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World Heritage Site

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Malbork Castle

Malbork Castle
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The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork is an architecturally influential brick castle complex built by the Teutonic Knights.

Malbork Castle was founded by the Teutonic Order after the conquest of Old Prussia. Its main purpose was to strengthen their own control of the area following the Order's 1274 suppression of the Great Prussian Uprising of the Baltic tribes.

Malbork (or Marienburg in German) was built from the late 13th century by the Knights, who controlled at that time the Baltic coast. From 1309 Malbork was the Order's headquarters.

The castle is the largest brick building in Europe, and possibly in the world. It has kept its original Medieval design.

Following major damage during World War II, Malbork Castle was extensively rebuilt and restored. The Castle is now a museum.

Map of Malbork Castle

Legend

  • Cultural

Community Reviews


Nan Germany 01.05.17

Malbork Castle by nan

I am always happy to visit a site that featured prominently in one of my high school history books. Malbork Castle (or the Marienburg in German) is one of them. The seat of the Teutonic Order it was a key driver for Germans migrating eastwards. It’s also closely tied to Prussian history and as such as part of the Gerrman nation state origin myth. The first king of Prussia (technically King in Prussia) was a high master of the Teutonic Order. Blessed by Luther he converted to Lutheranism and became a worldly ruler. In the process he also took possession of all church possessions. Finding faith seems to have its advantages.

The site itself is surprisingly large. I think you can easily spend multiple hours exploring all the ins and outs of the castle. But you will hardly be on your own. This is very popular with tourist groups and the amenities of a medieval castle (even a very large one) get strained quite quickly. Still, this certainly features with the best castles on the list.

Getting There

There are more or less hourly trains connecting Malbork to Gdansk and the rest of Poland. From the train station it’s a 15min walk to get to the castle.

I came in from Gdansk where I had spend too much time at the ticket booth of the train station and missed a train. I continued to Elblag which is a nice contrast to Gdansk. From Elblag I ventured on to Augustow for the tentative site Augustow Canal (4-5:30h bus ride). I wanted to also visit the prospective site Elblag canal, but didn’t manage due to lack of time.


Bojana Bartol, Slovenia 09.04.15

This fortress was founded by the German Teutonic Order and steadily expanded what makes it today the largest brick building in the world. This fort is in very good condition and is well worth a visit. Due to the size of the complex, however, it should be at least 2 hours to schedule a visit.


John booth New Zealand 17.01.14

Malbork Castle by John Booth

This castle must be listed for its massive size and for the millions of bricks used in its construction. I did not find the structure aesthetically pleasing.

I did however admire the frescoe of the 'Last Supper' in the Chapel. While not as large as Leonardo's in Milan, it is in much better condition.


Sharon, USA 18.08.12

Malbork is a wonderful piece of history..and has been wonderfully restored after the terrible distruction during WWll.. How sad to try to wipe out the pride of the Polish people. Our tour was very well done and we could have stayed hours more. So beautiful.


Ian Cade England 27.11.11

Malbork Castle by Ian Cade

There is something about big sprawling castles that unlocks the child in me. Malbork certainly did that, for as soon as I had traversed its draw bridge and penetrated its defensive walls I wanted to run and look down every corridor and creak open every heavy wooden door.

The castle is massive and it dominates the town of Malbork. You can see it from miles away, and the view from the train as you cross the river from the north is a hugely impressive way to enter a town.

The castle was badly bombed during the Second World War, but the restoration has been remarkable, returning the structures to their original grandeur whilst making it possible to see what has been rebuilt by looking at the patterns of the bricks. The striking interior of the chapel shows the restoration very well.

Scattered around the castle are several displays of art works and I particularly liked the gothic sculptures and the images of its use during the Nazi occupation. Its role as the former base of the Teutonic nights proved a wonderful propaganda coup for the Third Reich. I don't think I visited the entire interior as it is a very large castle, however I did really enjoy just wandering off down dead ends providing unexpected glorious views of the ramparts.

Malbork is a very impressive castle with an intriguing history and it makes a very worthwhile trip Gdansk though do try to get the express trains if possible as the regional ones were fiendishly and needlessly slow.

[Site 6: Experience 6]


Jose Gomes, Portugal 14.09.06

As happens with the majority of the other sites classified by the UNESCO in Poland, this castle has been rebuilt and you can feel easily the atmosfere of the teutonic times. It is a massive construction, with huge walls and tall towers near a river. Some parts of its interior are being restored, especially a very nice church inside, and you can find there some shops and exhibitions of Polish contemporary art.


Anders, Sweden

A place well worth visiting. History come alive within this castle, and although wrecked by the communists trying to delete the history of Europe, there is a lot saved from the times of the teutonic knights.


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Site Info

Full name: Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork

Unesco ID: 847

Inscribed: 1997

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 2   3   4  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 1997 - Inscribed 

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  • Malbork Castle

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111 community members have visited Malbork Castle.