Past home of The Teutonic Order
Malbork is a town in northern Poland which is popular because of the medieval Malbork Castle founded in the 13th century by the Knights of the Teutonic Order.
Largest Gothic fortress in Europe
The Teutonic Order was founded around the year 1190 in Palestine to crusade against the Muslims and pagans. In the early 14th century the Teutonic Knights moved their capital from Venice to Malbork on the Nogat River, which is now in northern Poland. The most significant trace of the their presence in the town is the imposing red brick castle from 1274 on the river bank, and it is the largest Gothic fortress in Europe.
Under continuous construction for nearly 230 years, the Malbork Castle complex is actually three castles nested in one another. A classic example of a medieval fortress, it is the world’s largest brick castle and one of the most impressive of its kind in Europe.
World War II
The castle was in the process of being restored when World War II broke out. During the war, the castle was over 50% destroyed. Restoration has been ongoing since the war. However, the main cathedral in the castle, fully restored just prior to the war and destroyed during the war, remains in its ruined state. The castle and its museum are listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
With the rise of Adolf Hitler to power in the early 1930s the Nazis began using the site for annual pilgrimages by both the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls. It was the Teutonic Castle at Marienburg, Malbork that served as the blue print for the Order Castles of the Third Reich.
Malbork Castle is encircled by defensive walls with gates and towers. The Grand Master’s palace is believed to be the top achievement of the late-Gothic style. The representative summer refectory is the most attractive chamber in the castle interiors.
Malbork castle is only 62 km from Gdansk where many high quality dental clinics are located. The easiest way to get to Malbork Castle from Gdansk is by train. From Gdansk Glowny, the main train station in Gdansk, it can take between 28 and 55 minutes to get to Malbork Castle, depending upon the type of train you choose.