Probably the oldest Teutonic castle site in Poland, the fortifications built here in Toruń began in the mid-13th century and was the base of operations for the Teutonic Knights. This order of Germanic crusaders, recently expelled from Hungary, were granted territory here by Polish ruler Konrad of Masovia in exchange for helping to christianise the pagan Prussian tribes of the Baltic coast. Thus, the castle was the first major development in the formation of the historic 'Teutonic State' and gave the locality, known in German as 'Thorn', the opportunity to develop and become a major trading centre in Central Europe. The castle is connected with the defensive walls, as well as the very popular Krzywa Weiża (ENG: Crooked Tower), and the fantastically-gothic gateways, all of which are still present on the southern side of the medieval old city. While the ground level largely destroyed in a 1454 town rebellion, the subterranean caverns of the building system are still intact enough for a pass through. During the week, historic reenactors are keeping the spirit of the medieval city alive with various demonstrations of weaponry, food and other crafts. In the ruins of one of the old halls, it is also possible to watch a movie or theatre event!