Last updated
ESTACION DE MALBORK - panoramio.jpg
Neo-gothic railway station in Malbork
POL Malbork flag.svg
POL Malbork COA.svg
Poland adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Pomeranian Voivodeship location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Europe blank laea location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Baltic Sea location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 54°2′N19°2′E / 54.033°N 19.033°E / 54.033; 19.033
Country Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
Voivodeship POL wojewodztwo pomorskie flag.svg  Pomeranian
County Malbork County
Gmina Malbork (urban gmina)
Town rights1286
  MayorMarek Charzewski (SLD)
  Total17.15 km2 (6.62 sq mi)
Highest elevation
30 m (100 ft)
Lowest elevation
6 m (20 ft)
 (2018 [1] )
  Density2,300/km2 (5,800/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
82-200 to 82-210
Area code(s) +48 055
Car plates GMB

Malbork [lower-alpha 1] is a town in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland. It is the seat of Malbork County and has a population of 37,898 people as of 2021. The town is located on the Nogat river, in the historical region of Pomerelia.


Founded in the 13th century by the Knights of the Teutonic Order, the town is noted for its medieval Malbork Castle, built in the 13th Century as the Order's headquarters, which was also the seat of the early modern Polish province of Royal Prussia.

History of the castle

Malbork Castle viewed over the Nogat River Castillo de Malbork, Polonia, 2013-05-19, DD 05.jpg
Malbork Castle viewed over the Nogat River

The town was built in Prussia around the fortress Ordensburg Marienburg, which was founded in 1274 on the east bank of the river Nogat by the Teutonic Knights. Both the castle and the town (named Marienburg in German and Malborg or Malbork in Polish) were named for their patron saint, the Virgin Mary. This fortified castle became the seat of the Teutonic Order and Europe's largest Gothic fortress. During the Thirteen Years' War, the castle of Marienburg was pawned by the Teutonic Order to their soldiers from Bohemia. They sold the castle in 1457 to King Casimir IV of Poland in lieu of indemnities. [2] [3] From 1457 to 1772 the castle was one of Poland's royal residences. [4] Polish Kings often stayed in the castle, especially when travelling to the nearby city of Gdańsk. Also astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus visited the castle. [5] From 1568 the castle also housed the Polish Admiralty (Komisja Morska) and in 1584 one of the Polish Royal Mints was established here. The largest arsenal of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was located in the castle.

Under continuous construction for nearly 230 years, the castle complex is actually three castles combined in one. A classic example of a medieval fortress, it is the world’s largest brick castle and one of the most impressive of its kind in Europe. The castle was in the process of being restored by the Germans when World War II broke out. During the war, the castle was over 50% destroyed. Restoration has been ongoing since the war. The castle and its museum are listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

History of the town

Middle Ages

The town of Marienburg grew in the vicinity of the castle. The river Nogat and flat terrain allowed easy access for barges a hundred kilometers from the sea. During Prussia's government by the Teutonic Knights, the Order collected tolls on river traffic and imposed a monopoly on the amber trade. The town later became a member of the Hanseatic League, and many Hanseatic meetings were held there.

Polish artillery during siege of the castle in 1410 (modern era drawing) Polish artillery during siege of Malbork in 1410.PNG
Polish artillery during siege of the castle in 1410 (modern era drawing)

The Teutonic Order weakened greatly after the Battle of Grunwald against advancing Poles and Lithuanians. [6] The town was burned by the Teutonic Knights in 1410 before the siege of the castle by Poles, [5] however it remained under Teutonic control after the siege. In 1457, during the Thirteen Years' War, the castle was sold to Poland by Czech mercenaries of the Teutonic Knights, [5] and the Teutonic Order transferred its seat to Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). The town of Marienburg, under Mayor Bartholomäus Blume and others, resisted the Poles for three further years. But when the Poles finally took control, Blume was hanged and quartered, and fourteen officers and three remaining Teutonic knights were thrown into dungeons, where they met a miserable end. [2] A monument to Blume was erected in 1864. [7]

The town became capital of the Malbork Voivodeship in the Polish province of Royal Prussia after the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), [8] however still mainly settled by Germans.

