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Teutonic Knights the founders of Torun

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Torun was founded in 1233 by the Teutonic Order and managed by the Knights until 1454, when it became incorporated into the borders of the Republic of Poland under the reign of King Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk.

The medieval origin of the city reminds us about the significance of the Teutonic Knights for Torun. At the times when the city was governed by the Order many monuments of the highest class were erected, especially Gothic churches like St. Johns’, St. Jacob’s and the Blessed Virgin Mary’s churches which existed to present times; other ones, like St. Nicolaus’ church, have not survived the passage of time.

Teutonic Knights in PolandThe foundation charter of Torun, later on called the Chelmno Privilege, gave rise to the legal regulation of the Chelmno Land. On this basis within 500 years over 200 towns were given legal rights in the land of Prussia and neighbouring countries.

The seat of the Teutonic Order in Torun was The Knights’ Castle, built in the mid 13th century in the place of a former Slavonic settlement. For that reason the castle’s design was not rectangular (as in the majority of castles built by the Order) but in a shape of a horseshoe, with its two endings directed towards the Vistula. The central point of the castle was a massive octagonal tower. Nowadays, among the ruins, one can see only the latrine tower, which was erected probably at the end of 13th century.

Unfortunately, the Teutonic Knights’ Castle, located on the Vistula river bank, had been destroyed by the townspeople in 1454 shortly before Torun paid the homage of faithfulness to the Republic of Poland and took the oath of obedience to the King Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk and his heirs.

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