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Malbork

Malbork – the Polish name, in German it sounds like Marienburg – was founded in 1276 as the castle of the Teutonic Knight’s Order. The castle, an area of ​​about 20 hectares, is the largest Gothic castle in Europe. Today, it is not only of interest to lovers of history and castle architecture, but also simply amazes with its beauty even the most tourists who are immune to the beauty.

In 1997, Malbork Castle was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is a favorite destination for tourists from all over Europe.
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From the history of the castle
The very first building of the castle was a simple commentary with a brick wall around it. And after the residence of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order moved to the castle in 1308, Marienburg began to be rebuilt, rebuilt and decorated. By the 15th century the castle became a powerful fortified point of the crusaders and, perhaps, an exemplary fortification of that time: four lines of defense, deep defensive ditches, internal wells, cellars and cellars for storing food and valuables contributed to the life support of a large garrison.

For all that, the inhabitants of the castle led a rather ascetic, monastic lifestyle. Entrance to the young ladies was ordered here, although knights sometimes circumvented the prohibitions.

The architectural complex of the castle, built and refitted by the crusaders, began to decline during Polish rule. The maintenance in proper condition of such a huge defensive structure was associated with huge expenses, for the covering of which there was constantly not enough money. This gave rise to problems whose solution was found only now.

Once the castle needed a cook, and for permission to take a woman to work, according to established rules, they turned to the Pope himself in Rome. The pontiff gave the green light on the condition that she be a lady no younger than 60 years old. Thinking, the knights invited three girls to the castle, who turned 20.

Interiors and architecture
According to their purpose, the castle’s premises were divided into three categories: the High Castle (the abode of the monastic knights), the Middle Castle (rooms for officials and ceremonial halls for receiving guests) and the Low Castle (stables, bakeries, workshops and other support services). In the same century, after the end of the thirteen-year war of the crusaders with Poland, the castle was turned into one of the residences of the Polish kings. The end of the 19th century Malbork was marked by reconstruction in order to give it a medieval look (it is interesting that money was collected using targeted lotteries), and the middle of the 20th century was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War.

Incidentally, on May 1, 1933, a Nazi flag was hoisted over Malbork Castle, and subsequently often celebrations were held for senior Nazis.

After the war, the castle was restored, and now it stands in all its glory on the banks of the Nogat River, reflecting in it with all its towers, walls and galleries, making an indelible impression on tourists. Many people have a question: if even today the castle is so impressive in its size and austere beauty, what kind of impression did it make on people in the Middle Ages?

Museum in Malbork
Since 1960, a museum has been operating in the premises of the castle, here you can get acquainted with several exhibits, the most extensive of which tells about the history of the castle. A collection of amber products and a collection of weapons and armor from various historical periods also attract visitors. Often in the halls of the castle concerts and theatrical performances are held, as well as various ceremonial events, the surroundings have the best of it.

Silhouettes of the castle make an unforgettable impression at night, when they are highlighted by searchlights during knightly tournaments and performances of historical dramatizations, accompanied by sound effects. After such events night guided tours of the castle are arranged for groups.
Malbork Castle
Opening hours and visit
As usual, the castle can be visited all year round: it is open for visits from 9:00 to 17:00 from May 1 to September 30 and from 9:00 to 15:00 from October 1 to April 30.

For tourists, the castle has a good restaurant in which there can be a lot of people, and several shops that sell souvenirs, the most interesting of which is a bag with samples of medieval money.

How to get there
Malbork is located just 80 km from the border with the Kaliningrad region, so getting here from Kaliningrad with a bus tour is easy and simple. Trail 75 leads to the castle from Gdansk, about 50 km away.

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