Modern period

Within Poland, Malbork flourished thanks to the Polish grain and wood trade and craft development. [5] New suburbs were created due to lack of space within the defensive walls. [5] In the 17th century, Swedish invasions took place. [5] During the Great Northern War in 1710, half of the population died of a cholera epidemic. [5] After the wars, new inhabitants, including immigrants from Scotland, settled in the town, mainly in the suburbs. [5] In 1740 Malbork ceased to be a fortress. [5]

Marienburg's town hall, circa 1839 Das Rathaus zu Marienburg Teichgraber.jpg
Marienburg's town hall, circa 1839

It was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in the First Partition of Poland in 1772 and became part of the newly established Province of West Prussia the following year. Prussians liquidated the municipal government and replaced it with new Prussian-appointed administration. [5] In the early 19th century, Prussian authorities acknowledged the town's Polish-speaking community, ensuring that priests could deliver the sermon in Polish. [9] In 1807, during the Napoleonic Wars, the French entered the town, and in 1812 the Grande Armée marched through the town heading for Russia. [5] Napoleon has visited the town in those years.

There were no World War I fights, however, the town felt the war's negative effects: the influx of refugees, inflation, unemployment, and food supply shortages. [5]

Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, the inhabitants were asked in a plebiscite on July 11, 1920 whether they wanted to remain in Germany or join the newly re-established Poland. In the town of Marienburg, 9,641 votes were cast for Germany, 165 votes for Poland. [10] As a result, Marienburg was included in the Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder within the German Province of East Prussia. During the Weimar era, Marienburg was located at the tripoint between Poland, Germany and the Free City of Danzig.

The town was hit by an economic crisis following the end of World War I. After a brief recovery in the mid-1920s, the Great Depression was particularly severe in East Prussia. In January 1933, Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power and immediately began eliminating political opponents, so that in the last semi-free elections of March 1933, 54% of Marienburg's votes went to the Nazis. [11] After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, leaders of the Polish minority were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

World War II

94th Bomb Group B-17 Flying Fortress targeting the Focke-Wulf factory as described. Marienburg bombed.jpg
94th Bomb Group B-17 Flying Fortress targeting the Focke-Wulf factory as described.

During World War II a Focke-Wulf aircraft factory was set up at the airfield to the east of Marienburg. It was bombed twice by the USAAF in 1943 and 1944. Today the airfield belongs to the 22nd Air Base of the Polish Air Force.

During the war, the Germans established the Stalag XX-B prisoner of war camp, among the prisoners of which were the British, French, Poles, Belgians and Yugoslavs. Also a forced labour camp was established. [12]

Near the end of World War II, the city was declared a festung and most of the civilian population fled or were evacuated, with some 4,000 people opting to remain. In early 1945, Marienburg was the scene of fierce battles by the Nazis against the Red Army and was almost completely destroyed. The battle lasted until March 9, 1945. [13] Following the town's military capture by the Red Army, the remaining civilian population disappeared; 1,840 people remain missing. In June 1945, the town was turned over to Polish authorities who had arrived in the town in April and renamed city with its present Polish name, Malbork. The German population of Marienburg that had not fled was expelled. Historic relics of the German-speaking population were destroyed.[ citation needed ]

Half a century later, in 1996, 178 corpses were found in a mass grave in Malbork; another 123 were found in 2005. [14] In October 2008, during excavations for the foundation of a new hotel in Malbork, a mass grave was found containing the remains of 2,116 people. All the dead were said to have been German residents of pre-1945 Marienburg, but they could not be individually identified, nor could the cause of their deaths be definitely established. A Polish investigation concluded that the bodies, along with the remains of some dead animals, may have been buried to prevent the spread of typhus, which was extant in the turmoil at the end of World War II. The investigation was thus closed on 1 October 2010 as no justifiable suspicions of any crime were found. Majority of the dead were women and children most likely dead from hunger, diseases, cold and as collateral casualties of war operations, only a few of the bones had markings showing possible gunshot wounds. [15] On August 14, 2009, all the dead people’s remains were buried in a German military cemetery to the west of the town at Stare Czarnowo in Polish Pomerania, not far from the present-day German border. [16] [17]

