Main Attractions in Torun

The oldest Gothic church in the Land of Chelmno is the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptiser and Saint John the Evangelist. Shortly after the city was relocated to its present location in 1236, the construction of the church was commenced. The enormous bell that you see there weighs a whopping 7 tons and was cast in Torun in 1500 and named 'Tuba Dei', meaning, 'God's Trumpet'. With a 2.17 metre diameter, it is easily one of the biggest bells in Poland. The baroque style interiors are breathtaking.

Another beautiful church Gothic church is the Saint Jacob Church. It was built in the fourteenth century in the new city of Torun. A gothic inscription on the choir indicates that its construction was started in 1309. It was completed in 1350.The architectural style of its basilica is unique among the gothic churches of Torun in that its side aisles are lower than the main aisle.

The construction of The Saint Mary Church, a post-Franciscan church, was started in the first half of the 13th century. It was completely rebuilt in the 14th century. Instead of a single tall tower, this church has three small turrets, which are built above the choir. This was in keeping with the code of beggar orders such as the Franciscan order. While the wooden stalls and empora are a contribution of the Franciscan period, the organs, pulpit and most of the epitaphs were added in the Lutheran period, from 1577 to 1774. Anna Wazowna, the sister of the Polish king Zygmunt III Waza was also buried here.

A stunning example of medieval urban architecture is the Town Hall in the Old City. It has an internal courtyard and a tower, which stands 40 meters tall. In the 17th century, the city municipality decided to enlarge the town hall, and for this purpose, called upon Antoni van Obberghen, an architect from Gdansk. Apart from adding another storey, he enlarged window orfices and placed fabulous portals to embellish the interiors. A fire in 1703 devastated large areas of the town hall, which was later reconstructed. Most of the work that is seen today, was carried out in the 17th century.

The Leaning Tower, was originally 15 meters tall, and built on four wall foundations. In the Middle Ages, a layer of sand slid away from underneath it, causing the tower to lean until it was able to settle on compacted soil. Today, the Leaning Tower stands out among the other buildings of the Old City.

As a tribute to its famous son Nicolaus Copernicus, a project for the erection of his statue was launched in 1809 by Stanislaw Staszic. The monument was formally unveiled in 1853 in the Old Market Square in front of the Old Town Hall. The 150th anniversary of the unveiling of the monument was celebrated in 2003.

The Teutonic Knights selected an elevated site on the banks of the Vistula River to build their castle, the first to be built on the Lands of Chelmno. Archaeologists have concluded that the 10th century, fort existed on the site. The construction of the castle was carried out in the period 1233-1236. The Commander castle came up during the 13th and 14th centuries. The chapter house, which is an enourmous tower of octagonal shape, a well, a sanitary tower called 'gadinsko' and some household buildings were some of the things built. In 1420, following a fire in the castle, there was an uprising by the people of Torun, which ended in the ultimate defeat of the Teutonic Knights. Currently, only the 'gladinsko' tower and parts of the moat along with parts of the lower castle remain.

There is a lot more to see in Torun other than the above attractions, which are the most famous.
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