founded in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights, the town is noted for its Gothic Malbork Castle.
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 in Polish as Malborg or Malbork) 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 imperial soldiers from Bohemia. They sold the castle in 1457 to King Casimir IV of Poland in lieu of their pay.
Under continuous construction for nearly 230 years, the castle complex is actually three castles nested in one another. 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 when World War II broke out.
During the war, the castle was over 50% destroyed. Restoration has been ongoing since the war. However, the main cathedral in the castle, fully restored just prior to the war and destroyed during the war, remains in its ruined state. The castle and its museum are listed as UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.