Let's see how my journey in the historic and world largest Gothic and Tautenic Malbork Castle in Poland looked like.
The magic of these medieval walls leaves an unforgettable impression on visitors from all over the world, and each of us will probably see different images, shadows and views from the walls of the castle and its tower.
Malbork Castle largest gothic teutonic castle in the world is a masterpiece of late mediaeval defensive and residential architecture. Its construction began in the late 13th century (XIII), and it became a pivotal part of the Teutenic network of fortifications in Prussia.
In 1309 the Malbork Castle become the headquarters of the Grandmasters of the Teutonic Order. As the seat of power for the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, the castle became the main hub for diplomacy, as a military, economic and religious centre. For three hundred years, the castle served as a temporary residence for Polish monarchs, as well as a military base and seat for provincial governors.
After the first partition of Poland in 1772, the castle was taken over by German Prussia and repurposed to serve as a barracks and storage area. It was terribly vandalised. It only returned to its Gothic glory as a result of great restoration effort in the 19th (XIX) and 20th (XX) centuries.
The second heavy damage the fortifications sustained in World War II in 1945.
After years of reconstruction effort, Malbork Castle was inscribed into the prestigious UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES list in 1997 and became world largest gothic teutonic castle. Its most valuable assets include art, handcraft collections, its architecture and history. It is also visited by nearly one milion people from around the globe every year.
If you look on my photo of panorama of the Malbork Castle (5th from the bottom) you will see that this amazing architecture od castle is surrounded by outstanding environment, full of greenery and rever. Inside the castle all the architectural details are related to nature. At every place you can see that plant motifs are used as decoration on wooden doors, wall paintings, steel fittings, and much more.
In addition, the Gothic castle in the times of its faithfulness had stained glass windows, that beautifully introduced light and color to the rooms. Due to the age of the castle, none of the stained glass windows have survived to this day.
The walk around the castle took me nearly 3 hours. I was captivated by the cross-rib vaults in the castle chambers and the frescoes painted on the walls. Often these are biblical images with the use of plant and animals motifs.
The curiosity of the castle's history are the guests who visited this place. These include Nicolaus Copernicus, an outstanding polish astronomer who is known for discovering and proving the theory of the Earth's movement around the Sun. The next extraordinary guest was also Fryderyk Chopin, a Polish composer and pianist.
There are many interesting and unusual things in the castle collection. I was impressed by amber, which in the old days was obtained in the vicinity of the Baltic Sea. Amber is a fossil resin of organic origin, formed over 40 million years ago. The largest deposits of amber are found in the vicinity of the Gulf of Gdansk near the Baltic Sea. The wonderful creativity of nature manifests itself in amber, in its various colors, degrees of transparency, structures and colours.
I invite you to see some of these wonderful natural resources in my photos, just scroll down to see photo album.
My favorite amber is with insect inclusions.
Artists and craftsmen of different epochs tried to show the beauty of amber by combining it with various materials, but without interfering with their material.
Tree resin (same as from amber) was also used in Malbork Castle to produce seals. Wax, cinnabar and butterfat were added to the resin, and parchment tapes were glued to some of them. They served as security in letters or were hung on documents. They were also used to authenticate the most important acts created in the chancelleries of the grand masters of the Teutonic Knights.
Lets see my photos from Malbork Castle. Let me know if you like them and which is your favourite.
Malbork Castle Photo Album | Copyright © Agnes Romaniuk