Toruń – teutonic castle

History

    The castle was built on the site of the hillfort settlement called Postolsk, which existed before 1251. Its construction began in the middle of the 13th century, and subsequent works on the extension continued until the end of the fourteenth century. It was the seat of the Teutonic Order and commander of Toruń. In 1420 a part of the buildings burned down and the castle fell. In 1454, townspeople as members of the Prussian Union began a failed assault, and then a siege of the castle. Commander Albrecht Kelb surrendered the castle and opened the gates. The town council of Toruń immediately decided to destroy it, to prevent the authorities, whether Polish or Teutonic, hold troops in Toruń. These events were initiated the Polish – Teutonic Thirteen Years War. In the early modern period the castle area was used as a garbage dump. It was not until 1966 that the ruins of the castle were ordered and revealed.

Architecture

     The impact on the shape of the castle had a triangular hill on which it was built. In the third quarter of the 13th century a peripheral wall was built and the main castle house at the southern curtain. Then in the fourth quarter of the 13th century, cloisters were erected, and perhaps a lock on the moat, separating the castle from the Old Town. In the next phase of the 14th century, the octagonal tower, the dansker tower and the eastern range were built. By the end of the fourteenth century, the economic bailey developed. The last changes were related to the enlargement of the usable area of ​​the castle by bricking the arcades of the cloister at the south range.

    The entrance to the inner ward was from the west. The buildings were located along the peripheral walls. The main castle house was erected on a rectangular plan measuring 12×54 m. It was a one-bay building with basement. The cellars and the ground floor held economic functions. On the floor there were living and representative rooms. From the east there was a two-nave chapel covered with a rib vault. Next to it was a refectory. The dormitory was in the western part. Short, northeast range had probably two storeys with chapter room on the floor. The octagonal main tower with a diameter of 10 meters was located in the northern part of the inner ward. Behind the wall were located stables and economic facilities. At the corner of the east range was dansker, which reached 32 meters outside the perimeter of the wall. Dansker tower could have been originally higher. Fortifications of castle’s outer baileys were standalone. The northern gate provided communication with the town, the second bailey was on the river side, and the third bailey was the largest in the north-east. There was a mill, a forge, a saddle, a brewery, a coach house, a bakery and stables.

Current state

     Today’s castle is preserved as a ruin. From the buildings of the main castle up to now dansker (toilet tower) with the porch leading to it, the moat, the lower parts of the walls and the octagonal tower and basements have preserved. In the area of the outer baileys, buildings associated with the castle have been preserved: the upper mill and significant sections of the walls with the Mill and Mint gates. Castle ruins can be visited from March to October on every day: 10.00-18.00, and in the period from November to February in the hours: 10.00-16.00.

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bibliography:
Leksykon zamków w Polsce, L.Kajzer, S.Kołodziejski, J.Salm, Warszawa 2003.
Torbus T., Zamki konwentualne państwa krzyżackiego w Prusach, Gdańsk 2014.
Wasik B., Budownictwo zamkowe na ziemi chełmińskiej od XIII do XV wieku, Toruń 2016.