In Malbork one can also find a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery [18] with 240 graves, mostly of POWs who died in the area during both wars, especially in the World War II Stalag XX-B camp.

Post-war period

Malbork Castle in the 1960s Fotothek df ps 0004156 Burgen ^ Deutschordensburgen.jpg
Malbork Castle in the 1960s

After World War II, the town was gradually repopulated by Poles, many expelled from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. In February 1946, the population of the town reached 10,017 people, then by 1965 grew further to 28,292 and by 1994 to 40,347. [19]

In April 1945 the malt house resumed work, in May a Polish post office was established and the first post-war Polish services were held in the St. John church, in September Polish schools were opened. [5] In the following years, most of the war damage was removed, and in 1947 the railway bridge on the Nogat was rebuilt, after it was destroyed by the Germans in March 1945. [5] A new road bridge was built in 1949. [5] In 1946 a sugar factory was established. [5]

Also following the war, the Old Town in Malbork was not rebuilt; instead the bricks from its ruins were used to rebuild the oldest sections of Warsaw and Gdańsk. [19] As a result, with the exception of the Old Town Hall, two city gates and St. John's church, no pre-World War II buildings remain in the Old Town area. [19] In place of the old town, a housing estate was built in the 1960s. [19]

In 1962, a pasta factory was established in Malbork, which soon became one of the largest pasta factories in Poland. [5]

Notable residents

Teutonic Knights enter Malbork castle in 1309 Kolbe 1825 Siegfried von Feuchtwangen enters Malbork castle.jpg
Teutonic Knights enter Malbork castle in 1309
Grzegorz Lato, 2011 Grzegorz Lato 2011.jpg
Grzegorz Lato, 2011
Early times
19th century
20th century


The towns football club is Pomezania Malbork, who currently play in the sixth tier.

International relations

Malbork is twinned with:



Related Research Articles

Teutonic Order Medieval military order founded c. 1190

The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, commonly known as the Teutonic Order, is a Catholic religious institution founded as a military society c. 1190 in Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Warmia Historical region of Poland

Warmia is a historical region in northern Poland. Its historic capitals were Frombork and Lidzbark Warmiński and the largest city is Olsztyn.

Royal Prussia Autonomous dependency/protectorate of the Kingdom of Poland (1466–1569)

Royal Prussia or Polish Prussia was a province of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, which was established after the Second Peace of Thorn (1466) from territory in western Prussia which had previously been part of the State of the Teutonic Order. Royal Prussia retained its autonomy, governing itself and maintaining its own laws, customs, rights and German language.

Kwidzyn Place in Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Kwidzyn is a town in northern Poland on the Liwa River, with 38,553 inhabitants (2018). It has been a part of the Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999, and was previously in the Elbląg Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is the capital of Kwidzyn County.

Prussia (region) Historical region on the south-eastern coast of the Baltic Sea in Europe

Prussia is a historical region in Europe on the south-eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, that ranges from the Vistula delta in the west to the end of the Curonian Spit in the east and extends inland as far as Masuria. Tacitus's Germania is the oldest known record of an eyewitness account on the territory and its inhabitants. Pliny the Elder had already confirmed that the Romans had navigated into the waters beyond the Cimbric peninsula (Jutland). Suiones, Sitones, Goths and other Germanic people had temporarily settled to the east and west of the Vistula River during the Migration Period, adjacent to the Aesti, who lived further to the east.

