Torun – 6

To the north of the medieval town is the Ethnographic Museum with its enthusiastic guides who were able to answer all my questions in English. The exhibits range from a roadside shrine of St John Nepomuk, to farm houses, peat coal presses, houseboats, ovens, and shepherd shelters. There is a complete watermill and windmill. This is a peaceful place where the birds tweet in the trees casting dappled light onto most of the buildings. 

Torun is known throughout Poland as the place to buy gingerbread. Just to prove the importance of the sweet in the city, there are two museums dedicated to the stuff both of them in former gingerbread factories. The museum in the town is part of the Torun Regional Museums system whereas the other is a more commercial affair. I can also recommend the gingerbread beer brewed on the premises at Jan Olbracht.

The other highlights of Torun include the museum to Copernicus in the house where he might have been born, depending on whom you believe. There are some eclectic Oriental artefacts in the House under the Star on the main square. Slightly to the east of the medieval town is the castle of the Teutonic Knights, which was dismantled by the town’s people in 1454 presumably when the knights were away otherwise surely they would have decided to stop them? I would recommend visitors spend time admiring the Cathedral of St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist. The clock on the south side has a big dent above the VIII caused by a Swedish cannonball in 1703. Inside the soaring arches are truly impressive as is the monochrome decoration. 

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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