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For the early history of the Dominicans in Poland, click here.

A brief history of Torún.

Torún joined the Hanseatic League around 1280. In the 14th century Torun rivalled Gdansk as an important trading center of the Baltic Sea and Central Europe. In the mid-14th century Torún numbered ten thousand inhabitants and was one of the largest agglomerations in medieval Europe.

The architectural monuments of contemporary Torún bear the best witness to the city's past glory. They include the Old Town and New Town Market Squares, the Town Hall, St. John's Church, with chapels and star-like vaulting, church of Saint James, and the whole urban layout of the town's center which dates back to the 14th century.
In the Hanseatic period Torún attracted painters, wood-carvers and artists making splendid stained-glass panels. The best representative of Torún's rich scientific life is Nicolaus Copernicus
(19.02.1473-24. 05.1543) the world-famed astronomer who was born and educated in Torún.
Nicolaus Copernicus' father was a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic in Torún since 1469.

Sources: Peterse, Hans: Irenics and Tolerance in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth      Centuries.
            : Various encyclopaedias and internet.
           :  Magister Bogdan Michalak in Gabriel (D) 1996, Nr.2, S 34-35.


Nicolaus Copernicus' father was member of  the Third
Order of Saint Dominic in Torún since 1469.      

Poland 1973, postal card.




750th anniversary of Torún Municipality 1233-1983.
On the stamp the Dominican church of Torún from the
 'Panorama Torunia' 1634 by C.Pietesch, preserved
in the Muzeum Okregowego in Torún.

Poland 1983, Mi 2876, Sc 2581.



The Colloquium Charitativum

"brotherly conversation"

In the city Torún the Polish King Ladislaus IV (Wladyslaw IV Vasa, 9 June 1595-20 May 1648), and the Polish bishops invited the Catholic, Calvinist and Lutherian theologians for the meeting, called Colloquium Charitativum in Torún from 28 August till 21 November 1645.

28 Lutheran theologians were invited, among them A. Calov (16.04.1612-25.02.1686), presided over by J. Bergius (24.02.1587-19.12.1658), and 24 Calvinist theologians, attended meetings there.
The Catholic delegation of 26 theologians was presided over by J. Tyszkiewicz, bishop of Samogitia; and in the name of Andrzej Szotdrski, the bishop of Pozna
ń, also two Dominicans.


The Moravian educator John Amos Comenius (28.93.1592-15.11.1670) and the Lutheran Georg Calixtus hoped with King Wladyslaw for the reunion of the church, but most of the delegates only wanted to show how wrong each of the other doctrinal positions was. Discussion continued until November, but by then it was apparent that no progress could be made: reconciliation was out. On 21 November 1645, the negotiations ended.Three years later king Wladyslaw dies on 20 May 1648. He had failed  in his efforts to control his nobles with different religious factions. Moreover the Cossacks of the Ukraine region were in revolt.


Honouring 350th anniversary of the Colloquium Charitativum in Torún, 1645-1995. The council
in the main hall of the
Town Hall of Torún in the
period 28 August till November 21, 1645.
The engraving is from the Chronicle of Torún
by J.H. Zernecke.
In the postmark the statue of King Wladyslaw IV.

Honouring the 350th anniversary of the Colloquium Charitativum in Torún (1645-1995).

Poland 1995, postal card.

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