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Medieval Town of Toruń

Medieval Town of Toruń

Torun owes its origins to the Teutonic Order, which built a castle there in the mid-13th century as a base for the conquest and evangelization of Prussia. It soon developed a commercial role as part of the Hanseatic League. In the Old and New Town, the 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.

Ville médiévale de Toruń

Torun doit ses origines à l'ordre Teutonique qui y a construit un château au milieu du XIIIe siècle, pour servir de base à la conquête et à l'évangélisation de la Prusse. Elle a rapidement eu un rôle commercial au sein de la Ligue hanséatique et nombre des imposants édifices publics et privés des XIVe et XVe siècles (dont la maison de Copernic) qui subsistent dans la Vieille Ville comme dans la Ville Nouvelle témoignent de son importance.

مدينة تورون من القرون الوسطى

تعود أصول تورون الى النمط التوتوني الذي بنى فيها قصرًا في أواسط القرن الثالث عشر ليكون منطلقًا للغزو ولتبشير بروسيا بالانجيل. وقد حازت بسرعة على دور تجاري في قلب الجامعة الهانزية ويشهد على أهميّتها عدد من النصب المهيبة العامة والخاصة التي تعود الى القرنَيْن الرابع عشر والخامس عشر (كمنزل كوبرنيك) والموجودة في المدينة القديمة كما في المدينة الجديدة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

中世纪古镇托伦

托伦城的雏型源于13世纪中期,当时,条顿骑士团在托伦修筑城堡,成为征服普鲁士和感化普鲁士的基地。不久以后,托伦在中世纪的汉萨同盟中发挥着重要作用,成为重要的商业中心。现在城中还有许多公元14世纪和15世纪建造的公共建筑和私人建筑(包括哥白尼的故居),这一切充分显示了托伦在历史上的重要地位。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Средневековая часть города Торунь

Торунь обязан своим возникновением Тевтонскому ордену, который в середине XIII в. построил здесь замок-базу для завоевания и христианизации Пруссии. Войдя в состав Ганзейского союза, город приобрел торговое значение. Явным свидетельством важности Торуня является множество выдающихся общественных и частных зданий в его Старом городе и Новом городе, относящихся к XIV-XV вв. (среди них – дом Коперника).

source: UNESCO/ERI

Ciudad medieval de Toruń

Los orígenes de Toruń se remontan a mediados del siglo XIII, época en que la Orden Teutónica construyó un castillo en este lugar con miras a que sirviera de base para la conquista y evangelización de Prusia. Muy pronto, la ciudad creada en torno al castillo llegó a cobrar una importancia comercial considerable dentro de la Liga Hanseática, como lo atestiguan los numerosos e imponentes edificios públicos y privados de los siglos XIV y XV subsistentes en el centro viejo y la parte nueva, entre los que figura la casa de Copérnico.

source: UNESCO/ERI

中世都市トルニ

source: NFUAJ

Middeleeuwse stad Toruń

Toruń dankt zijn oorsprong aan de Teutoonse orde, die er halverwege de 13e eeuw een kasteel bouwde als basis voor de verovering en evangelisatie van Pruisen. De stad ging al spoedig een commerciële rol spelen als onderdeel van de Hanze. Het contact met de Hanzesteden heeft invloed gehad op de kunst en cultuur van de stad. In de oude en nieuwe stad laten de vele imposante openbare en particuliere gebouwen uit de 14e en 15e eeuw – waaronder het huis van Copernicus – treffend zien hoe belangrijk het middeleeuwse Toruń was.

Source: unesco.nl

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Medieval Town of Torun © Our Place
Justification for Inscription

The Committee decided to inscribe this property on the basis of criteria (ii) and (iv), considering that Torun is a small historic trading city that preserves to a remarkable extent its original street pattern and outstanding early buildings, and which provides an exceptionally complete picture of the medieval way of life.

Long Description

Toruń is a small historic trading city that preserves to a remarkable extent its original street pattern and outstanding early buildings, providing an exceptionally complete picture of the medieval way of life. These buildings in Toruń represent the highest achievements of medieval architecture in brick. Some of them, moreover, influenced the evolution of certain types of building. The town sets a standard for the evolution of towns in the region: the combination of two towns with a castle is a rare form of medieval settlement agglomeration. The unique spatial layout of Toruń has survived almost intact and provides valuable source material for the history of town development in medieval Europe. It is an outstanding masterpiece of the human creative mind. Toruń displays evidence of cultural contacts with the leading centres of European art, and in particular that of the large mercantile cities of northern Europe such as Bruges and Ghent. It therefore bears witness to the interchange and creative adaptation of artistic experience, and in particular among the Hanseatic towns.

