Biggest Castle in Europe

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The stunning architecture, rich history, and captivating tales of Europe are widely recognized. A castle stands tall and majestic among its impressive array, reigning as the undisputed monarch of fortresses.

Travel through time with us and witness the grandeur of Europe's biggest Castle.

An impressive reminder of the majesty and forcefulness of medieval times, this massive structure can be found perched upon a charming hill. 

This Castle attests to the unyielding European heritage defined by ingenuity through history, with its winding hallways adorned with luxury rooms surrounded by formidable defences.

European architecture and history are exemplified remarkably. Come and uncover the mysteries and tales of this timeless architectural wonder with us.

What is the Biggest Castle in Europe?

The biggest Castle in Europe is the Malbork Castle, in Malbork, Poland. The Teutonic Knights constructed this 13th-century masterpiece, now included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The complex is approximately 20 hectares and has a stunning amalgamation of Gothic, mediaeval, and fortress architecture. 

About 12,000 tonnes of foundation stones and 3.5 million clay by hand moulded and burnt bricks went into the building Castle, which was built on a rectangular layout with proportions of 51 by 61 metres.

Biggest Castle Europe

From north to south, the Castle's wings housed the chapel, chapter house, archives, kitchen, dining hall and offices of the great commander and treasurer of the monastery; from west to east, the Castle's wings housed the refectory, great commander's office and treasurer's office; and from east to north, the Castle's wings housed only a thick wall, and later with the added building. 

Marienburg, or the Maria Fortress, was the Teutonic Order's initial name for this stronghold.

When Zygfryd von Feuchtwangen moved the order's officials from Venice to Malbork on September 14, 1309, Malbork became the capital of the Teutonic State and the residence of the Teutonic Order's masters.

The Castle's walls are thick and fortified, with several rooms, corridors, and courtyards. Massive and historically significant, Malbork Castle is a must-see for anybody interested in history or architecture.

Brief History of Malbork Castle

The Teutonic Knights made Malbork Castle their headquarters in the year 1309, and it remained in that capacity until the beginning of the 15th century, when the order finally fell into dissolution.

This Roman Catholic German order, which originated in the Middle East, embarked on crusades around the Baltic area at various historical points.

In 1406, when the building was finally completed, the Malbork Fortress was the biggest brick fortress that had ever been built. 

The original Castle consisted of three distinct castles that were separated by a number of dry moats and towers.

History of Malbork Castle

In order to accommodate 3,000 brothers, the Castle needed to be rebuilt and eventually became the biggest fortified Gothic construction in all of Europe.

Because of its location along the Nogat River, the city was able to exercise easy access and control over the commercial ships coming in from the Baltic Sea. 

Malbork Castle was one of the royal residences in Poland when it was captured by the Polish crown in 1466 during the Thirteen Years' War between Prussia, Poland, and the Teutonic Knights.

After then, the Castle was used as the royal home of Poland and the seat of Polish institutions until 1772 when Poland was divided, and Malbork came under the control of the Germans. 

The Castle suffered damage equaling more than half its original size during World War II. Following the conclusion of the war, Poland was able to reclaim both the city of Malbork as well as the fortress.

Following a fire in 1959 that caused more damage to the Castle, reconstruction and restoration work have been continuing since 1962. The majority of the Castle has been repaired. 

The Castle's main chapel, known as The Blessed Virgin Mary Church, underwent extensive restoration work very recently.

Before its last restoration, which was finished in April 2016, it had fallen into ruin after having been renovated before World War II but then damaged in combat.

The Castle Museum (Muzeum Zamkowe) was established in 1961, and in 1965, it hosted its first amber exhibition. Malbork Castle remains the largest brick complex in Europe.

Things to Know about Visiting the Castle

Visiting Malbork Castle

The price of the ticket, which also includes an audio tour, varies depending on the season.

During the summer months (beginning May 1 and ending September 30), the price of a ticket is 47 PLN ($12 USD); however, during the winter months (beginning October 1 and ending April 30), the price is just 30 PLN ($8 USD). 

The business is open from 9 am to 8 pm during the summer months and from 9 am to 4 pm during the winter months.

Remember that in the summer there will be big lineups not only at the castle entry but also at the railway station to purchase tickets.

Getting your tickets in advance by purchasing them online might be helpful. It is recommended that visitors allow a minimum of 3.5 hours to explore the Castle and take in its many sights and sounds. 

The audio guide is an integral part of the experience since it not only provides essential background information but also serves as a navigational aid. 

Interesting Facts about the Castle

Facts Malbork Castle
  • The oldest written references to the structure identify it as a chateau and place its establishment in 1278 as the year of its first documented mention.
  • The settings in the popular movie series "Game of Thrones" drew inspiration from Malbork's Castle.
  • The scale of Malbork's walls is about double that of Mehrangarh Fort, the world's second-largest fortress.
  • The Grand Master resides in The Grand Master's Palace, which is located in the Middle Castle. In addition to the hospital and the grand commandery, the great refectory, where important events were held, is seen. In addition, a welcoming Guest Wing was included.
  • There were defensive walls on the outside of the Lower Castle.
  • The approximately 30-meter-tall and remarkably well-preserved Buttermilk Keep, the former north-eastern corner of the Lower Castle, was constructed between 1335 and 1340 and lies very close to where a railway now stands.

Wrap Up

Exploring the history and architectural splendour of Europe's largest Castle, Malbork, through its pages is an exciting adventure.

This massive stronghold is a stunning example of architectural mastery from another era, with its thick walls, elaborate embellishments, and sprawling gardens.

We can't help but be impressed by its majesty and think of all the events it has seen and the stories it has to tell as we contemplate its history. 

The Malbork Castle is an enduring symbol of the perseverance and aesthetic vision of its builders, and it has left an indelible stamp on the fabric of European history.

By exploring its halls and rooms, we felt a real connection to the Middle Ages, which made us appreciate the lasting heritage of our forefathers all the more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who lived in Malbork Castle, Poland?

The monastery's Grand Master has been recorded to have lived in Malbork Castle.

The Teutonic Order's fortified monastery in the 13th century saw extensive expansion and decoration in 1309 when the Grand Master's residence was relocated here from Venice.

Was Malbork Castle ever attacked?

Yes, Malbork Castle was attached. However, the Teutonic Knights' capital city of Marienburg (now known as Malbork) was besieged for two months, but they ultimately failed.

Is Malbork Castle worth visiting?

Poland's Malbork Castle is the top tourist attraction, with several towers, chambers, and gardens worthy of a full day's exploration. Everyone can find something interesting in the Castle's varied historical tales.

Hermillis Haden
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