If you happen to be floating down the tranquil river Wisla, head off at the little branch called the Nogat, and you’ll come to a Gothic fairytale fortress and some intriguing Malbork Castle history, murder included!
Disembark on the opposite bank, and this imposing 13th century fortified monastery is all you’ll see. The view is particularly magnificent at sunset.
Of course, chances are you’ll not be arriving by river raft, but rather less romantically by rail or road from Gdansk, a mere 60km (1 hour) away. It’s a worthwhile daytrip, one that allows the imagination free reign, especially outside the tourist season. I’m here on a rainy March day, and have the enormous castle almost all to myself.
So what is Malbork? Huge, that’s for sure! By surface area – 21 hectares! – this is the largest brick castle in the world.