The Medieval Town of Toruń, Poland

After a hectic two days in Gdansk, my northern Poland journey continued on Friday morning, May 24, 2018, to the Medieval Town of Torun.  The Torun Miasto train station was only a short walk to my hotel just outside the old town, a great location for my two day stay and my last stop before returning to Warsaw.  These two days were taken at a more relaxed pace, no side trips.

Some Wikipedia facts about Torun:

  • The medieval town of Torun is the oldest historic district of the city of Toruń. It is one of World Heritage Sites in Poland (added in 1997).   According to UNESCO, its value lies in its being “a small historic trading city that preserves to a remarkable extent its original street pattern and outstanding early buildings, and which provides an exceptionally complete picture of the medieval way of life”The Medieval Town has an area of 60 ha and a buffer zone of 300 ha. It is composed of the Toruń Old Town, Toruń New Town, and the Toruń Castle.
  • The Medieval Town was established on the site of a former Slavic trading town that had existed for around 500 years and dates to the 13th century, when the city of Toruń (Thorn) was granted a town charter by the Teutonic Knights Hermann von Salza and Hermann Balk in 1233.  The town, initially composed primarily of the district now known as the Toruń Old Town and the Toruń Castle, developed as a major commercial center, and was one of the key members of the Hanseatic League.  The town quickly grew, the Toruń New Town developed from 1264 east of the Old Town and north of the castle.
  • The Medieval Town is one of Poland’s official national Historic Monuments (Pomnik historii), as designated September 16, 1994. Its listing is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland.

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Two big claims to fame for Torun is the birthplace of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and the renowned Museum of the Gingerbread, whose baking tradition dates back nearly a millennium.

Here stands the Nicolaus Copernicus House Museum, where the astronomer and cleric was purportedly born in 1473.

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Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun

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The Nicolaus Copernicus statue adjacent to the Old Townhall

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The Leaning Tower of Torun has its top displaced 1.5 metres from where it would be if the tower were perfectly vertical.  One can attempt to lean against the tower at its base without falling forward, but not possible (at least not for me).  Note the medieval play toys held by the children, sold by tourist shops, a likely nightmare for parents.

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An entrance to the Medieval Town of Torun

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Under constant maintenance and restoration

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Tourist shop, note the bows and arrows among the gift ideas.

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View inside of St. James’s Church, a Gothic style 14th century church and under restoration.

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The Old Townhall in Torun is one of the largest brick buildings of that kind in Europe and the most important historical monument within the Old Town of Torun.  The Town Hall was erected in the Gothic style at the end of the 14th century incorporating in its structure a tower which had been built over a century before.

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A climb up the Old Townhall Tower offers a spectacular view from the top

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The Torun Castle Ruins show what’s left of the 13th- or 14th-century castle of the Teutonic Order.

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One of several candy stores in Torun

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The Museum of the Gingerbread was a fun place to visit

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The gingerbread making workshop is an integral part of the Museum visit

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While our gingerbreads are cooking we proceed with the guided museum tour

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At the end we receive our baked gingerbreads and informed that they are for ornamental use only, assuming that they should not be prepared in haste and hence are too hard.

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And, of course, one can not resist eating at a pierogi restaurant.

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Also, taking in the buskers is fun too.  See my Bubble Busker Lady blog entry

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And, finally, an end note of street musicians

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