Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


The city of Toruń (German Thorn, Latin Torun, civitas Torunensis) is a city in northern Poland, on the Vistula river, with 204,300 inhabitants (1995). One of the capitals of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodship (since 1999), previously capital of Torun Voivodship (1975-1998) and the Pomeranian Voivodship (1921-1939).

Toruń was the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473).

A university in Toruń was founded in 1945. (University of Torun website)

The medieval town of Toruń is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Table of contents
1 Architecture
2 History
3 Name of the city
4 External links


Baroque facade of Dambski Palace (18th c.)

Part of medieval city walls

Gothic building from 15th c. with Guard Keep (13 c.), both rebuild in 19th c.

Partial view of Teutonic Knights' castle


Toruń (at that time called Thorun, and in the Culmer Land (Ziemia Chelminska) region of Province of Prussia), was an important medieval trade center, and part of the Hanseatic League. The Teutonic Knights built a castle there (1230-31), and the settlement acquired town rights in 1233, relocating from its original site to what is called today "Old Town" in 1236. In 1263, Franciscan monks settled in Torun, and they were followed in 1239 by Dominicans. In 1264 the neighboring New Town Thorn was founded. It was a separate town until 1454, when the old and new cities were amalgamated.

During the 14th century, Torun joined the Hanseatic League.

Name of the city

Points of view diverge on the origin of Toruń's name.

Some claim it comes from Polish Tarnów (there are many such cities in Poland, tarnina = kind of river plants), which was later Germanized into Thorn, and re-Polonized into Toruń. It may also be derived after the city of Toron, that was located in the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the Crusades. However, others claim that neither name Toruń nor Thorn has any etymological meaning. (reference: Professor Jan Miodek)

External links