Recognized as the largest castle in the world by surface area, the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork (as it is often referred as) boasts the most complete and illustrative example of the ‘Gothic’ brick complex which was fashioned in the unique style of the Teutonic Order.
This imposing structure was built in 1274 when the monastic state in Prussia, founded by the Teutonic Knights, the ‘Catholic religious order of Germany’, was at its apex.
This classic medieval styled castle is located in the northern Poland’s Pomeranian region, along the Nogat River, in the ‘Vistula River delta’ near ‘Baltic Sea’.
The castle was built in a form of an ‘Ordensburg Fortress’ and was named as ‘Marienburg’ (Mary’s Castle) after the ‘Virgin Mary’ who was the patron saint of the Order.
The town surrounding the castle was also named as ‘Marienburg’.
This magnificent castle’s outermost wall encloses 52 acres (21 ha) of the area which is four times larger than the area enclosed by ‘Windsor Castle.
History In Brief:
The castle was built by the ‘Teutonic Orders’ after the conquest of old ‘Prussia’ in order to strengthen their stronghold over the ‘Pomeranian’ region.
The castle was expanded several times to accommodate the growing numbers of Knights and soon it became the largest fortified Gothic structure in Europe.
The strategic importance of the ‘Malbork Castle’ surged during the Teutonic Knights’ invasion on Gdansk and Pomerania in 1308 and it housed nearly 3,000 Teutonic warriors during that period.
by James Gould-Bourn
Cycling is one of the most eco-friendly ways to travel, and thanks to this solar-powered bike lane that glows in the dark, it just got even more so.
The luminous blue cycling strip, which can be found near Lidzbark Warminski in the north of Poland, was created by TPA Instytut Badań Technicznych Sp. z o.o.
It’s made from a synthetic material that can give out light for up to ten hours at a time once charged by the sun throughout the day.
Although the concept was inspired by Studio Roosegaarde’s Starry Night bike lane in the Netherlands, the technology is quite different as the Dutch version uses LEDs whereas this one is entirely dependent upon solar power.
It’s still in the testing phase at the moment, but let’s hope that this bright idea will be implemented in other countries in the very near future.
There’s a small grove of regular pine trees in West Pomerania, Poland, that has become famous because of one little “twist” – all 400 of the trees located there have a strange bend at the base!
The stand of trees was planted around 1930 in what was then Germany.
The trees all take a sharp 90-degree turn soon after leaving the ground before sweeping back into an upright position with a graceful curve.
Their strange but beautiful nature is captured perfectly in the below photos by Kilian Schönberger, whom we’ve written about before here.
No one is certain how or why the trees were bent, but most believe that it was an intentional, mechanical process.
Trees can be manipulated to create naturally bent parts for, furniture or other applications.
Others have theorized that a severe snowfall could have caused the curious phenomenon.
More info: kilianschoenberger.de | Facebook | Instagram | Behance (h/t: colossal)
by Przemysław Kruk
The Maple Alley in Złoty Potok in Poland is a really charming place.
It is placed on “Jura” (land between Cracow and Czestochowa) among calcareous rocks and beautiful forests.
Formerly this road was frequented by horse chases.
I fell in love with this place 8 years ago. Actually, I come here often during every autumn but I come across good conditions only once in 4 year.
Maples lose their leafs truly quick and this is always race again time.
Although when you “meet” the weather, colors, and fog, it becomes magical.