Years 1280 – 1457
On September 14, 1309, the Grand Master of the Order Siegfried von Feuchtwangen moved his office to Malbork. The castle was promoted to the role of the capital of one of the most powerful states on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea. It soon turned out that in its current form it could not fulfill the new functions.
The expansion lasting nearly forty years transformed the conventual house into a strongly fortified High Castle. Surrounded by deep moats and several rings of defensive walls, it contained a number of representative rooms. Among others: the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary enlarged by a new presbytery and the chapel of St. Anna – burial place of great masters. The former outer bailey was also expanded, becoming a spacious and functional Middle Castle available to knights – guests from Western Europe.
In addition to living quarters, there was a Great Refectory – the largest room in the castle, covered with a beautiful palm vault, an Infirmary for the elderly and sick brothers and the Palace of the Grand Masters.
In the 14th and the first half of the 15th century, the third part of the stronghold was founded and expanded – the Low Castle, henceforth known as the Outer Castle. There are, among others, Karwan – a large armory for cannons and combat vehicles, a granary on the banks of the Nogat and a number of farm buildings (foundry, stables, brewery, etc.). One of them was the chapel of St. Lawrence, intended for the castle servants. The whole was surrounded by moats and defensive walls with numerous towers, connected to the fortifications of the city of Malbork.
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