200 Years of Malbork Castle Conservation. 1817–2017
The exhibition presents the history of the reconstruction and conservation works on Malbork’s walls, interiors and furnishings. On 3 August 1817, Prussian King Frederick William III officially initiated the first restoration of the castle. Its medieval walls, after years of destruction and numerous transformations, were rebuilt and restored. The first stage of restoration was completed in the period of Romanticism, around 1850. The designs for the Palace of the Grand Masters and the west wing of the Middle Castle were prepared by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, while the works were supervised by Carl August Gersdorff.
In 1882, the second restoration was initiated, known as scientific or historical restoration. It was led by Conrad Steinbrecht, a prominent German conservator and architect, for 40 years of his professional life. Thanks to his efforts, the former Gothic architecture and interior design was restored and furnished with furniture, sculptures and artistic crafts, including large valuable collections of militaria and numismatic items. The castle survived as a museum and an example of 19th-century conservation efforts until the Second World War, when it was heavily damaged as a result of a siege lasting several weeks. After the castle was returned to Poland in 1945, rubble was removed and conservation of the historic walls began. From 1961, when the Castle Museum was established, extensive construction and conservation works were carried out for many years, supervised by Maciej Kilarski, which allowed to restore the former glory to the castle. In contemporary times it has been possible to restore the interior of the Great Refectory, complete the reconstruction project of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the High Castle and restore the mosaic figure of the Madonna and Child. The exhibition mainly consists of reproductions of old photographs, as well as engravings and plans from the 19th and 20th centuries.
One of the noteworthy exhibits is the 1903 plaster cast of the Madonna’s head from a large, eight-metre-high mosaic-covered figure that stood in the eastern niche of St Mary’s Church until 1945, and was re-created in 2016. The north wall features a cardboard panel from 1911 with a 1:1 scale design of a wall painting intended for the Chapel of St Anne, by the eminent painter and stained glass artist Hermann Schaper. Another exhibit worth mentioning is the wooden model of the castle complex, made in the 1930s. It depicts Malbork around the middle of the 15th century, with all its residential and farm buildings and fortification system.
Buy tickets online
- Mon - Sun:9:00 - 16:00
- Tue - Sun:9:00 - 15:00
- +48 55 647 08 00
- +48 55 647 09 02
- +48 55 647 09 78