Toruń is situated in the region known in the Middle Ages as the Land of Chelmno (Terra Culmensis ). It was granted a town charter in 1233; a fort had been built in the early medieval period to the south-east of the town, facing the river, and this was rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Teutonic Order. The original function of Toruń was a base for the conquest and colonization of Prussia. However, the Old Town had quickly developed as a major commercial centre for trade between the Baltic and Eastern Europe, along the Vistula to towns such as Pskov, Novgorod and Vladimir. This commercial role expanded as the century proceeded. Toruń became the leading member of the Hanseatic League in the territories ruled by the Teutonic Order. The New Town developed from 1264 to the north of the castle and the east of the Old Town as a centre for crafts and industry. Toruń was one of the most important artistic centres, in particular in architecture, in this part of Europe. It was endowed with many architectural masterpieces, which were to exert a powerful influence on the Teutonic state and neighbouring countries. The astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Toruń in 1473 and spent his youth there. The Swedish wars and the crisis in Poland in the 17th century brought the town's prosperity to an end.

The Old Town, which forms the western part of the complex, is laid out around its central Market Place. The street pattern to the south, up to the river, is regular, with five parallel streets running down to the river intersected by cross-streets. The part to the north is also based on perpendicular streets, but they are laid out in a less regular fashion. The main feature of the Market Square is the imposing Old Town Hall, built in 1391-99 using some elements, including the tower of 1274, from its predecessor. An additional storey was added, in full conformity with the Gothic form of the building, in 1602-5. The Parish Church of St John (Cathedral of Toruń since 1992) was built in stages. The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, formerly the church of the Grey Friars (Franciscans), contains 14th-century wall paintings, as well as some fine Baroque furnishings. The Old Town was fortified progressively between 1250 and 1300 with a double wall strengthened by bastions; these fortifications were reconstructed in 1420-49 and partly dismantled in the 19th century, but most of the southern sector facing the river survives intact, with gates and towers.

In the New Town, the Parish Church of St James is another fine building in late Gothic style. Its interior contains many Baroque furnishings. The Blackfriars (Dominican) Church of St Nicholas was almost entirely demolished in the 19th century. However, the remains of the church and its cloister have been excavated and laid out as a public park. Most of the Castle of the Teutonic Order was destroyed during the uprising of 1454. The remains have been excavated and laid out for public presentation as a museum. Both the Old and the New Town are rich in fine medieval brick burgher houses, many of which retain their original Gothic facades and interior fittings (partition walls, ceilings, painted decoration). Because of the survival of so many houses from this period, the medieval plots are for the most part still preserved, delineated by their original brick boundary walls.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

Torun is situated in the region known in the Middle Ages as the Land of Chelmno (Terra Culmensis), which acted as a buffer zone in the l2th and early 13th centuries between Poland and the regions occupied by the pagan Prussian tribes. It was granted a town charter in 1233, at that time for a site 7km down the Vistula river from which it moved to that part of the Old Town lying between the Old Town Square and the river in 1236. It progressively expanded during the 13th century to occupy the area of the Old Town, and was enclosed by defensive walls.

A fort bad been built in the early medieval period to the south-east of the town, facing the river, and this was rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Teutonic Order as a castle. The original function of Torun was to act as a base for the conquest and colonization of Prussia by the Order. However, the Old Town had quickly developed as a major commercial centre for trade between the Baltic and Eastern Europe, along the Vistula to towns such as Pskov, Novgorod, and Vladimir. This commercial role, trading grain, timber, metals, furs, and wax in exchange for western cloth, fish, and luxury goods, expanded as the century proceeded. Torun became the leading member of the Hanseatic League in the territories ruled by the Teutonic Order. The New Town developed from 1264 onwards to the north of the castle and the east of the Old Town, mainly as a centre for crafts and industry.

The peak of Torun's prosperity was in the second half of the 14th and the first half of the 15th century. At the same time tension developed between the citizens and the Teutonic Order, leading eventually to an uprising in 1454, followed by the expulsion of the Knights and the incorporation of the town and its surrounding region into the Kingdom of Po land. The town gained a number of privileges as a result, but lost its commercial supremacy to Gdansk.

Two periods, 1350-1410 and 1470-1520, stand out in the cultural and artistic history of Torun. It was one of the most important artistic centres, in particular in respect of architecture, in this part of Europe. The town was endowed at this time with many architectural masterpieces, which were to exert a powerful influence on the whole Teutonic state and neighbouring countries. It is worth y of mention that the great astronomer, Nicholas Copemicus, was born in Tonm in 1473 and spent his youth there.

The Swedish wars and the crisis in Poland in the 17th century brought Torun's prosperity to an end. It came under Prussian rule in 1793, when it became known under its German name, Thom, and was transformed into the main fortress on the frontier between Prussia and Russia. After World War I it was part of the reunited Polish state.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation