The quiet, rural town of Malbork is located within the Pomeranian Voivodeship in northern Poland, around 30km southeast of Gdańsk. The town was founded in the 13th century by the Knights of the Teutonic Order and is famous for its astounding Gothic castle, one of the top tourist attractions in Poland and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Teutonic Knights were a German Catholic religious order of crusaders with considerable military power and the castle served as their headquarters for almost 150 years.
Thanks largely to intervention and restoration, the castle today looks like it did 600 years ago and almost the entire complex has been preserved. Restoration and conservation work was carried out in the 19th and early 20th centuries and also at the end of WWII with many forgotten medieval art and craft techniques being rediscovered.
Visitors to Malbork Castle can take advantage of an audio guide that utilises GPS with a set route; which if followed ensures that everything that is worth seeing is seen.
The town of Malbork grew up in the vicinity of the castle and became wealthy by collecting tolls on river traffic. Malbork later became a member of the Hanseatic League, and many Hanseatic meetings were held there.
There’s not a great deal to see in the town with the exception of the Old Town Hall, St. John’s Church, the Neo-gothic railway station, the city water tower and two city gates because the Old Town was not rebuilt following WWII, instead the bricks from its ruins were used to rebuild the oldest sections of Warsaw and Gdańsk. If you need to refuel, there are a few good restaurants in the town.
There’s plenty to and see within the region. The epicentre and capital of Pomerania is Gdańsk, northern Poland’s metropolis, which together with Gdynia and Sopot forms a conurbation called Tricity – one of the main cultural, commercial and educational centres of Poland inhabited by over 1.2 million people.
The province is well-known in Poland for its beaches, health resorts & spas; which attract tourists by the thousands each year.
Away from the beaches and miracles in red brick, you’ll discover Kashubia, a region that is steeped in tradition and even has its own language.