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Castles of the Teutonic Knights

After the elevation of the hospital community on February 19, 1199 to the status of a spiritual order of knights, the members became involved during the 13th century in the Holy Roman Empire, the Holy Land, the Mediterranean region and in Transylvania and participated in the German colonization of the East. One of the most distinctive features of the castles of the Teutonic Order was their brick construction. In Germany, one also speaks of brick giothism, which received considerable impetus from the buildings of the order. The Marienburg on the Nogat river in West Prussia, which was begun in the 13th century, can probably be considered the largest castle built on mainland Europe.