The patient River Wisla drifts quietly under the watchful eyes of the massive brick walls that tower up and form for the western fortifications of the Malbork Castle. If you stand on the opposite bank and view this phenomenon, the castle will fill up your entire view and instantly transport you back to the 14th century.
Teutonic Order of Holy Mary in Jerusalem and the Castle:
This castle is one of the many that were built in northern Poland owing to the orders of the Teutonic Order of Holy Mary in Jerusalem, which was a knight’s order that was limited to German aristocracy. They were sent here in the year 1225 by the Pope himself in order to convert the local pagan population to the paths of Christianity.
In the year 1226, the Order received this land as a feud on the saying of the Polish Duke Konrad (Mazovia). The aim here was to protect the Poles against any attacks from the Prussians, who were pagans. Once they set foot in the land, the Teutonic Order grew quickly in terms of power and popularity.
Using all their might, the Order ended up exterminating the Prussian infestation and started threatening Poland. This continued for centuries before in the year 1525, there happened the war at Krakow where the Grand Master of the Order Albrecht Hohenzollern fell at the feet of the Polish King and swore allegiance to him. In today’s date, this Teutonic Malbork Castle is one of the largest known gothic castles that stand in the world.
Restoration and Research:
Around centuries later as well, ever since the time of the 18th century, this castle has remained one of the European fascination with medieval history. The castle is also a sign and symbol of the tendency to treat history as instruments to serve political ideologies.
From the 19th century onwards, large amount of restoration work has begun on the castle, and it has hugely contributed to the development of conservation theory and practice as well as a lot of material for research about the time that it was built in. During the process of restoration work on the castle, a lot of medieval craft and art techniques that had been long forgotten were rediscovered and brought to the forefront. The Castle had undergone a huge amount of damage during the time of World War II and the restoration work spanning across the 19th and the 20th century has helped in restoring this stunning piece of Gothic architecture to almost its original glory.
Symbol of Power:
Even today, the Malbork Castle serves as an outstanding example of cultural tradition and power. It is an important monument from the point of view of the history of the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights. This was a unique phenomenon that could be seen overall in the history of western civilization. At the same time, this castle could also be considered as a major material manifestation of the Crusades that were seen in Eastern Europe, this was followed by the forced baptisms among the Baltic folk and the eventual colonization of their tribes; and this entire piece of work had a very vital role to play when related to the way history shaped up across Europe.