|what's behind the bush?|
Once upon a time, in a far far land...
There was a princess who's adventurous and loved exploring new places. One fine afternoon, after days spent on the back of her beautiful white horse named Luna; they were lost in the midst of the dense forest. Suddenly she heard the sound of flowing water so she hop off Luna's back and walked gently through the woods. She parted some branches to find out what behind the bush. Her eyes then widened in awe when she saw a humongous red brick castle standing tall and proud across the river.
"Excuse me, miss!" She heard a baritone voice echoed in her ears.
She turned around in slow motion. Her long wavy red hair swaying gracefully in the air. A smile lit up her face. She was so sure that she was about to meet her prince charming. There was a tall guy with dark brown hair standing only a few steps away. She fixed her gaze on his piercing blue eyes then move down to a badge on his clothes.
SECURITY GUARD. It's written on it.
"Miss, the entrance gate is on that side." He looked at her suspiciously. As if she was going to jump into the river or something.
Poof! and so there gone my fairy tale love story I created in my wild imagination. What's left only an awkward situation between me and the security guard. I muffled "Kbye" and walked away from
|crossing the bridge to Malbork Castle|
Malbork Castle is one of many castles built in northern Poland by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholics religious order of crusaders, in a form of an Ordensburg fortress. It was built from red bricks on the southeastern bank of river Nogat and was named as Marienburg (Mary's Castle) after the Virgin Mary who was the patron saint of the Order. The castle was expanded several time to house the growing number of Knights, around 3000 of them. It was then declared as the largest fortified Gothic building in Europe on a 21 hectare site also the largest castle in the world, measured by land area.
|Gothic details on the castle exterior|
|8 meters tall figure of Malbork Madonna|
|the main gate|
|the Middle Castle|
Malbork was constructed in phases from the beginning of the 70s of the 13th century, thus throughout centuries this castle has been a witness to many events. From the residence of Polish Kings, a barrack for the Prussian army to a pilgrimage for the Hitler Youth and League of German girls. Subjected to intensive development in the 14th century, it has received the trisection defensive form with a visibly separated High Castle (home to the monastery), the Middle Castle (home to the Palace of the Grand Master) and the Outer Castle (a widely spread economical and supporting facilities).
|I love the hallway!|
|the court yard|
|the Blessed Virgin Mary Church|
|original 13th century wall and the broken statues|
Sadly during the World War II in 1945, more than half the castle was destroyed in particular the church and chapel. The castle experienced changes throughout the passage of years. It has been constantly reconstructed and completed in April 2016, just 6 month before my visit. The sacral objects upon the High Castle were restored into their initial magnificent form along with the reconstruction of the sculpture of the Madonna with a Child, which was returned into its initial position upon the Eastern closure of the church.
Walking inside the church and upon seeing the broken statues, I got a shiver down my spine. I've always love love love old buildings but somehow I'm sensitive about the energy in old places. It's hard to explain but sometimes all of the sudden I'd feel sad when visiting historical site. Perhaps because a place absorbs the memories that were in them? Or perhaps it's just me PMS-ing or feeling hungry....I really don't know. Have you ever felt that way though?
|a pretty stained glass|
|the Middle Castle|
In 1997 the Malbork Castle was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Malbork Castle Museum posses 23 collections from the scope of art, artistic craft, architecture and history at its disposal. Currently the museum is the house for 40 thousand valuable items and displays one of Europe's largest collection of medieval architectural elements.
|lunch at Piwniczka restaurant|
|selfie with the cutest shopkeeper at the souvenir shop|
Besides visiting the castle, I also had lunch at Piwniczka restaurant inside the castle complex. While there's not much to say about the food, it was still an interesting experience enjoying food at a medieval dining room with brick walls, stained glass windows, beer barrels, fire place and all.
I regretted that I didn't check the castle opening hours during winter which is shorter than in summer. I only managed to explore some parts of the huge castle. I could actually spend the whole day here because there's so much to see. Well, then it's not a good bye, Malbork Castle. I will definitely visit you again, hopefully in the near future.
Winter Season (1 October - 14 April) 10.00 am - 3.00 pm
Summer Season (15 April - 30 September) 9.00 am - 7.00 pm
* On Mondays and holidays only some areas, sections and interiors of the castle area available.