutonic Knights, a role which it fulfilled until the demise of the order in the early 15th century. This German Roman Catholic order, who were founded in the Middle East, went on crusades throughout the Baltic region. At the time construction finished in 1406, Malbork Castle was the world’s largest brick castle.

Consisting of three separate castles divided by several dry moats and towers, the castle had to be expanded to house 3,000 brothers, soon becoming the largest fortified Gothic building in Europe. The position along the River Nogat allowed easy access and control over trading ships arriving from the Baltic Sea.

In 1466, during the Thirteen Years’ War between Prussia, Poland and the Teutonic Knights, Malbork Castle became one of the homes of the Polish monarchy. Afterwards, the castle became the Polish royal residence and seat of Polish institutions until 1772 when Poland was partitioned and Malbork fell under German rule.

During the World War Two, more than half of the castle was destroyed. After 1945 the city of Malbork and the castle once again became part of Poland.

Malbork Castle today

Today, the restored Malbork Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a museum (opened in 1961) displaying medieval works, weaponry and historic displays including exploring the history of the Teutonic Knights. Touring this beautiful redbrick building with its magnificent rooms is a great day trip from Gdansk. There is also a great viewing point across the river for you to capture the castle in its full glory.

Getting to Malbork Castle

On the banks of the Nogat, Malbork Castle is easily reached via public transport or on foot. The number 4 bus stops across the river at Walowa and the train station is only a 17 minute walk from the castle.

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