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  The Castles of Powisle and Zulawy: On a Bicycle Route

The Castles of Powiśle and Żuławy: On a Bicycle Route

Some hundreds of years ago, a region of Powiśle and Żuławy was the heart of the Teutonic state. Teutonic knights were excellent constructors and because of that fact today we have the possibility to visit numerous medieval strongholds and churches.

A monumental silhouette of a Malbork castle built from red bricks rises majestically over the Nogat river and dominates over the whole town. Well communicated with other parts of the country, Malbork comes as an excellent starting point for bicycle trips around this area. A visit to numerous exhibitions of the Castle Museum is a good start for getting acquainted with secrets and little known sites and monuments of Powiśle and Żuławy.

The castle and cathedral complex in Kwidzyn, with its perfectly preserved massive dansker is as interesting as the castle in Malbork, however, it is not as well-known as that latter one. Kwidzyn offers a visit to an interesting museum and the Grand Masters’ Vault. The town itself is worth paying a visit too. Tourists can admire numerous neo-gothic buildings of former barracks from the 19thcentury. Kwidzyn has benefitted from the construction of a road which runs over the new bridge on the Wisła river and leads directly to the A1 motorway. A perfect vantage point to see the castle and the city is situated in Mareza, a village located on the other side of the Liwa river, directly under the Kwidzyn castle.

Not far from these two castles, there are four other strongholds which are not so well preserved but come of equal interest for tourists. One of them is a castle in Sztum. There are also ruins of the castles in Prabuty and Dzierzgoń. Partially preserved and beautifully situated on a forested promontory of Motława Wielka Lake, the remains of the castle in Przezmark may be also of great interest. Apart from Kwidzyn, these castles are connected with a red-marked bicycle route “The Castles of Powiśle” which is 100 kilometers long.



Situated half-way between Malbork and Kwidzyn, Sztum is a small picturesque town wedged between two lakes. On a narrow pass between these lakes Teutonic knights had a small castle built. It flanked Malbork, the capital of the Teutonic Order, from the south. It was also used as a holiday destination for Grand Masters. The castle has been partially preserved until the present times. The greatest attraction of Sztum is a beautifully renovated Castle Boulevard. Here tourists can find 16 granite plaques describing the strongholds that can be found along the Gothic Castles Route. It is a marvelous place for a relaxing walk.



A small town with rich history – this may be the shortest description of Dzierzgoń. In 1234 a great battle between the old Prussian tribes and Polish-Teutonic armies took place here. In the result the whole area went under the rule of the Teutonic authorities. Near the former Prussian stronghold Teutonic knights established a town called Christburg. Today we can only find some of its substructure. However, a gothic church, a cemetery chapel and a former Franciscan monastery are definitely worth visiting. A marvelous, panoramic view of the area can be observed from the Castle Hill (Wzgórze Zamkowe). You simply must visit Dzierzgoń while going on a bicycle trip around this area. Three important routes meet here: the red route of the Powiśle Castles, the blue route of the Powiśle Churches and the green bicycle route R1.



Riesenburg meaning Giants’ Town – it was the former name of this town. It is located on a picturesque hill, among the lakes which surround the town. Today, after all the destruction that took place during the Second World War, only little remnants of the former medieval glory of the town can be found. Here we can see the ruins of the ramparts with the Kwidzyńska Gate (Brama Kwidzyńska), some remnants of the Pomesanian Chapter Castle where some contemporary models of medieval buildings are exhibited, Roland’s Fountain (Fontanna Rolanda) from the 19th century, urban aqueducts from the 18th century, three historical churches, including the gothic parish church and so called “Polish Church” located near the castle. We can also see a model of the former castle of Prabuty. 


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