Encyclopedia > Torun

  Article Content


The city of Torun (German Thorn, Latin Thorunensis, Polish Toruń) is one of two capitals (with Bydgoszcz) of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie region in central Poland, on the Vistula River.

Torun was the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473).

A university in Torun was founded in 1945. (University of Torun website (http://www.umk.pl/))

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


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


Torun (at that time called Thorn, and in the Culmer Land region 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, Thorn joined the Hanseatic League.

  • 1440 Hanse cities Thorn, Elbing and Danzig formed the Prussian Confederation.
  • 1454 the cities of Prussia rose up against the Teutonic Knights: Thorn accepted the sovereignty of the Polish crown in return for recognition of its city priviliges.
  • 1466 The Thirteen Years' War and uprisings of Prussian cities end with the Second Treaty of Thorn, in which the Teutonic Order ceded sovereignty over western Prussia to Casimir IV of Poland.
  • With the Reformation the city became mostly Protestant.
  • 1793 Thorn was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia.
  • 1807 Thorn became a part of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.
  • 1814 Thorn was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia again.
  • 1871 Thorn became part of the German Empire.
  • 1919 After World War I, under the Treaty of Versailles, Torun returned to Polish sovereignty, becoming the capital of the province of Pomorze.
  • 1939 After Germany's invasion of Westerplatte at Gdansk, the city was again annexed to Germany as part of the administrative province of Danzig-West Prussia.
  • 1945 Torun returns to Poland. After the borders were redrawn under the Potsdam Agreement reached at the end of World War II, Torun is now located close to the geographic centre of Poland.

Name of City

Torun's name 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 Torun. Neither name Torun or Thorn has any etymological meaning. (reference: Professor Jan Miodek[?]) It may also be derived after the city of Toron, that was located in the Jerusalem Kingdom during the Crusades.

External links:
  • 1598 map of Prussia [[1] (http://www.uni-mannheim.de/mateo/desbillons/atlas/seite70)]
  • Map of Prussia c.1630 [[2] (http://wwwtest.library.ucla.edu/libraries/mgi/maps/blaeu/prvssia-preview.jpg)]
  • 1620 Large Map of Prussia: Culm, Alt Thorn, Thorn in Culmigeria (Culmer Land) [[3] (http://wwwtest.library.ucla.edu/libraries/mgi/maps/blaeu/prvssia.jpg)]
  • 20th century The official web page of Torun (http://www.torun.pl/engl/)

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Springs, New York

... As of the census of 2000, there are 4,950 people, 1,924 households, and 1,252 families residing in the town. The population density is 225.9/km² ...

This page was created in 21.6 ms