Marienburg Castle in Malbork, Poland

Malbork                                               Malbork is a town in northern Poland in the Żuławy region (Vistula delta), with 38,478 inhabitants. Situated in the Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999, it is the capital of Malbork County. Founded in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights, the town is noted for its Gothic Malbork Castle.

Malbork City HallMalbork

Malbork StreetMalbork

Malbork Castle (Marienburg Castle); The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork is the largest castle in the world by surface area, and the largest brick building in Europe. It was built in Prussia by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic religious order of crusaders, in a form of an Ordensburg fortress. The Order named it Marienburg (Mary’s Castle). The town which grew around it was also named Marienburg.

Marienburg Castle

The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress and, on its completion in 1406, was the world’s largest brick castle. UNESCO designated the “Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork” and its Museum as the World Heritage Site in December 1997. It is one of two World Heritage Sites in the region with origins in the Teutonic Order. The other is the “Medieval Town of Toruń”, founded in 1231 as the site of the castle Thorn (Toruń).

Chapel of Malnork CastleChapel of Malnork Castle Chapel of Malnork Castle

Souvenir shops of the Castle Souvenir shop of the CastleSouvenir shops of the Castle

Under continuous construction for nearly 230 years, the 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. 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.

A Castle Old And Grey

I never see a castle
That is gaunt and grey and grim,
But my thoughts at once go backward
To the past so misty and dim.

To the time when tower and turret,
Kept watch far over the vale;
And along the sounding draw-bridge
Rode knights in their suits of mail.

I see the sunshine glancing
On helmet, pennon, and spear;
And hear from the depth of the forest,
A bugle calling clear.

I fill the hall with visions
Of ladies rich in their bloom;
And stately knights in armour,
And waving with feather and plume.

If I climb the broken stairway,
Where the stone is smooth and fine,
I hear a rustle and whisper,
And footsteps in front of mine.

Whisper of youth and maiden,
As they met in the long ago;
His deep and strong and manly,
Hers tender and sweet and low.

But maiden and youth have vanished,
Away from the scene and the light;
Gone, too, the high-born lady,
And the plumed and armoured knight.

Only the grey old castle,
Of crumbling stone and lime,
Still stands to speak of the ages,
And the iron footsteps of Time.

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