Heated driveway?

Commercial snow melting. (E.g. TOYOTA + ELEKTRA).


ONDOL - The Korean invention

American Legend: Architect Frank Lloyd Wright

From STONE COLD to NICE WARM floors in just 2 hours?

New Kitchen Project. (Part 1)

New Kitchen Project. (Part 2)

Radiant heating in one day?

From cold slab floor to comfort and beauty.

How to connect UCCG-9991 programmable thermostat for radiant floor heating?

How to connect MTC-2991 manual thermostat for radiant floor heating?

How to choose the in-floor radiant heat ELEKTRA mat?

Many components of the Great Real Estate. (Part 1).

Many components of the Great Real Estate. (Part 2).

How to connect more than 1 mat?

The problem on the roof

Installing radiant floor heating in just one afternoon.

Cathedral ceilings effect & Medieval Hypocaustum (floor heating)


Cathedral ceilings add dramatic effect but heating a cathedral or a castle is not easy.

'At the top of the house, the recreation room's cathedral ceiling wood is stained a playful red. The rich color allows fan tracery vaulting to show its special effect. The sofa faces a media center that includes a flat-screen television...'


This is now. But how was it then?



Heat rises. Forced air heating the house with cathedral ceilings is not easy. But that's nothing compared to heating a cathedral or a 700 years old gothic castle with the true cathedral ceilings.

Enter Malbork (Marienburg) Castle.



On a high escarpment on the right bank of the River Nogat in Northern Poland not far from the Baltic Sea stands the largest brick castle in the world - a monument to the rare masterly skills of medieval builders. For seven centuries the monumental silhouette of this impressive edifice has awed onlookers by its magnitude, profusion of various defensive devices, the thickness of its mighty walls, the boldness of its construction, and the richness of the carved details. Covering an area of over fifty acres, the stronghold is actually an amazing complex of three castles joined together into a single entity by a system of expansive fortifications.



The exceptionally suitable location of the place, which served for defense owing to the presence of the river and the vast marshes - while at the same time making it possible to control almost the entire region of Zulawy - was the crucial factor behind the decision to construct the castle here. Its symbolic name - Marienburg (Mary's Castle) - seems to have assigned it a very special role from the very beginning. The origin of this mighty stronghold goes back to the 1270's; it was then that the Teutonic Knights (a religious order of German origin, also called the Knights of the Cross) commenced the construction of a quadrilateral monastery-castle. On its north side a fortified area, known as 'Przedzamcze' (the most external part of the castle - the forecastle - just within the outer wall), was established to provide basic domestic services for the castle. The Teutonic Order with its Commander (with the title of Grand Master) Heinrich von Wilnowe, settled in the castle in 1280. At that time, however, the Malbork fortress was not as yet any different from the other strongholds located on the borders of the Teutonic state in Prussia.





The Order of the Crossbearers (Zakon Krzyżacki) was a German crusading military order under Roman Catholic religious vows formed at the end of the 12th century in Acre in Palestine. They wore white coats with a black cross. After Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, they moved to Transylvania in 1211, but were expelled in 1225. The knights moved to northern Poland, where they soon created the independent Teutonic Order state.



The aggression of the Order posed a threat to the neighboring states, especially Poland and Lithuania. In 1410 at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg), a Polish-Lithuanian army decisively defeated the Order and broke its military power.



The power of the Order steadily declined until 1525 when its Grand Master, Albert of Brandenburg, converted to Lutheranism and assumed the title and rights of hereditary Duke of Prussia. The Grand Masters continued to preside over the Order's considerable holdings in Germany until 1809, when Napoleon ordered its dissolution and the Order lost its last secular holdings.



At that time, the castle in Malbork was an impregnable stronghold. Individual sections of the fortress were ringed with walls, which not only made a tight system of fortifications, but also made it possible to defend each of the sections separately.



The elements that were most important from the point of view of defense, such as the gates and passages, were equipped with all the defensive devices known in the Middle Ages, These included portcullises, inter-gate spaces, battlemented parapets, machicolations (openings in the floor of projecting galleries through which missiles were cast on the enemy below), shooting galleries, etc.



For centuries Malbork was a standard reference for many defensive complexes developed in Europe for providing comfort amenities like hot baths and floor heating during harsh Northern European winters.




Before and during WWII, The Tuetonic Castle at Malbork (Marienburg, at the time in Western Prussia near the beloved free City of Danzig), was a favorite Nazi stomping ground and birth place of the SS organization The Order Castles, (Ordensburgen). 

Ordensburgen Nazi uniform CuffTitle

Ordensburgen was also a school of the highest level of political education for members who were to become the political elite and as such was paid an appropriate visit by the Americans.


B-17 above Marienburg.


After the war 50% damaged structure was restored.




The Heating System of the Castle:

The Medieval Hypocaustum.


In the West Wing of the Middle Castle there is a little entrance, with stairs leading down to the inside of the stove that used to heat the Great Refectory in the Middle Ages.



The stove delivered the warm air to the hall on the ground floor through special ducts, located in the walls and vaults.



During the castle's heyday, there were at least ten similar stoves heating the floors of the most important halls of the complex.



The two-chamber system made it possible to heat a pile of large, loosely arranged fieldstones until they were almost red hot and gave out a great amount of heat. 



The stones are in fact energy accumulation devices.





Rooms of lesser importance were furnished with fireplaces or sometimes stoves covered with medieval jug-tiles (hollow burnt clay tiles).




At present, The Great Knight's Hall of the Malbork castle is heated by Elektra VC floor heating cables arranged in 170-180 Watts/m  (15.5-16.5Watts/sq.ft.) layout because the mortar made floors are up to 30 cm (12+) thick.

Today, Malbork Castle with all its rich history and many unique features like floor heating is on the UNESCO's 'The World Heritage List' along with 628 cultural and historical properties of our civilization.





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