Malbork Castle Is The Largest In The World
Malbork Castle located in the town of Malbork in northern Poland is the largest castle in the world in terms of surface area. It was one of the many such castles built by the Teutonic Knights and follows the design of an Ordensburg fortress. This type of Ordensburg fortress was used by various germanic holy orders during the middle ages and are commonly found in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Te construction of the Malbork Castle began back in 1275 and since 1309 it served as the capital and central headquarters for the Teutonic Order of Holy Mary in Jerusalem.The castle later fell into disuse and was only restored during the early 20th century. The Teutons built it so as to strengthen their control over the region and protect it from the frequent attacks coming from the pagan Prussians and Baltic tribes. The only records that exist about its construction are found in the Order’s own administrative records.
It covers an area of 143,591 square meters, or about 52 acres, or about four times larger than Windsor Castle in England. As time went on, the castle expanded its area and building, in order to make room for more and more Knights which reached some 3,000 strong at some point. The whole fortress is actually comprised of three castles – the High Castle, the Middle Castle, and the Lower Castle, obviously. It was also built near the Nogat River which facilitated easy trade with the Baltic Sea and the Vistula River; the largest in Poland.
In 1410, Malbork Castle was besieged after the Order suffered a defeat at the Battle of Grunwald against the Kingdom of Poland. In 1456, the Order abandoned the castle since they could no longer afford to manage it. One year later, King Casimir IV Jagellon of Poland took it over.
During WWII, Malbork Castle suffered extensive damage and was left in ruins. Since then, however, it went through several reconstruction projects. After a fire in 1959, the castle began being reconstructed. Today, the largest castle in the world is a well preserved and prime example of Gothic medieval architecture. It acts as a museum and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
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