Muzeum Zamkowe w Malborku
The castle was built by the Teutonic Order, they named it Marienburg, “Mary’s Castle”. The town which grew around it was also named Marienburg, and since 1945 it is known as Malbork. The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress. It is one of two World Heritage Sites in the region with origins in the Teutonic Order. The other is Toruń, founded in 1231 as the site of the castle Toruń.
The castle was founded in 1274 by the Teutonic Order during their government of Prussia and is located on the Southeastern bank of the river Nogat. It was named Marienburg after the Virgin Mary, patron saint of the Order.
The castle was expanded several times to host the growing number of Knights, and eventually became the largest fortified Gothic building in Europe. It consists of three separate castles – the High, Middle and Lower Castles, separated by multiple dry moats and towers. The castle once housed approximately 3,000 brothers in arms, and the outermost castle walls enclose 52 acres (21 ha), four times larger than the enclosed space of Windsor Castle.
During WWII, Nazis began using the site for annual pilgrimages for the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls. Malbork served as the blue print for the Order Castles of the Third Reich.
World War II fighting destroyed more than half of the castle. At the conclusion of World War II, the castle, together with the surrounding city, became part of Poland. It has since been mostly rebuilt, with restoration ongoing since 1962. However, the main cathedral in the castle, fully restored just before the war, is still in in ruins.
1. This says: 300m from the Crusader Castle.
2. Appraoching Malbork – view from the car.
3. As you cross the bridge, this is the view you have of Malbork.
4. Tower you pass as you approach Malbork.
5. Close-up of the Baszta (tower) close to the castle.
6. Castle entrance.
7. Side view of Malbork – the castle is under construction in some areas.
8. Beside the front entrance of the castle.
9. Another front picture of the castle.
10. Close-up of entrance.
11. Inside the castle.
12. Close-up of castle detail.
13. Museum sign.
15. Interesting mini door – I am not sure what purpose it served or if it was just decorative.
16. Castle courtyard.
17. Knight statues.
18. View from the bridge.
20. Crossing into the castle – there were not as many tour groups as it was a Monday.
21. Side garden area near the oldest part of the castle.
22. These are the original windows and the oldest part of the castle.
23. Notice the damage from WWII along the walls.
24. Bell inside the tomb area of St. Anne’s Chapel.
25. Crusader tombs inside the Chapel.
26. Information about who is buried here inside the Chapel.
27. Beautiful stained glass window.
28. Lovely wall carvings.
30. Garden area.
31. Garden area – a different angle.
32. Back in the courtyard.
35. Picture of damage to the castle during WWII.
36. Coin making.
37. Walkway in courtyard.
38. Stained glass window.
39. View from the second floor walkway onto the courtyard.
42. Faded art in the walkway arch ceiling.
43. This gargoyle indicated the distance to the toilets, the knights counted the 6 tips along the wings and it would tell them the lavatory area was 60m away.
44. Lavatory pit.
45. Information about the latrine system used by the knights.
47. One of the oldest doors in the castle.
48. Sitting beside the beautiful stained glass window.
49. Bird on top of the small building inside the courtyard.
50. Gate area.
52. Gate weights.
53. Over view of the castle.
54. In the courtyard before leaving. It was extremely hot that day and there was no relief inside the castle. Our guide explained that many people make the mistake of thinking it will be cooler inside the castle but it’s not at all – it’s just as hot as outside. The walls seem to trap the heat.
55. Close-up of knight statues.
56. Wall carving.
57. Tower top.
58. Working on the castle grounds.