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The Ordensburg Marienburg in 1890/1905, during the German Empire
Ordensburgen Ausschnitt.jpg

An Ordensburg (plural in German: Ordensburgen) was a fortress built by crusading German military orders during the Middle Ages. The term "Ordensburgen" was also used during Nazi Germany to refer to training schools for Nazi leaders.

Medieval Ordensburgen

The Ordensburgen were originally constructed by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword and later the Teutonic Knights to fortify territory in Prussia and Livonia against the pagan aboriginals. Later, Ordensburgen were used to defend against Poland and Lithuania. The Ordensburgen often resembled cloisters. While they were considerably larger than those in the Holy Roman Empire, they were much scarcer in the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights. While a normal castle in the Reich would control about 38 km², a castle would control 370 km² in Prussia and 789 km² in Livonia, Courland and Estonia. The few small castles are considered to be of vassals, while the larger ones might have served as arsenals and strongholds against rebels and invaders.

Most Ordensburgen were rectangular, even quadratic in form, built from red brick and lacking a Bergfried. Many castles had no towers at all, as the bailey, a mighty quadrangle, was considered sufficient for defence.

Medieval Ordensburgen

See also


  • Krahe, Friedrich-Wilhelm (2000). Burgen des deutschen Mittelalters. Grundriss-Lexikon (in German). Flechsig. ISBN 3-88189-360-1. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>