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Unveiling the Magnificence of Malbork Castle: A Must-Visit Historical Gem

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Gdansk

Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 17/04/2024, 19:15

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.


Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Pomerania region in Poland, Malbork Castle stands as one of the most significant tourist attractions in the area. My first encounter with this majestic fortress occurred during a school trip many years ago. As a 15-year-old girl, I must admit that the initial experience left much to be desired. The lengthy monologue delivered by one of the guides failed to capture my interest, and I deemed Malbork Castle to be rather dull. However, a transformative journey sponsored by PROT (Pomorska Organizacja Turystyczna) entirely reshaped my perspective. Prepare to be astonished as I recount my newfound appreciation for the enchanting wonder that is Malbork Castle.

Malbork-castle
Malbork Castle is spreads along 21 hectares

A little bit of history – The story of the Malbork Castle

I arrived to Malbork Castle early afternoon on a grey, rainy day. Looking at the building from the other side of the river made me realise how huge this place was. Tall towers and walls surrounded the main area of the castle and it seemed like nothing has changed here since the 14th century.

Malbork Castle was built by teutonic knights that were brought to Poland from Germany to convert local pagan tribes to christianity. At first they were given a little bit of land, but later on they realised that this area was fertile and could bring them profits, so they incorporated more and more land and finally created their own State of Teutonic Order. They built a number of castles around Pomerania. Nowadays there are only a couple of them left and one of them is Malbork Castle, which is also the largest castle in the world by surface area.

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The former grand masters of the castle are protecting the entrance square

The chapel, the rooms and the medieval toilet

To really understand the history of the castle it’s best to visit it with a guide. Nowadays, unlike during the time when I was a child, guides are well trained to entertain the visitors as well as inform them. My guide was absolutely wonderful and I had so much fun making jokes with him. Thanks to his sense of humour I also listened to what he said more carefully.

We walked around the building, stopping in some of the rooms for a bit. There was no sun that day and the sky was really grey, so the castle was extra dark. This gave it even more character. It was easier to imagine how the knights lived here and how the life looked like at that time.

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Here you can see how the medieval kitchen looked like

My favourite part was the chapel, which is the only room in the castle that hasn’t been completely restored. There are ancient paintings on the walls and the main part is a stunning altar of St Mary with Jesus. I loved the round, very gothic chandeliers that decorate the room. I could imagine monks in dark capes walking around and gothic choirs singing Latin religious songs.

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The chapel at Malbork Castle is stunning

Another room that entertained me (and I think always entertains everyone) is the medieval toilet. When I was there for the first time there was only a hole in the floor with a crate on top of it. Now you can see two more examples. Notice what’s placed above one of the toilet seats – this is the ancient toilet paper!

I encourage you to spend at least half a day here. There are so many rooms and attractions that it’s hard to see them all only in 2 hours, or even 3. Don’t miss climbing to the view tower. Because of the weather I had to take pictures of the town covered in mist and rain, but maybe  you’ll be more lucky.

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Beautiful rooms at Malbork Castles are worth exploring
malbork-castle-staircase
Getting lost in Malbork Castle

Kids and families will have fun here, too. There is plenty of space to run around and because there are not that many exhibitions here, you can let your kids roam freely. Malbork Castle triggers imagination of people, not matter the age.

If you are want to have even more fun, go on a night tour around Malbork Castle. This is what I need to come back to Poland for!

Do you want to visit the castle? Here’s how to do it!

Address: Starościńska 1, 82-200 Malbork

Website: Malbork Castle

In the Summer, the castle is open from 9:00 until 20:00.

You can get here easily from Gdansk. A good idea is to drive. Rent a car at the airport or in the city. You can also hire a guide, or buy an organised tour.

Tickets: Prices vary depending on the season – check them here. You don’t need to hire a guide to visit the museum. Headphones with audio in different languages are available to rent.