Toruń – Dominican Friary and St Nicholas’ Church


   The church and the monastery of St. Nicholas belonged to the Dominican Order, brought to Toruń by the Teutonic Order in 1263. They were then endowed by Grand Master Anno von Sangerhausen with a construction site near the stream. In 1265, the church was under construction, as evidenced by the indulgence granted by the Bishop of Chełmno Frederyck. The construction of the church was probably completed before 1276, that is after the construction of the defensive walls of the Old Town of Toruń, to which monastery buildings were adjacent.
   Monastery buildings were repeatedly damaged by wars, fires and lightning strikes. Survived bombing by the besieged Polish troops in 1658, the Swedish in 1703, and the siege during the Napoleonic wars in 1809 and 1813. When the Order was dissoluted in 1820, in the following years the church was set up as a warehouse and finally demolished in 1834.


   The church was a two-aisle hall with a extended chancel, which was located on the axis of one of the naves and not on the pillars line. A slightly narrower southern nave was ended by a polygonal chapel of St. Jack from the east. The nave was covered with a common high gable roof, as did the chancel. From the outside, the building’s structure was covered with two-stepped buttresses reaching the crown of the walls, in the chancel set denser than in the nave. In the middle of the eastern top, there was an octagonal turret. From the north to the church was adjacent a monastery with an arcaded cloister on the square plan. Inside the chancel from the west was preceded by a rood screen, located on the axis of the east wing of the monastery. Around 1334-1343 the straight chancel closure was changed to the polygonal one.
    Because the church could not be expanded on the south side due to the street, in the mid-fourteenth century the original northern wall of the nave was pierced and the former southern cloister of the convent was incorporated into the church, maintaining its original height. The cloister was topped with a five-support vault. After its incorporation into the church, a new cloister was built on the southern side of the monastery courtyard.

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Mroczko T., Architektura gotycka na ziemi chełmińskiej, Warszawa 1980.

Website, Kościół św. Mikołaja w Toruniu.