Torun is a city in northern Poland, on the Vistula River. Previously it was a capital of Torun Voivodeship (1975-98) and Pomeranian Voivodeship (1921-45). Many imposing public and private buildings from the 14th and 15th centuries (among them the house of Copernicus) are striking evidence of Torun’s importance.
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The medieval old town of Torun is a birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus. It was inscribed onto the World Heritage List of UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1997.
The city is famous for having preserved almost intact its medieval spatial layout and many Gothic buildings, all built from brick, including monumental churches, the Town Hall and many burgher houses. The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and John the Baptist, an aisled hall church built in the 14th century and extended in the 15th century; outstanding Gothic sculptures and paintings inside. The Old Town Hall, begun in 1274, extended and rebuilt between 1391 and 1399, and extended at the end of the 16th century; one of the most monumental town halls in Central Europe.
Over ten major museums document the history of Torun and the region. Among others, the House of Kopernik and the accompanying museum commemorate Nicolaus Copernicus and his revolutionary work, the university museum reveals the history of the city’s academic past.
Torun is equipped with a planetarium (located downtown) and astronomical observatory (located in nearby community of Piwnice).