Why Toruń

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Why Toruń

Can you imagine a place where history combines with modernity, where one of the most notable scientist of all time was born, who stopped the Sun and moved the Earth? A place where history figures at nearly 800 years, and tradition and the memory of its history is nurtured for centuries? A place where amongst the narrow, cobbled alleys and immortal red-brick buildings rises a sweet-spiced aroma of peppery bread later called gingerbread, of which recipe was an incredibly guarded secret passed on from generation to generation?
If you can imagine such a place, why wouldn't you see it with your own eyes? Taste the traditional gingerbread baked for centuries with a secret recipe. Walk on alleys which are several centuries old and bustle with life to this day holding the secrets of historical events. Visit the home that is the heart of disputes for historians, regarding the birthplace of the most famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

Panorama Torunia

Short history

Toruń is a city of almost two hundred thousand residents, located in central Poland, reaching the XIII century with its rich history when in 1233 Hermann von Salza, a great master of the Teutonic Knights, issued a Toruń location document. The headquarters of the arriving Teutonic Knights became a castle erected in the middle of the XIII century, around which people began to settle in with time. This way, a settlement located in the Vistula valley was set up - in a place that created incredibly convenient conditions for crossing the river - connecting north with south and traversing the route running along the Vistula river. The settlement began to develop until, in 1280, it became a member of the Hanseatic League - a union of trade cities, controlling trade on the Vistula river.
From where did the city name of Toruń come from? The legend states that the times in which the city was created were very turbulent, so the settlement was surrounded by high walls and even higher towers. One of the towers, which was incredibly curious of everything around it, became friends with a river flowing nearby and they talked frequently. Vistula, because that's what the river was called, brought the tower new information every day from all corners of Poland. With time, the tower became bored and it became jealous of Vistula's many adventures, during which it leads a boring and monotonous life. So the tower stopped listening to what the river brought to it. The aggrieved Vistula began to scour the walls of the tower. Expecting the consequences which the rivers actions could bring, the tower began to beg the Vistula to stop damaging it, explaining that this way it'll collapse. However, Vistula was not interested and furiously it shouted - so collapse! (to-ruń).
At the same time, close to the city, two travellers walked by, who hotly discoursed about the name of elapsing settlement. Then, their ears heard Vistula's words, which they remembered as the name of the settlement and which they noted on the map. And that's how it stayed, that the settlement bears the name Toruń to this day.

Charming Old Town

Urokliwa StarówkaNot without reason is Toruń called the pearl of gothic, and its Old Town is entered in the UNESCO List. It owes its unique climate and secretiveness to the building from the XV century. Wanting to feel the incredible atmosphere of the post-medieval city, you cannot miss Toruń's Old Town, where you can sight delicately decorated town houses, which crated light and expressive buildings. Churches captivating with original gothic form, of which interiors are filled with the colourful light of the sun infiltrating through tall stained glass windows. Here, a particular attention should be given to the Saint John's Cathedral, numerously welcoming Polish kings and notable visitors from abroad. The heart of John Olbracht was buried at the church, who died in the town hall in 1501 during preparation to war with the Teutonic Knights. Toruń, throughout the centuries, was famous for its hospitality and sincerity, of which evidence are the numerous visits from the Russian Tsar Peter the Great, Marie Casimire, Augustus II the Strong, Napoleon I and Pope John Paul II. Undoubtedly the heart of Toruń's Old Town is the old-town Town Hall which played trading and services roles in the past, now a District Museum with a sighting tower.

An inspirational beginning

Mikołaj Kopernik

Toruń is the family city of Nicolaus Copernicus. Most likely the character of the medieval Toruń and his closest family had substantial impact on the formation of his personality and his achievements. Maybe the beauty and the harmony of the gothic architecture caused Copernicus' liking for harmony and the enormous faith in human capabilities. Those who want to experience the place where the most notable astronomer was born, can visit the gothic town house located on 17 Kopernika Street, with a richly decorated facade and a typical stair apex.

