Place:Toruń, Toruń, Bydgoszcz, Poland

Alt namesThornsource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-175
Thoruńsource: BHA, Authority file (2003-)
Toruńsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Torńsource: Wikipedia
Coordinates53.017°N 18.583°E
Located inToruń, Bydgoszcz, Poland     (1999 - )
Also located inBydgoszcz, Poland     ( - 1946)
Pomorze, Poland     (1920 - 1939)
Toruń, Poland     (1975 - 1998)
Westpreußen, Preußen, Germany    
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Toruń (, , see also: ) is a city in northern Poland, on the Vistula River. Its population is 205,934 as of June 2009. Toruń is one of the oldest cities in Poland. The medieval old town of Toruń is the birthplace of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

In 1997 the medieval part of the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2007 the Old Town in Toruń was added to the list of Seven Wonders of Poland. National Geographic Polska rated the old town market and the Gothic town hall as one of the "30 Most Beautiful Places in the World." In 2010 Forbes magazine ranked Toruń as number one of the "Polish Cities Attractive for Business". In 2009 it was listed as one of the "Best Cities to Live in Poland", in a ranking published by Przekrój.

Previously it was the capital of the Toruń Voivodeship (1975–98) and the Pomeranian Voivodeship (1921–45). Since 1999, Toruń has been a seat of the self-government of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship and, as such, is one of its two capitals (together with Bydgoszcz). The cities and neighboring counties form the Bydgoszcz-Toruń twin city metropolitan area. In September 2004, Bydgoszcz Medical School joined Toruń's Nicolaus Copernicus University as its Collegium Medicum. The current Mayor of Toruń is Mr. Michał Zaleski.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The first settlement in the vicinity is dated by archaeologists to 1100 BC (Lusatian culture). During early medieval times, in the 7th through 13th centuries, it was the location of an old Slavonic settlement.

In spring 1231 the Teutonic Knights crossed the river Vistula at the height of Nessau and established a fortress. On 28 December 1233, the Teutonic Knights Hermann von Salza and Hermann Balk, signed the foundation charters for Thorn and Chełmno. The original document was lost in 1244. The set of rights in general is known as Kulm law. In 1236, due to frequent flooding, it was relocated to the present site of the Old Town. In 1264 the adjacent New Town was founded. In 1280, the city (or as it was then, both cities) joined the mercantile Hanseatic League, and thus became an important medieval trade centre.

The First Peace of Thorn ending the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War was signed in the city in February 1411. In 1440, the gentry of Thorn formed the Prussian Confederation, and in 1454 rose with the Confederation against the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights in the Thirteen Years' War. The rebellious burghers destroyed the Teutonic castle in Thorn, marking the start of that war. After almost 200 years, the New and Old Towns amalgamated in 1454.The Thirteen Years' War ended in 1466 with the Second Peace of Thorn, in which the Teutonic Order ceded their control over western provinces, henceforth Royal Prussia. Toruń became part of Kingdom of Poland.

During the Great Northern War (1700–21), the restoration of Augustus the Strong as King of Poland was prepared in the town by Russian Tsar Peter the Great. In the second half of the 17th century, tensions between Catholics and Protestants grew, similarly to religious wars throughout Europe. In the early 18th century about 50 percent of the populace, especially the gentry and middle class, were German-speaking Protestants, while the other 50 percent were Polish speaking Roman Catholics. Protestant influence was subsequently pushed back after the Tumult of Thorn of 1724.

In 1793 the Kingdom of Prussia annexed the city following the Second Partition of Poland. Toruń was part of the area subject to Prussian and later German attempts to Germanise the province. Toruń became a centre of resistance to Germanization and Kulturkampf by Poles, who established a Polish-language newspaper, Gazeta Toruńska.[1] According to the Treaty of Versailles following World War I in 1919, Toruń was part of the Polish Corridor assigned to Poland. German sources claim a German majority population up to the January 1920 transfer to Poland, when many Germans chose to leave. Polish statistics show the German share of the city's population collapse to 5% by 1926. During World War II, the German army entered the city on September 7, 1939. Nazi Germany annexed the city, and administered it as part of Danzig-West Prussia. By the end of November the city was declared Judenfrei, with several hundred Jews who chose to stay, deported to the Łódź Ghetto and other locations in the Warthegau. Poles were classified as untermenschen by German authorities, with their fate being slave-labor, executions and expulsions. The Germans used the chain of forts surrounding the city as POW camps, known collectively as Stalag XX-A. After the war, it was returned to Poland. The remaining ethnic German population was expelled.

After World War II, the population increased more than twofold and industry developed significantly. The founding of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in 1945 was significant. Since 1989, when local and regional self-government was gradually reintroduced and the market economy was introduced, Toruń, like other cities in Poland, has undergone deep social and economic transformations. Toruń has recently reclaimed its strong position as a regional leader.

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