Torun – Ruins of St. Nicholas Church

Work started on the Church of St. Nicholas in 1263 on land given to the Dominicans by the Teutonic Knights. The church was located just outside of the city walls, although it later came within the boundaries of the new town area of Torun. It was expanded in the 1430s, but had a difficult time over the centuries due to location near the city walls, which made it vulnerable to attack.

The church was the only one in Torun which remained Catholic and it was a wealthy institution which was well funded. There were over twenty altars and there were monastic buildings attached to the main part of the church. It was damaged during sieges in 1658 and 1703, by fires in 1423 and 1764 and then, most seriously, during the Napoleonic Wars in the early nineteenth century. The Benedictine order left in 1820, with the church buildings then turned into a warehouse, although a decision was made to demolish it entirely in 1834. The valuables of the church were carefully transported to other religious institutions, with some of the stained glass now on display in one of the city’s museums.

Brickwork has been added to make it easy to understand the original layout of the building, with the chancel above.

A side chapel leading to the chapter house doors.

The nave, with access to the monastery at the rear from what was St. Katherine’s Chapel.

And this is what it used to look like. All nicely done, with a small park area where people can sit and ponder what used to be here. Or, indeed, think about their lunch, whichever they prefer.