Toruń is a city in northern Poland, on the Vistula River. Its population was 202,591 as of June 2016. Previously it was the capital of the Toruń Voivodeship (1975–98) and the Pomeranian Voivodeship (1921–45). Since 1999, Toruń has been a seat of the self-government of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship and, as such, is one of its two capitals (together with Bydgoszcz). The cities and neighboring counties form the Bydgoszcz-Toruń twin city metropolitan area.
Toruń is one of the oldest cities in Poland, having been established in 1233 by the Teutonic Knights. Over centuries, it was the home for people of diverse backgrounds and religions. At one point, the city was considered the most modern cultural and technological centre in Medieval Europe. From 1264 until 1411 Toruń was part of the Hanseatic League and by the 17th century it was one of the elite trading points, which greatly affected the city's architecture ranging from Brick Gothic to Mannerism and Baroque. Throughout different periods of time, the city was part of Poland, Prussia and Germany; prior to World War I, the city was located within the Prussian region of the German Empire. After Poland declared independence in 1918, Toruń was incorporated into Polish territory, and, during World War II, as one of few cities in the country, it sustained no damage. This allowed the Old Town to be fully preserved with its iconic central marketplace.
Believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Toruń is renowned for the Museum of Gingerbread, whose baking tradition dates back nearly a millennium, and its large Cathedral. Toruń is noted for its very high standard of living and quality of life. In 1997 the medieval part of the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2007 the Old Town in Toruń was added to the list of Seven Wonders of Poland.
Toruń is the birthplace of Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.