During the Middle Ages, an Old Prussian fort called Malcekuke was located near the current site of Pieniężno. The Teutonic Knights built an Ordensburg castle near Malcekuke in 1302. Both the castle and the town which developed nearby were destroyed during the war between the Teutonic Order and the Kingdom of Poland in 1414. During the Thirteen Years' War, Mehlsack surrendered to the Order, and the castle burned down during Poland's recapture of the town. From 1589-1599, Prince Andrew Cardinal Báthory of Transylvania, cousin of Sigismund Báthory, was the administrator for the castle. In 1550, the Prussian army laid siege to the city and partially burned it down.
The town was captured by Swedish troops in 1626 during the Polish-Swedish War of 1625-29, recovered by Hetman Stanisław Rewera Potocki, and then had its castle partially destroyed by Swedish troops in 1627. The castle was restored in 1640 with Baroque gables, and its function changed from being a fortress to being a château.
During the 19th and 20th centuries the castle lost some of its Gothic and Baroque features, and in 1870 its eastern and southern wings were demolished after extensive deterioration. The remainder of the castle was used as administrative offices for Prussianofficials. From 1920-31 the western wing was renovated so the castle could be used as a school and museum. In 1945, Mehlsack, including its castle, was 90% destroyed by fighting during World War II and was conquered by the Soviet Red Army from Nazi Germany.References:
Castle Rushen is located in the Isle of Man"s historic capital, Castletown. The castle is amongst the best examples of medieval castles in the British Isles, and is still in use as a court house, museum and educational centre.
The exact date of castle is unknown, although construction is thought to have taken place during the reigns of the late 12th century and early 13th century rulers of the Isle of Man – the Kings of Mann and the Isles. The original Castle Rushen consisted of a central square stone tower, or keep. The site was also fortified to guard the entrance to the Silver Burn. From its early beginnings, the castle was continually developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th century. The limestone walls dominated much of the surrounding landscape, serving as a point of dominance for the various rulers of the Isle of Man. By 1313, the original keep had been reinforced with towers to the west and south. In the 14th century, an east tower, gatehouses, and curtain wall were added.
After several more changes of hands the English and their supporters eventually prevailed. The English king Edward I Longshanks claimed that the island had belonged to the Kings of England for generations and he was merely reasserting their rightful claim to the Isle of Man.
The 18th century saw the castle in steady decay. By the end of the century it was converted into a prison. Even though the castle was in continuous use as a prison, the decline continued until the turn of the 20th century, when it was restored under the oversight of the Lieutenant Governor, George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan. Following the restoration work, and the completion of the purpose-built Victoria Road Prison in 1891, the castle was transferred from the British Crown to the Isle of Man Government in 1929.
Today it is run as a museum by Manx National Heritage, depicting the history of the Kings and Lords of Mann. Most rooms are open to the public during the opening season (March to October), and all open rooms have signs telling their stories. The exhibitions include a working medieval kitchen where authentic period food is prepared on special occasions and re-enactments of various aspects of medieval life are held on a regular basis, with particular emphasis on educating the local children about their history. Archaeological finds made during excavations in the 1980s are displayed and used as learning tools for visitors.