Royal and not only tidbit

What would Toruń be without the sophisticated honey cookies, for which honey is collected from the best local apiaries, and the spices with which the tidbit is flavoured with: ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, have a genuinely royal status. Before centuries, Kings enthused about them, which presented this tidbit to each other on different occasions including weddings and births of new members of the family. Currently, it is popular not only with Polish tourists but tourists from around the world as well. To this day it is the most common gift in Toruń. The Museum of the Toruń Gingerbread gave the gingerbread lovers an opportunity to visit the old gingerbread factory and at the same time becoming close to their history and gingerbread baking through fairy tales and legends. To those wanting to deepen and discover the secrets of baking this speciality, there is an opportunity to individually bake the cookies.

Cultural Toruń

Toruń kulturalnyAfter delights for the body comes the time for spiritual delights. Here, Toruń also prepared an incredibly interesting offer. Nearly every day there events of differing character: festivals, concerts, exhibitions, spectacles and many more, which equal other world class events. Lovers of light illuminations will be attracted by the highly popular August Bella Skyway Light Festival attracting tourists from all of Europe. Move enthusiasts will be interested in the TOFIFEST movie festival which is also world famous. Admirers of a more traditional form of art which is theatre, Toruń invites to the unforgettable experience associated with the KONTAKT festival. Sound enthusiasts will be attracted to the PROBALTICA music and baltic arts festival. Art well-wishers will be interested in the Wilam Horzycy Theatre, exhibitions in the Modern Arts Centre "Znaki Czasu", as well as a journey to the past in the District Museum.

Where history crashes into modernity

Hala sportowo-widowiskowa
A modern architecture is another reason for which Toruń stands out. During the last years, several sports, cultural and conference venues were built. Among those complexes, it is worthy to note the Motoarena, one of the most modern in Europe, which is commonly greeted by the fans of speedway, as well as where concerts of the biggest stars are organised, or the world standard sport spectating Arena Toruń. In November 2015, Toruń for the opening of the multiply awarded Jordanki Cultural-Congress Centre, in which are located: a concert hall, a spectating hall, three modular conference halls, a professional press room and an underground car park. It is one of the best places for organising conferences, fairs and congresses with a high standard. An innovative architectural clod and innovative acoustic solutions and the formation of the spectating space will most definitely be not left without attention. The acoustics in the concert hall are regulated with mobile ceilings as well as hall which can be joined using moving wall are some of the conveniences.

Attractively and actively

Toruń aktywnie

 

Brave fans of active leisure will be charmed by the birds eye view of Toruń. It can be admired from a light aircraft or a powered hang glider. For those also wanting to find themselves several meters above the ground, but not as high, will be greeted by rope walking in a local ropes course. The nearby rivers surrounding Toruń will welcome kayakers with their beauty. On the other hand, cyclists will be captivated by a rich network of nearly 70km of cycling routes in Toruń as well as routes surrounding the city and connecting it with neighbouring towns. After such exhausting experiences, a well-earned relaxation time will be provided by many Wellness & Spa zones. The dense spread of hotels is a certain asset, located in strategic and beautiful locations, meaning that Toruń sightseeing is a joy.

 Connection

Położenie Torunia

 

Toruń is located in central Poland meaning that commutes are incredibly easy and convenient. Thanks to the intersection of roads connecting the north of the country with the south as well as the west with the east, the A1 motorway leads to the city, along with S10 high speed road and numerous national roads. It should also be noted that Toruń is advantageously located in relation to the largest airports in Poland including: Warsaw, Gdańsk, Łódź, Poznań and Bydgoszcz. The journey to Toruń from Bydgoszcz takes only 50min (54.2km) travelling by the national road no.10 or no.80. Slightly further, but well connected as well, is the Lech Wałęsa airport in Gdańsk which can be travelled to by the A1 motorway, and the journey takes 1h 42min (174km). The Władysław Reymont airport in Łódź is located at a similar distance, which can be travelled to by the A1 motorway in 2h. Travelling to the Poznań-Ławica airport takes, for those travelling by the no.15 national road, 2h 3min (187km). The furthest airport from Toruń is the Warsaw Chopin airport located 263km away. However, the connection of Toruń with Warsaw by the A1 and A2 motorways means that the journey expires quickly and comfortably.