Malbork Castle (Poland)
Pomeranian Voivodeship See list of castles in Polonia
The Malbork castle was built in Prussia by the Teutonic Order. The Order named it Marienburg, literally "Mary's Castle" by referring to the Virgin Mary, patron saint of the Order. The country that has grown around the castle was called Marienburg, but since 1945, having joined Poland is known as Malbork.
The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress, and is the largest brick castle in the Gothic style in the world. UNESCO, in December 1997, recognized the castle and its museum as World Heritage. It is one of two World Heritage Sites recognized in the region, with origins dating back to the Teutonic Order. The other is the medieval city of Toruń, founded in 1231 as the seat of Toruń castle.
The castle was founded in 1274 by the Teutonic Order, when it ruled Prussia and is located on the south bank of the river Nogat. The Order was based in Acre, but when this last Crusade stronghold fell, the Order moved its headquarters in Venice. In 1309, as a result both of the papal persecution of the Knights Templar, which Gdansk acquisition by the Teutonic Knights, the Order, under Grand Master Siegfried von Feuchtwangen, moved his seat in the Prussian part of their monastic state. The Grand Master chose Marienburg, located on the Nogat river, in the Vistula Delta, because it allowed access to the sea.