Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Poland 2008 - Malbork Castle

In May, my father and I also visited Malbork. It is famous for its Gothic castle, one of the biggest and most striking castles in Europe. Both the city and the castle were founded in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights.

The castle is absolutely marvelous. Both my father and I loved it. We took a guided tour that lasted around 3.5 hours and we also went for a special night show with music and lights. The guided tour was very interesting as guides do their best to give you feeling for how life was during the times when the castle was occupied. The night show, on the other hand, was not that great. My father was bored during it and I only liked it because I played with my camera all the time.

Even though we were visiting the castle on a weekday, still there was a very long line (at least 30 min long) to buy tickets. So if you plan to visit it, definitely try to avoid weekends and, if possible, buy tickets in advance.

One of the gates:

Typical Gothic style windows:

Typical Gothic rib vaults:


Reproduction of Jacek Malczewski's "Self-portrait in the armory" next to the armory of the Polish Knights who defeated the Teutonic Knigths during the Battle of Grunwald:

Main kitchen:

The castle is full of interesting wall sculptures an paintings:

The castle was almost completely ruined during the WWII:

The castle chapel is one of its few still not renovated parts:

Teutonic Knights:

Malbork castle at night:

Four Grand Masters of the Teutonic Knights that ruled at the castle:

Monday, December 29, 2008

Poland 2008 - Gdansk

In May this year I was visiting my family in Poland. During this trip, my father and I went for a few days to Gdansk. I should have posted photos from this trip long time ago, but I never found time to do so. But at least I managed to do it before the year is over :)

Gdansk is a very beautiful thousand year old city located in northern Poland, just at the seaside. For many centuries it was an important seaport and trading center. To this date you can see there many signs of past glory:

Golden Gate at Long Market Street (Zlota Brama os strony Dlugiego Targu):

Picturesque houses on Long Market street and Main Town Hall with clock tower (Dlugi Targ i Ratusz):

Most of the buildings on Long Market Square have beautiful decorations:

My father and I in front of Neptune Fountain (Fontanna Naptuna):

Medieval building in the city center on sale - for just 3.5 mln dollars:

Mariacka Street:

The medieval port crane (┼╗uraw) over Motlawa river:

Rain water pipe ending:

New symphony house:

Example of the Hanseatic style buildings:

My home and hometown

Yesterday I left the house for the first time in a week. We went to my hometown's (Pila's) city center to see Christmas decorations.

My father and I in front of one of the Christmas trees:

Christmas decorations on a central pedestrian walkway in the city:

My parents and their house: