The Crypt of Teutonic Grand Masters in Kwidzyn

Archeological research began in the Kwidzyn cathedral in 2007 on the initiative of curate Rev. Ignacy Najmowicz and Bogumił Wiśniewski, an employee of the local Town Hall. The work was supervised by Dr. Antoni Pawłowski. To everyone’s surprise, instead of the tomb of blessed Dorothea of Montau, the archeologists discovered a crypt with three coffins.
A thorough study showed this was the resting place of three Grand Masters of the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, closely connected with Pomeranian history – Werner von Orseln, Ludolf Koenig von Wattzau Heinrich von Plauen. To date, this has been the only grave site of the Teutonic high commanders ever discovered.
Werner von Orseln became the Komtur of Malbork Castle in 1314. Ten years later he was elected Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, a position he held until his sudden death on 18 November 1330 when he was murdered by Jan von Endorf, an obscure Teutonic knight. This unexpected tragedy came as a shock to almost the whole of Europe. Rumours had it that the assassination could have been connected with the Templars’ treasure…
In the eight years that passed since von Orseln’s death, Ludolf Koenig von Wattzau became the Komtur in Malbork, and four years later, in 1342, was elected Grand Master. He relinquished the office in 1345, suffering from a mental disorder. Upon taking the command of Pokrzywna, he allegedly recovered, but died shortly thereafter – in 1347 or 1348.
Heinrich V von Plauen entered the office of Grand Master after the death of Ulrich von Jungingen at the Battle of Grunwald. During his tenure, from 1410 to 1413, von Plauen led the defence of the Malbork fortress besieged by the Polish army under King Władysław Jagiełło.
According to legend, von Plauen prayed for help to Blessed Dorothy, who promised him that the Poles would not seize the castle. This favour, however, required a price the Grand Master had to pay.
After von Plauen’s death, his body would not be rested in the Malbork stronghold, and the tomb would be concealed for six centuries (he died in 1429). The renewed burial ceremony was to be participated in by von Plauen’s successor as Grand Master…

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