Castles of the Teutonic Order in Chełmno and Michałów Land
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Castles of the Teutonic Order in Chełmno and Michałów Land

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Castles of the Teutonic Order in Chełmno and Michałów Land

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Castles of the Teutonic Order in Chełmno and Michałów Land

Teutonic Order’s castles are among the most important and the most recognisable historical monuments of medieval military architecture in Pomerania. The oldest such castles can be found in Chełmno Land and in Michałów Land – regions from which Teutonic Order’s expansion had started.

The Teutonic Order came to these regions in 1228 as a result of the endowment (1222), made by Konrad I of Masovia, of the Chełmno Land to the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem. The first brick castles came into being in Toruń, Pokrzywna, Bierzgłowo, and Rogoźno. They were built on an irregular plan. Later on, the excellently fortified castles in Grudziądz, Kowalewo, Radzyń Chełmiński, Papowo Biskupie, Golub, Lipienek, and Nieszawa were built, on a regular plan. To the castles listed above, also the castle in Brodnica was added, as the Michałów Land was pledged by Dukes of Masovia to the grand master; finally, in 1317, it was incorporated to the State of Teutonic Order.

Ordensburgs have survived to our times in varying condition. The best preserved castle is located in Radzyń Chełmiński. Traces of former glory are also visible in the case of castles in Toruń, Brodnica, Papowo Biskupie, or Rogoźno, even if they have partially declined into ruin. Castles in Golub and Bierzgłowo have been to a significant extent converted. Fragments of the walls, and single towers or gateways have remained of the strongholds in Grudziądz, Kowalewo, and Pokrzywna. In the case of castles in Nieszawa and Lipienek, the only traces that have survived are earthen mounds with very few wall relics.

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