The Poles are very supportive of the millions of Ukrainian refugees. Poland is a country with a long trouble history of occupation, most recently by the the de-facto occupation by the Russians. They do not want the Russians back either. There are some disturbing anti-democratic developments in Poland. I do not know how Russia’s actions might effect the situation in Poland in regard to this. However the Russian invasion reveals in part the effects of authoritarian rule.
An acrylic painting of a section of Warsaw, almost totally destroyed by the Nazis in the uprising of 1944 and beautifully rebuilt. In the area I left blank, on the painting’s left side, actually sits the restored castle, a blank here to symbolize the Nazi destruction of it during the uprising of 1944.
Torun is small and thus easy to walk. It is full of remarkable architecture, with many restaurants, bars and cafes to add to your enjoyment. The buildings range from the brick structures daring from the 14th century Teutonic Knights to the Gothic to Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The town was not damaged in WW2, so the buildings are not newly rebuilt.
Toruń is another of several Polish city members of the Hanseatic League. The prosperity led to the three main styles, Gothic (dating from 1200’s) in brick, Mannerism and Baroque. The city walls and the now ruined castle are from the Gothic period.
The Cathedral of SS. John the Evangelist and John the Baptist (14th century) has some wonderful sculptures and paintings from the era, including a Moses and St. Mary Magdalene. The multiple altars are ourstanding.
Copernicus was born here and, if you will allow just this one pun, the city revolves around him. There are two museums that deal with him at least in title, this statue in front of city hall, and lots of reproductions of famous portraits.
While you wander about you are tempted by the lody – ice cream – which is very popular in this comparatively warm weather, with temperatures as high as 28c, 80f in generally partly cloud skies. Donuts are elaborately presented, a variety of calorie rich cakes. The city is most famous for its gingerbread, which fortunately for my waist line I do not like. There is very good cappuccino, espresso and macchiato (small cappuccino) — be careful about the latter as there is a small macchiato espresso and a the very large latte macchiato. There are waffles with real whipped cream and cherry jam. Gone are the pretzels, hard and soft, found in Cracow and the multitude of fruit stands and street markets from everywhere we have been. Remaining is the ever-present beer, with wine still an expensive alternative, and I hope you do not like sugar-free colas as they are harder to find if not impossible. Pierogies are everywhere in Poland so here as well, but I could not find latke, potato pancakes. Since our 1998 visit the Italians and Turks have moved in, so pizza and donor kebab are popular, as well as hamburgers even.
With our flat located within blocks of the Rynek (central square) we had the shortest possible commute. This turned out to be not the case in our next destination, the historical city of Poznan. On the other hand, we had two flights of these stairs: