24 Hours in Torun

Last weekend was our wedding anniversary, and so we celebrated with a quick overnight trip to the medieval town of Torún.

A Hanseatic league city founded by the Teutonic knights in the 13th century, Torún was half German until about 200 years ago. That German history, and the presence of a Teutonic knights’ castle, account for the city’s remarkable state of preservation today. While the Nazis transported all the Jews to concentration camps and enslaved the Polish citizens during WWII, they did not destroy the buildings as they did in Warsaw. So, the city is mostly original and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Torún’s Old Town is small, charming, and apparently very popular with Polish tourists. I was amazed at the crowds, which included more than the usual number of kids. I think many families may stop in the city on the way to Malbork Castle, one of Poland’s top family-friendly tourist attractions. 

24 hours was just about the right amount of time to spend exploring the tourist areas. We climbed the tower of the Ratusz (city hall), visited Copernicus’ house and the ruins of the Teutonic knights’ castle, and browsed a couple of small town museums. We also unexpectedly had one of the best meals we’ve had in Poland for our anniversary dinner at Szeroka 9. Sometimes, you just get lucky that way!

torun-1
The Ratusz, with a statue of Copernicus in front of it.

torun-2
The huge bells in the 13th century Ratusz tower.
torun-3
Looking down on the Church of the Holy Spirit from the top of the Ratusz.
torun-4
Great view on a beautiful day.
torun-5
The shadow of the Ratusz falls across buildings on the main square.
torun-6
The leaning tower along the town wall.
torun-7
Nope, I can’t pronounce it, either.
torun-8
Another tower along the wall, with a gate leading to a now-missing medieval bridge across the Vistula.
torun-9
In the ruins of the knights’ castle, posters for movies including “Nashville,” for some reason I cannot explain.
torun-10
Torun definitely caters to the kiddies.
torun-11
One of many heavily decorated buildings in the old town.
torun-12
Another typical Torun building. They liked brick.
torun-13
Beautiful medieval frescoes inside one of the churches.
torun-14
I took this photo because it shows the typical mess inside a European church: medieval frescoes, Baroque decorations, and a rather tacky modern painting.
torun-15
Piernik, or gingerbread, is a Torun specialty. We tried some– it was yummy!
torun-16
Copernicus’ house (one of them) is now a small museum.
torun-17
An old store sign with the German owner’s name.
torun-18
This was just the most bizarre thing. A jazz band on a huge steampunk bicycle wheel thing rolled around the square. (Photo borrowed from my husband.)
torun-19
Close up of the jazz band, which was very professional.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s