Sandsone Press Logo

On The Blog

Along the Amber Route: Torún

By the time the train pulled in to Toruń, it was growing dark. The station was undergoing renovation, its old booking hall a shell stranded between platforms with no direct access to the street. I dragged my luggage across the tracks to the rear exit and caught a taxi into town. The drive took me over a wide bridge across the Vistula and beneath the floodlit walls of the medieval town, studded with gates and bastions, the towers and spires of the city’s churches pricking the night sky above them.

Under a thin drizzle, the taxi deposited me on the cobbles of the New Town Square (the New Town being only marginally less venerable than the old), beneath the double tower of St James’s Church. A bespectacled priest in a cappello romano and soutane emerged from the church gates, unfurled his umbrella and glid past, the very image of G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown. The Hotel Legenda, where I had booked a room, was a handsome old blue-washed house on the east side of the square, with beamed ceilings, welcoming staff, and a cosy restaurant serving homely and filling Polish cuisine (but atrocious corner-shop wines). By now, the drizzle had turned into a downpour, so I decided to spend the evening reading up on the history of the town.

Toruń – Thorn in German – was one of the first settlements of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia. Invited into Poland by Duke Conrad of Masovia around 1231 to assist in his war against the Prussians, the Knights established their frontier on the Vistula, building a small castle on a hill by the river.

From Along the Amber Route by C.J. Schüler

Back to the map.

C.J. Schüler

C.J. Schüler