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Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

The Malbork castle is the mightiest fortress of medieval Europe. Its construction begun in the 13th century.  But major transformation begun in early 14th century, when the Grand Master Siegfried von Feuchtwangen moved his office to Malbork.  The castle was promoted to the status of being the capital of one of the most powerful states on the southern coast of the Baltic.

The old structure apparently could not fulfil its new functions in its current form.  It took almost half a century to transform a convent house into a strongly fortified High Castle. Surrounded by deep moats and several rings of defensive walls, it housed several representative rooms. Among these are: the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, enlarged by a new chancel, and St. Ann’s chapel beneath it – the burial site for the Grand Masters. The old settlement outside the outer walls was also expanded, becoming a spacious and functional Middle Castle available to knights – guests from Western Europe.

Apart from living quarters, the Grand Refectory – the largest hall in the castle – was also located here. It was topped with a beautiful fan vault. There was also an Infirmary for the older and sicker brothers, as well as the Palace of the Grand Masters.

In the 14th and first half of the 15th century, a third part of the stronghold was established and expanded respectively – the Low Castle, known later as the Outer Castle. Among other buildings, the Karwan – a large armory for cannons and war carts, a granary on the shore of the Nogat river, as well as a number of outbuildings (a founder’s workshop, the stables, brewery, etc.) were all located there. St. Lawrence’s chapel, intended for the castle’s servants, is located next to one of them. The whole complex was surrounded by moats and defensive walls with countless towers, connected with the fortifications of the city of Malbork.

The best spot to admire the enormous size of the castle is from the Nogat River side.

The Malbork Castle Museum houses numerous exhibitions, to name just a few militaria, amber, china and glass art, furniture and more to discover.  One of the highlight of the Malbork Casltle are son et lumière spectacles staged in the evening in the castle courtyards as well as night tours of the castle interiors. The castle chambers often host music concerts and medieval style banquets. In recent years, a great historical event entitled The Siege of Malbork is organized during the last weekend of July.

The Malbork Castle is a UNESCO Heritage Monument and member of the Polish Gothic Castles Association that represents historical buildings located in eight other cities of the region.

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