At first, how Lithuania is associated with Teutonic Order? The answer is simple – from 13th to 15th century Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Teutonic Order was a biggest enemy, having their “front line” near Nemunas River and fighting for land and religion.
True story, based on medieval chronicles tells that at first half of 14th century Teutonic Order had a campaign against Great Duchy of Lithuania and entered the region of Samogitia (Lith. Zemaitija). They burned some wooden castles and took captives. One of them was still child, Alfas, he was presented to Malbork castle and was learned to German culture, language to work as a servant. It is said, that he almost forgot his roots and his parents, who were killed at battle.
Later Alfas was taken to look after prisoners in Malbork castle. A few decades later in another campaign (1361-1362), Lithuanian Duke Kestutis was caught by crusaders, they took him to Malbork castle, as he was one of two persons to organize resistance against Teutonic Order (other was Duke Algirdas, brother of Kestutis, but he was more responsible for intervention into Slavic Russian lands).
Alfas and Kestutis met each other near prison cell; Duke Kestutis got to know his Lithuanian roots and helped him to remember about his past (it is still discussed why crusaders gave possibility for Alfas to look after Kestutis, maybe they forgot his roots?) At escape story the most important thing was about prison cell. Duke Kestutis started to remove bricks from cell’s ground, as it was not so solid (split), and Alfas took brick after brick secretly to put somewhere outside. Ground place with removed bricks was always hidden by such items as carpet, table. Later, at one night, Alfas organized an escape with prepared horses, with clothes of crusaders to put on and some planned places to hide and sleep. At first Duke Kestutis run to Poles land, to his relatives, later – back to Trakai.
Kestutis got back to his Duchy after half year of imprisonment, but later (in 1382) history tells that he was killed at castle of Krevo (Belarus nowadays). Murder was organized by upcoming King of Poland and Great Duke of Lithuania Jogaila (he was Lithuanian as well, nephew of Kestutis). Conflict between them was due to shared rule of country and one treaty that was made without Kestutis agreement.
Teutonic Order conquered this part of territory at end of 13th century and started to build big fortress, that later was called as capital of this Order, that was a home of “givers of Christianity and Holy Cross”.
Talking about history, there are a few opinions about work of Teutonic Order. Firstly, Christianized part of Europe was thinking that Christianity brings education, true religion, honor and so on – actually just good, positive things.
Other side, Christianity expanded during the wars, intervention to other nations, crusades. Firstly, crusades were made to Islam land, Jerusalem, later, after building Malbork castle, to Baltic tribes. In some ways there are evidence that Teutonic order just wanted to grab some lands and valuables, but officially it was declared as “spread of Christianity”.
On the reverse side of a FOTO/VIDEO sticker there is written - what a surprise - IN ENGLISH hehe:
"Please, stick it to a visible spot on your clothes".
Does it mean where? :-))) Any ideas?
I didn't find any suitable place on my clothes and they asked me a few times about the sign but when I replied that I had it they didn't want me to show it.
Btw I've heard German language there, no English.
Hmm... if you want to take pictures/movies you are obliged to buy a special sticker (look at my picture).
WHERE to buy it?
- at the ticket office (KASA) - no information about it there (???)
- at the Museum Shop (Sklep Muzealny) located inside the Castle Museum: in the courtyard of the Middle Castle.
HOW MUCH is it?
10 PLN (= Polish zloty)
Check up to-date (real for tourists) daily courses in various cities in Poland:
"kupno" = buying, purchase
"sprzedaz" = sale
"Kursy srednie" = average course.
Currency converters online:
Look at the reverse side of your ticket. There is a scgematic (NOT detailed) map of the castle... in Polish only (why???).
So, my translation:
A - ZAMEK WYSOKI = The High Castle
B - ZAMEK SREDNI = The Middle Castle
C - PRZEDZAMCZE = The Lower Castle
1 - Kasa biletowa = Ticket Office
2 - Wejscie do zamku = The entrance to the castle
3 - Kawiarnia = Cafe
4 - Hotel i restauracja = Hotel and restaurant (it's simple :-)
5 - Karwan - Osrodek Konferencyjny = Karwan - Conference center (Convention Center ??)
6 - Parkingi = Parking lots.
Favorite thing: I paid 22.00 PLN (tax included, as always in Poland) for my ticket which entitled me to visit the Castle Museum grounds, 20 permanent expositions and additional 2 temporary that time + the 3-hour tour with Polish speaking guide.
Northeast of the entrance there is this small building as on my picture. It's KASA = ticket office. So, don't forget to find it and buy your tickets before you go inside the castle. Btw you are NOT allowed to enter the castle without a guide (Polish speaking guide is included in the price of your ticket).
More in English, German and Polish:
Fondest memory: .
THE WORLD'S BIGGEST MEDIEVAL CASTLE!
From the info table (there are in Polish and German as well) in the ticket office:
The castle grounds open daily: 9.00 am - 8.00 pm.
Rooms and Exhibitions open daily: 9.00 am - 7.00 pm except for MONDAYS!!!
Last admission 7.30 pm.
The ticket office is opened: 8.30 am - 7.30 pm.
Note: The Castle Museum is closed on Mondays and certain public holidays. At these times only the castle grounds and selected rooms are open to visitors.
Adult rate: 22.00 PLN
School children and students: 13.00 PLN
Children under 7yo: FREE
The price include a polish speaking guide service.
English, French, German and Russian speaking guide service: 126.00 PLN.
The Museum cannot assure the English, French, German, Russian speaking guide service available, unless the prebooking has been made.
Group discounts (pre-booking required):
Adult: 18.50 PLN
School children and students: 9.50
The Castle tour lenght - approx. 3 hours. Sightseeing with guides only - hmmm... not at all, you must enter the entrance gate with your guide but inside you are allowed to go your own way hehe.
Tourist Information Centre
ul. Piastowska 15
tel. (+48 55) 272 92 46 (high season)
MAP of Malbork:
A panoramic view of the Castle from the west is the best seen from the road just across the River Nogat.
You can see all 3 main parts of the huge castle, from the left (enlarge the picture): the Lower Castle (outside the Castle Museum and outside the preserved walls), the Middle Castle and the High Castle.
If you travel with kids notice that there are not many attractions for them inside and around the castle. Hmm... except ice-creams, guys wearing Teutonic Knight's costumes, some gifts in numerous gift stores.
Watch your kids - it's easy to get lost inside the castle even for adults hehe.
But look at the happy young visitor on my picture :-))).
There is a sign just next to the ticket office (KASA) but it's in Polish only (why? :-): PUNKT ZBIORKI TURYSTOW INDYWIDUALNYCH = meeting point of individual tourists.
When I visited Malbork (late June) the Polish speaking guides started sightseeing tours at this point every 30 min.: i.e. 12.00, 12.30, 13.00 etc. Hmm... my guide was a few minutes late (local custom? :-).
Entrance gate to the castle is located at the north end of the castle. It's just next to the small parking (for passenger cars only). The larger parking lots are a little farer of the castle including the big one (for buses as well) located across a river. There is the bridge for pedastrians going to the castle from this parking.
When you visit this big castle and see towers your imagination is working:
Once upon a time in a land called Marlbork, there lived a beautiful Princess. None was so fair or as lovely as she. Because of this, her father, the King, placed her in a tower. A tower so vast that none could ever hope to topple it...
Favorite thing: I could try and describe it all, but it wouldn't do it justice, and the main feature of the place is the scale.