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Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork - Zabytek.pl

Address
Malbork, Starościńska 1

Location
woj. pomorskie, pow. malborski, gm. Malbork-gmina miejska

The property was inscribed on the List by World Heritage Committee in 1997.   Brief synthesis Malbork Castle is located in the north of Poland, on the east bank of the River Nogat. It is the most complete and elaborate example of a Gothic brick-built castle complex in the characteristic and unique style of the Teutonic Order. The style exemplified here evolved independently from those which prevailed in contemporary castles in western Europe and the Near East. This spectacular fortress bears witness to the phenomenon of the Teutonic Order state in Prussia. The state was founded in the 13th century by German communities of military monks who carried out crusades against the pagan Prussians and Lithuanians living on the south Baltic coast, as well as against the Christian Kingdom of Poland. It reached its greatest influence in the 14th century. The castle-convent embodies the drama of late medieval Christianity, straining between extremes of sanctity and violence.

Since the second half of the 18th century Malbork Castle has provided one of the major sources of fascination with European medieval history and its material remains. Its recent past also illustrates the tendency to treat history and its monuments as instruments in the service of political ideologies.

From the 19th century to the present day Malbork Castle has been the subject of restoration work that has made an exceptional contribution to the development of research and conservation theory and practice in this part of the world. During the course of this work many forgotten medieval art and craft techniques have been rediscovered. Extensive conservation works were carried out in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Following the severe damage it incurred in the final stage of the Second World War, the castle was restored once again.

Apart from its legacy as a material remain, Malbork Castle is also deeply rooted in social consciousness as a significant and emotional symbol of the history of Central Europe.

Criterion (ii): Malbork Castle is an architectural work of unique character. Many of the methods used by its builders in handling technical and artistic problems greatly influenced not only subsequent castles of the Teutonic Order, but also other Gothic buildings in a wide region of north-eastern Europe. The castle also provides perfect evidence of the evolution of modern philosophy and practice in the field of restoration and conservation. It is a historic monument to conservation itself, both in its social aspect and as a scientific and artistic discipline.

Criterion (iii): Malbork Castle, a symbol of power and cultural tradition, is the most important monument to the monastic state of the Teutonic Order, a unique phenomenon in the history of Western civilization. The Castle is at the same time the major material manifestation of the Crusades in eastern Europe, the compulsory conversion to Christianity of the Baltic peoples, and the colonization of their tribal territories, which played a vital role in the history of Europe. 

Criterion (iv): Malbork Castle is an outstanding example of the castles of the Teutonic Order, which evolved on the frontiers of medieval western Europe. It is a unique, perfectly planned architectural creation, with no equivalent in Gothic architecture. It was built utilizing a rich repertoire of medieval construction methods; these were applied on an exceptionally large scale and resulted in making a magnificent seat for the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. 

 

UNESCO WHC site

Category: cultural

Building material:  ceglane

Protection: UNESCO World Heritage

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_22_UN.61