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(tô`ro͞onyə), Ger. Thorn, city (1993 est. pop. 201,700), capital (with Bydgoszcz) of Kujawsko-Pomorskie prov., N central Poland, on the Vistula River. It is a river port and a railway junction. The major industries produce precision instruments, electrical equipment, textiles, and fertilizers. It grew around a castle founded in 1231 by the Teutonic Knights. A flourishing trade center, it was a member of the Hanseatic League (14th–16th cent.). Toruń's importance made it an object of dispute between Poland and the Teutonic KnightsTeutonic Knights
or Teutonic Order
, German military religious order founded (1190–91) during the siege of Acre in the Third Crusade. It was originally known as the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutons in Jerusalem.
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. The First Peace of Toruń (1411) resulted in a short-lived settlement of the struggle. When Toruń recognized the Polish crown in 1454, it was taken and burned by the Knights. The ensuing war between Poland and the Knights ended with the Second Peace of Toruń (1466), by which Poland gained Toruń, extensive Prussian territories, access to the sea, and suzerainty over the area left to the Knights. A synod (1595) of Polish and Lithuanian Protestants and a synod (1645) of Polish Protestants and Catholics (known as the Colloquium Charitativum) were held in the city. In the early 17th cent. Toruń's population (30,000) was equal to that of Warsaw, but the city suffered heavily in the Swedish invasion. A religious riot there (1724) caused Russia and Prussia to guarantee the rights of religious minorities in Poland. The city passed to Prussia in 1793 and again in 1815, after its occupation by Napoleon I. It reverted to Poland in 1919. Toruń has preserved several fine Gothic buildings, the most notable of which are the churches of St. John (13th–14th cent.), St. James (14th cent.), and the Virgin (14th cent.). It was the birthplace of Copernicus; its university (founded 1945) bears his name.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in northern Poland, in Bydgoszcz Województwo; situated on the Vistula River. Population, 144,000 (1974). Toruń, a transportation junction and river port, has enterprises for the production of chemicals (synthetic fibers, superphosphate), machinery (electronics equipment, precision instruments, ship equipment), and textiles (mainly woolens). There are also enterprises of the garment, food-processing, and printing industries. The city, which is known as the birthplace of Copernicus, is also the site of Copernicus University.

Toruń has the remains of a castle built by the Crusaders (13th-14th centuries, ruined by the townspeople in 1454) and remains of city fortifications (14th-15th centuries). Gothic structures inelude the city hall (13th-17th centuries) and the churches of St. John (13th-15th centuries) and St. James (early 14th-15th centuries). There are houses in the Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque styles. The city also has public buildings in the eclectic style, for example, the pseudo-Gothic university (early 20th century), and examples of art nouveau. In the 1950’s work was begun on the construction of modern residential, public, and industrial buildings.


Gasiorowski, M., and E. Gãsiorowska. Toruń. Warsaw, 1963.
Baranowski, H. Bibliografía miasta Torunia. Warsaw-Poznań, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


an industrial city in N Poland, on the River Vistula: developed around a castle that was founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1230; under Prussian rule (1793--1919). Pop.: 214 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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