Medieval castle in Malbork

Malbork castle or Gdansk castle?

Gdansk castle

Before coming to Gdansk, you may have heard about Gdansk castle. There used to be a castle in Gdansk, indeed, but it was demolished in XVth century, shortly after Teutonic Knight surrendered and left the town. Now the only remains of the castle in Gdansk is the brick wall by Motlawa river, in Wartka Street.

Malbork Castle

So maybe what you mistook for Gdansk Castle, is Teutonic Knights’ medieval castle in Malbork, 60 kilometres from Gdansk? If you come to Gdansk by train from the south of Poland, look to the left just after you pass Malbork. Teutonic Knight’s medieval Malbork Castle, the gem of the medieval architecture will be clearly visible there.

Malbork castle near Gdansk
Malbork castle near Gdansk

 

Invited to Poland in 1228, Teutonic Knights rose in power in northern Poland during the so-called “Christianization” of pagan tribes. In 1280, they started to build a Malbork Castle, which after a couple of phases was finally finished in XVth century. The Castle in Malbork became a capital city of Teutonic Knights’ lands and the headquarters of the grandmasters. Poland took over the castle in 1457, and until 1772 it served as a kings’ residence. Since then the castle was being devastated, and although it underwent reconstructions before the Second World War, the original shape was never restored.

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During the liberation of Malbork in 1945, the castle was part of the resistance line of German soldiers. It resulted in about 50% destruction, and the authorities considered demolishing the remains. Instead, the process of reconstruction started, that lasts until today. In 1997 Teutonic Knight’s medieval Malbork Castle was placed on UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Siege of Malbork

Just after the Battle of Grunwald, the castle in Malbork was besieged by Polish king Wladyslaw Jagiello, but it didn’t surrender. Since 2000, sieges take place every year, in the middle of July. 3 days’ event is full of performances and presentations, not only for kids. Tickets are usually sold out before the siege, so make sure you buy yours early enough.

Malbork Castle Museum

The museum offers a visit to most the castle sites, including the High Castle, the Middle Castle, and the Grand Masters’ Palace.

Practical Information

How to get there

There are frequent trains from Gdansk. The trip should take around 40 minutes, ticket price starts from 13,5 PLN depending on the train. From the railway station, you need to walk for about 15 minutes to the castle.

If you choose to get there by car, be aware that it might be difficult to find a car park close to the Malbork Castle, and you may need to pay for it (the rates start from 1 PLN/hour).

Malbork Castle museum opening hours

1 May-30 September9.00-19.00*
1 October – 30 April10.00-15.00
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*there is also a Light&Sound performance in the evening Saturday-Wednesday (in Polish)

Opening hours may be different on national holidays. Please consult the museum’s website.

Ticket price

Regular ticket: 47 PLN in the summer season, 45 PLN in the winter season. Guide or audio guide is included in the ticket price.

Light&Sound – 22 PLN

Guides

In July and August, guided tours start at

  • 11.00 – in German
  • 11.30 – in English
  • 12. 00 – in Russian

You should reserve about 3-4 hours for the visit.

Night tours

The museum offers night tours in the summer period, at 20.45. Tours in foreign languages are available in July and August on Fridays.

Ticket price is 40 PLN for foreign language guide. You should purchase tickets before 20.45.

In the winter period to book night tours, you should contact the museum.

 

Around Gdansk

If you have more time, consider visiting other places near Gdansk like:

Stutthof Nazi Camp

Hel Peninsula 

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