Medieval Town of Toruń
Thanks to the great astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and to the flavor of the famous Torunian gingerbread as well as to the charm and character of one of Europe’s most beautiful old towns, Toruń is a city widely known in Poland and also far beyond its borders. Toruń’s historic core, represented by its well preserved complex of medieval architecture and the original urban layout, was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1997.
A wealthy Hanseatic port, Toruń was one of the most important trade and cultural centers in this part of Europe. It still possesses magnificent Gothic buildings that testify to the city’s past splendor: one of the most imposing old town halls in northern Europe, today occupied by the regional museum featuring valuable collections, the mighty Cathedral of SS John the Baptist and John the Evangelist with original interiors, St James’ Church with Gothic murals and spectacular stellar vaults, St Mary’s Church with richly adorned interiors of great historical value. There are several eye-catching burgher houses with the superbly decorated House under the Star and the fine brick Gothic house where the astronomer was born, now housing the Museum of Copernicus. The medieval old town complex of Toruń includes ruins of the Teutonic Knights’ castle, gates and towers of the long defensive city walls once protecting Toruń from the Vistula side as well as many other buildings dating back to medieval times.
Modern Toruń is a quickly developing large academic center with its Nicolaus Copernicus University and the city that hosts a great number of attractive artistic events. One of the many Toruń’s tourist attractions is the Planetarium equipped with a high-tech auditorium and presenting diverse shows several times daily.