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It is one of the world's largest and most historic castles - and was the headquarters of the famous Teutonic Knights.
The Teutonic Order constructed it in 34 years (1275-1309) and held it until 1457. The organization comprised German aristocrats and played a major role in the Crusades. Later, it became a powerful political and military force in Europe's Baltic region.
Combat history in brief
Over the centuries the complex has been damaged or nearly destroyed in warfare several times, only to be eventually reconstructed.
The latest combat incident occurred in 1945 when the Russians bombarded the German-occupied complex, destroying roughly 50% of it. Today, Malbork is in fine physical condition except for the cathedral.
The Teutonic Knights named their new citadel Marienburg ("Mary's Castle") in dedication to the the order's patron saint, the Virgin Mary. The name was eventually translated to Malbork.
How to pronounce
Malbork = mal-bork ("mal" rhymes with "pal" - and "bork" with "fork".)
Daytrip from Gdansk
Malbork is only about an hour by road from Gdansk, another Hillman Wonder. The train ride is even faster.
Location in Poland