Bartoszyce Place in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland

Bartoszyce is a town on the Łyna River in northern Poland, with 22,785 inhabitants as of June 2021. It is the capital of Bartoszyce County within the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship.

Ostróda Place in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland

Ostróda is a town in northern Poland, in the historic region of Masuria. It is the seat of the Ostróda County within the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship and has approximately 33,191 inhabitants (2009).

Sztum Place in Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Sztum is a town in northern Poland in the Powiśle region, located in the Pomeranian Voivodeship. It is the capital of Sztum County, with some 10,141 inhabitants (2004).

West Prussia Province of Prussia

The Province of West Prussia was a province of Prussia from 1773 to 1829 and 1878 to 1920. West Prussia was established as a province of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1773, formed from Royal Prussia of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth annexed in the First Partition of Poland. West Prussia was dissolved in 1829 and merged with East Prussia to form the Province of Prussia, but was re-established in 1878 when the merger was reversed and became part of the German Empire. From 1918, West Prussia was a province of the Free State of Prussia within Weimar Germany, losing most of its territory to the Second Polish Republic and the Free City of Danzig in the Treaty of Versailles. West Prussia was dissolved in 1920, and its remaining western territory was merged with Posen to form Posen-West Prussia, and its eastern territory merged with East Prussia as the Region of West Prussia district.

State of the Teutonic Order Baltic state, 1200s-1525

The State of the Teutonic Order, also called Deutschordensstaat or Ordensstaat, was a medieval crusader state, located in Central Europe along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea. It was formed by the knights of the Teutonic Order during the 13th century Northern Crusades in the region of Prussia. The Livonian Brothers of the Sword merged in 1237 with the Teutonic Order of Prussia and became known as its branch, the Livonian Order, while their state became a part of the Teutonic Order State. At its greatest territorial extent, in the early 15th century, it encompassed Chełmno Land, Courland, Gotland, Livonia, Neumark, Pomerelia, Prussia and Samogitia, i.e. territories nowadays located in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Russia and Sweden.

Malbork Voivodeship

The Malbork Voivodeship was a unit of administrative division and local government in the Kingdom of Poland from 1454/1466 until the partitions in 1772–1795. Together with the Pomeranian and Chełmno Voivodeships and the Prince-Bishopric of Warmia it formed the historical province of Royal Prussia. Its capital was at Marienburg (Malbork).

Dzierzgoń Place in Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Dzierzgoń is a town in the Pomeranian Voivodeship in northern Poland. It is located in Sztum County east of Malbork and south of Elbląg on the river Dzierzgoń. Dzierzgoń has a population of 5,242, while the city and its environs have a combined population of about 10,000.

Tolkmicko Place in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland

Tolkmicko is a town in northern Poland, on the Vistula Lagoon, about 20 km northeast of Elbląg. It is located in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, in Elbląg County. Its population is 2,766 (2004).

Pasłęk Place in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Poland

Pasłęk is a historic town in northern Poland, within Elbląg County in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. In 2017, the town had 12,298 registered inhabitants.

Malbork Castle Teutonic castle in Poland

The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork is a 13th-century Teutonic castle and fortress located near the town of Malbork, Poland. It is the largest castle in the world measured by land area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nowe Place in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Nowe is a town in Świecie County, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland, with 6,270 inhabitants (2004).

Danzig (region) Region in Prussia

The Danzig Region was a government region, within the Prussian Provinces of West Prussia and of Prussia. The regional capital was Danzig (Gdańsk). Prussian government regions were not bodies of regional self-rule of the districts and cities comprised, but shear top-to-down government agencies to apply federal or state law and supervise local entities of self-rules, such as municipalities, rural and urban districts.

Thirteen Years War (1454–1466) Conflict between Prussia, Poland, and the Teutonic Order

The Thirteen Years' War, also called the War of the Cities, was a conflict fought in 1454–1466 between the Prussian Confederation, allied with the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, and the State of the Teutonic Order.


