The charming Old Town of Torun is of such international importance that it has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Its red-brick Gothic architecture resembles the historic district of Gdansk, but with a much different atmosphere as Torun proves to be much friendlier, cosier and less spoilt by the influx of visitors. Its lively centre is full of diverse cafes and pubs, offering a refreshing stop after sightseeing. Torun specialises in a traditional gingerbread that will give your stay an additional, spicy flavour.
After the Second World War this calm medium-sized city in northern Poland became a huge centre of industry, specialising in producing artificial fibres. Nowadays most of the factories have closed and the city instead has grown into a popular tourist destination. The Old Town boasts a large number of sights, predominantly dating from the Middle Ages, such as St Mary's Church, the Cathedral of St John and the Town Hall. The panorama of the historical quarter as seen from the left bank of the river or the bridge, especially when illuminated in the evenings, is really stunning.
Torun is situated in the valley of the lower Vistula. The historic part together with the majority of the town is located on the northern (right bank) of the river. Its location had an impact on the development of trade in the past, accelerating its economic growth. Torun is popular during the summer, especially when it is quiet after the departure of the students.
The area around modern Torun was home to Slavonic settlements from the 11th century. The Teutonic Knights, brought to Poland by a prince of Masovia to defend his northern border, established the town itself in 1233. The city, also known as Thorn, was surrounded by a ring of walls and guarded by a castle built by the Teutonic Knights near the Old Town.