The castle was founded in 1274 by the Teutonic Order during their government of Prussia and is located on the bank of the river Nogat.
The castle once housed approximately 3,000 "brothers in arms", and the outermost castle walls enclose 52 acres (210,000 m²), four times larger than the enclosed space of Windsor Castle. It was expanded several time to host the growing number of Knights, It consists of three separate sections - the High, Middle and Lower Castles, separated by multiple dry moats and towers.
The Order eventually imploded due to infighting, and the castle was pawned to mercenaries as payment during the Thirteen Years War. In 1457, the mercenaries sold the castle to Poland, the kingdom they were originally hired to fight. Malbork Castle was never conquered by force, although it was almost completely dismantled and destroyed during WWII.
Malbork fortress was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.
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