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Malbork (Marienburg): The Castle of the Teutonic Knights
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska

Malbork Castle was located on the River Nogat in Marienburg and building began in the 1270s. Since deposits of clay were in the region, bricks could be built in the immediate vicinity. Forests were cleared and limestone quarries were excavated. Malbork was thought to have been built by master-builders from Silesia, and the labor was provided by Prussian workers. The Castle was finished around 1280. The Teutonic convent from Zantra then moved to the new castle.

Other castles, of the Vistula basin, were located in Brandenburg (Pokarmin), Lochstedt, and Gniew.

GRAND MASTERS OF THE TEUTONIC ORDER

Hospital Brotherhood

Residence: Akkon (until circa 1230) ... ... ... ...
Sibrand 1190 Gerard 1192 Heinrich 1193/1194 Ulrich 1195 Heinrich Walpot 1196

Order of The Teutonic Knights

Residence: Akkon ... ... ... ...
Heinrich Walpot 1198-1200 Otto von Kerpen 1200-1208 Heinrich von Tunna, called Bart 1208-1209/10 Hermann von Salza 1209-1239

Residence: Montfort (Starkenburg) *1230?-1271 ... ... ... ...
Conrad von Thuringen 1239-1240 Gerhard von Malberg 1244-1244 Heinrich von Hohenlohe 1244-1249 Gunther von Wullersleben 1249-1253 Poppo von Osterna 1253-1257
Anno von Sangershausen 1257-1273

Residence: Akkon (1271-1291) ... ... ... ...
Hartmann von Heldrungen 1274-1283 Burchard von Schwanden 1283-1290

Residence: Venice (1291-1309) ... ... ... ...
Conrad von Feuchtwangen 1291-1296 Gottfried von Hohenlobe 1297-1303 Sigfried von Feuchtwangen 1303-1311 Gottfried von Hohenlohe 1297-1303 Siegfried von Feuchwangen 1303-1311

Residence: Malbork (Marienburg) (1309-1457) ... ... ... ...
Karl Beffart von Trier 1311-1324 Werner von Orslen 1324-1331 Luther von Braunschweig 1331-1335 Dietrich von Altenburg 1335-1341 Ludolf König 1342-1345
Heinrich Dusemer 1345-1351 Winrich von Kniprode 1352-1382 Conrad Zöllner von Rothenstein 1382-1390 Conrad von Wallenrode 1390-1393 Conrad von Jungingen 1393-1407
Ulrich von Jungingen 1407-1410 Heinrich von Plauen 1410-1413 Michael Küchmeister von Sternberg 1414-1422 Paul von Risdorf 1422-1441 Conrad von Erlichshausen 1441-1449

Residence: Krolewiec (Konigsberg) (1457-1525) ... ... ... ...
Ludwig von Erlichshausen 1450-1469 Heinrich Reuss von Plauen 1469-1470 Heinrich Reffle von Richtenberg 1470-1477 Martin Truchsess von Wetzhausen 1477-1489 Johann von Tiefen 1489-1497
Friedrich von Sachsen 1498-1510 Albrecht von Brandenburg-Ansbach 1511-1525

Residence: Mergentheim (1525-1809) ... ... ... ...
Walter von Cronberg 1527-1543 Wolfgang Schutzbar called Milchling 1543-1566 Georg Hund von Wenckheim 1566-1572 Heinrich von Bobenhausen 1572-1590/95 Maximilian von Osterreich 1590/95-1618
Karl von Osterreich 1619-1624 Johann Eustach von Westernach 1625-1627 Johann Kaspar von Stadion 1627-1641 Leopold Wilhelm von Osterreich 1641-1662 Karl Joseph von Osterreich 1662-1664
Johann Kaspar von Ampringen 1664-1684 Ludwig Anton von Pfalz-Neuberg 1684-1694 Franz Ludwig von Plalz-Neuberg 1694-1732 Clemens August von Bayern 1732-1761 Karl Alexander von Lothringen 1761-1780
Maximilian Franz von Osterreich 1780-1801 Karl Ludwig von Osterreich 1801-1804

Residence: Vienna (from 1809)

Anton Victor von Osterreich 1804-1835 Maximillian Joseph von Osterreich-Este 1835-1863 Wilhelm von Osterreich 1863-1894 Eugen von Osterreich 1894-1923

Priestly Order

Norbert Klein 1923-1933 Paul Heider 1933-1936 Robert Schalzky 1936-1948 Marian Tumler 1948-1970 Ildefons Pauler 1970-1988 Arnold Wieland 1988-

(Sources: Mierzwinski, Mariusz, Marlbork: The Castle of the Teutonic Knight (translated by Tadeusz Z. Wolanski). Prasowe Zaklady Graficzne, Printed in Poland, 1997)

Urban, William. The Teutonic Knights: A Military History. PA.: Stackpole Books, 2003.

From 1456-1772 Malbork castle came under Polish rule. King Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk issued an act in March 1454 incorporating all Prussian lands into the Kingdom of Poland. This event caused the Thirteen Year War between Poland and the Teutonic Order, which led to the recapture of Poland of Gdansk Pomerania and Chelno County, as well as the occupation of the Zulawy region, together with parts of Warmia and Pomezania. These lands became known as Royal Prussia.

Malbork was then sold for 190 thousand florins as mercenaries turned to Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk on June 8, 1457, after the castle was abandoned the previous day by Grand Master Ludwig von Erlichshausen (1450-1467).

Malbork changed from Teutonic Knight hands and became a seat of Polish administrators: the starost (district elder), the treasurer of Prussian lands, and the viovode. The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary retained its spiritual role, but served only as a branch of the town's parish church.

In 1476 a royal residence was prepared at Malbork for Polish monarchy. During the reign of King Zygmunt III Waza, part of the castle was made into a mint. In 1626 the Swedish king, Gustavua Adolphus took the castle in the month of July.

In 1635, the Truce of Sztumska Wies returned Malbork to Poland. The battle between the Swedes and Poles caused damage to part of the castle.

In 1644, a fire destroyed most of the castle's roofs. Gerard Denhoo (from 1640-1648) was viovode of Pomerania, Treasurer of Royal Prussia, Starost, and Steward of Malbork. He began restoration of the Teutonic fortress. The roofs were repaired, but the rafters were much lower than in the original structure. The Chapel of St. Bartholomew became the Chapel of St. Wojciech (Adalbert). The old armory was turned into a brewery.

In 1649, after Denhoff's death, King Jan Kazimierz appointed Tomaz Hertmanski as permanent master builder of Malbork Castle. From this time until the second Swedish invasion was the best time for the castle, under Polish rule. The Deluge again devastated the structure of the castle. In the 18th century, the Jesuits erected a college between the church and Middle Castle. This was demolished at the end of the 19th century as Gothic restorations were made to Malbork.

From 1772-1804 the armies of Frederick II resulted in the First Partition of Poland in 1772. From 1773-1774, the castle was barracks and much of the roof collapsed and the Infirmary demolished. It was used by cotton weavers. The castle generally fell into disrepair. The Prussians even planned to demolish the castle. By the end of the 18th century, the destruction of old buildings was frowned upon. In 1799, a album of Malbork was published with illustrations of the castle. Public opinion saved the castle. In 1817 Malbork was reconstructed with Theodor von Schon, President of Prussia as the castle's patron. Two World wars in the twentieth century made Malbork in ruins again, until the Polish people rebuilt it and many of their cities to their original plans. Today the castle is fully restored, hopefully forever(Mierzwinski). The castle stands as a symbol of Poland's past.

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Last updated on October 23, 2008

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