Those were my sight-seeing options for my penultimate day here in Poland’s glorious ‘Tri-city‘ area. In saying that, both of these are located at least an hour away from Tri-city and in completely the opposite direction to each other so I only wanted to see one of them. Unsure of which to see, I asked the hostel staff for their opinions and the vote returned was unanimous; Malbork castle it was then.
Considering Malbork castle is a UNESCO heritage site I expected something impressive and was not disappointed when this vision of grandeur came into sight almost immediately having exited the train:
Get this for statistic: By surface area, Malbork castle is the largest castle in the world! It is also the largest brick-based castle in Europe! Not sure about on the world scale though? Here’s hoping you get that kind of question in a general knowledge quiz one day soon…
Relatedly, here’s quick test for you historians. In what century was this build completed? Your choices are, 13th century, 15th century or 17th century although don’t make your mind up yet, instead let me give you more pictures for your viewing pleasure and beady eye as I get closer to it.
Also note how perfect the light blue, cloudless sky looks too.
The answer was full completion in 1406 making it a 15th century build.
And now a few images from the inside the ground of the Castle:
Nothing too drastically different here but sadly that’s all the information I have for you folks – next to nothing.
I later realised that the many large tour groups you see around in and around the Castle are not by coincidence. The only way to get any useful information on such an impressive structure was either through a dedicated tour guide or an audio guide – except I didn’t have either. Here’s where you think I’m going to be a Scrooge and not part with the cash admit it. 🙂 But you would be wrong as the audio service was indeed included in the price. Besides, I’ve learnt that just like in Romania, Serbia and Albania, when you need to ask ‘how much?’ the answer is (thankfully), ‘not much’. Lol.
The problem was that I didn’t bring my wallet with me and so I had zero identification and consequently they wouldn’t give me the audio device. (ID is a security measure to ensure you bring the appliance back of course). Instead then I wandered alone aimlessly with no other English speaking tourists to converse with and subsequently paid more attention to the photography side of things than the Castle itself. Oh well.
During my wandering I discovered they do ‘night-seeing’ tours of the castle. Off the top of my head I can think of several advantages for this, including considerably less people (tourists) present, much cooler temperatures, better illumination of the castle and even that the guide dresses up as a member of the Teutonic Order!
Check this costume out. Don’t try and tell me you wouldn’t find this authentically spooky of an evening tour…
Needless to say if I was made aware of this previously I would have most likely signed up to it.
Sadly then, Malbork for me will be remembered as a tick of the box and a largely unfulfilling experience. However this doesn’t have to be the same experience for you providing you know what to expect from your day out and consider everything I’ve covered in this article.
Oh, by the way, despite not having made it to the ‘upside down’ house, it is of course still my duty to inform readers of such things and so here are just a few images from the web.
Looks cool huh – although I don’t suspect you’d be ‘hanging around‘ for very long as I was told there’s not much else to do around the area. I’d imagine it would be a nice stop off point if you had your own car and were passing on by. In saying that, and from looking at those pictures, I kinda wish I went there instead now. At least it’d have been something new and refreshing, know what I mean?