The city of Torun is one of larger polish cities located sort of half way between Gdansk and Warsaw. The city survived the as one of the few polish cities. The fortunate survival of the old town mean it is an interesting place to go and explore for a day or so. The well preserved old town has ensured it is represented on the UNESCO world heritage list and it also got a spot on the Seven Wonders of Poland list which is a list of the most famous polish sights selected by an online poll in Poland a few years back.
The town has a long history stretching back to the 8th century making it one of the oldest major settlements in Poland. The city was expanded by the Teutonic Knights in 1233 who ruled the city for a few centuries as part of their territories along the southern shore of the Baltic Sea. The city also flourished when it joined the powerful league of northern European trading cities – the Hanseatic League. The city was finally acquired by Poland again to be turned over to Prussia when Poland was partitioned between its neighbors.
The center of the old town is rather small so it is easy to walk around the area and there are many old houses in the center making it one of the best preserved Gothic towns in Eastern Europe. The old remains in the town include the remains of a Teutonic castle which is unfortunately only a ruined today – you can go inside the ruin if you like by we think we saw most of what is to see from the outside so we didn’t explore the old castle in more dept.
The most impressive buildings in the old town are found around the old squares in the center of the city which is a must to go and explore during a visit to the town. There is an old church as well and a town hall you can go inside if you like.
The most famous person from Torun is the old astronomer Copernicus. There is a statue of Copernicus on the main square of the town and his old house is one of the most important attractions in the town – unfortunately we didn’t realize his house was a museum until after the opening hour of the house so we didn’t make it inside to see how the old astronomer used to live.
The city is located at the important polish river the Vistula which is running right next to the old city wall of Torun. A great way to spend a little time during your visit is taking a short cruise on the river to see the old town from the water.