Pomesanians were a Prussian clan. They lived in Pomesania, a historical region in modern northern Poland, located between the Nogat and Vistula Rivers to the west and the Elbląg River to the east. It is located around the modern towns of Elbląg and Malbork. As the westernmost clan, the Pomesanians were the first of the Prussians to be conquered by the Teutonic Knights, a German military crusading order brought to the Chełmno Land to convert the pagans to Christianity. Due to Germanization and assimilation, Pomesanians became extinct some time in the 17th century.

Zantyr Ruined castle in Poland

Zantyr is a lost Teutonic Order castle with established commandry and town with cathedral, seat of the bishopric. In the early 13th century it was located at present day Pomeranian Voivodeship, in Sztum County, in the municipality of Sztum, south of the village Uśnice or in the region Biała Góra at the confluence of the rivers Nogat and Vistula. Here, at the southern end of the Vistula delta region, resides the Nogat River Protected Landscape Area. During its brief history Zantyr was contested between Swietopelk II, Duke of Pomerania, State of the Teutonic Order and Bishopric of Pomesania. At the end around year 1280 the castle and town were reestablished at a new location and became known as Malbork Castle.


  1. "Malbork (pomorskie)". Polska w liczbach (in Polish). Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  2. 1 2 Wyatt, Walter James (3 March 1876). The history of Prussia: tracing the origin and development of her military organization. p.  184 . Retrieved 3 March 2018 via Internet Archive. Bartholomäus Blume.
  3. Weber, Matthias (3 March 2018). Preussen in Ostmitteleuropa: Geschehensgeschichte und Verstehensgeschichte. Oldenbourg. ISBN   9783486567182 . Retrieved 3 March 2018 via Google Books.
  4. Zygmunt Gloger, Geografia historyczna ziem dawnej Polski, Spółka Wydawnicza Polska, Kraków 1903, p. 156
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 "Historia". Visit Malbork (in Polish). Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  6. Turnbull, Steven (2013). Tannenberg 1410: Disaster for the Teutonic Knights. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. p. 21. ISBN   978-1472800091.
  7. Weber, Matthias (3 March 2018). Preussen in Ostmitteleuropa: Geschehensgeschichte und Verstehensgeschichte. Oldenbourg. ISBN   9783486567182 . Retrieved 3 March 2018 via Google Books.
  8. Stephen R. Turnbull, Peter Dennis, Crusader Castles of the Teutonic Knights, Osprey Publishing, 2003, p. 58, ISBN   1-84176-557-0, 9781841765570 Google Books
  9. Janusz Małłek (1997). "Pommerellen - Preußen - Pomorze Gdahskie. Formen kollektiver Identität in einer deutsch-polnischen Region". Nordost-Archiv. Zeitschrift für Regionalgeschichte. 2.
  10. Archived 2008-12-25 at the Wayback Machine
  11. "Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte Westpreußen, Kreis Marienburg". Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  12. "Malbork". Encyklopedia PWN (in Polish). Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  13. "Aktuell". Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  14. Bönisch, Georg; Puhl, Jan; Wiegrefe, Klaus (23 January 2009). "Death in Marienburg: Mystery Surrounds Mass Graves in Polish City" . Retrieved 3 March 2018 via Spiegel Online.
  15. Komunikat o umorzeniu śledztwa w sprawie zabójstwa w 1945 r. ok. 2110 osób, których szczątki ujawniono w 2008 r. w Malborku
  16. Kulish, Nicholas (26 February 2009). "Facing German Suffering, and Not Looking Away" . Retrieved 3 March 2018 via
  17. "Malbork Massacre: World War II Mass Grave Unearthed in Poland". 8 January 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2018 via Spiegel Online.
  18. "Cemetery". Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  19. 1 2 3 4 "Visit Malbork - Visit Malbork". Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  20. IMDb Database retrieved 9 November 2018

Coordinates: 54°02′N19°03′E / 54.033°N 19.050°E / 54.033; 19.050