Copernicus House

Torun is where Nicolaus Copernicus would first see the sky – and it is the fascination with it which made him one of the most groundbreaking scientists in world's history and the most renowned astronomer up to this day. Born to a rich merchant family of Nicolaus the Elder and Torun-native Barbara, nee Watzenrode, he would develop his polymath interests right in the center of this breathtaking Gothic town at the Drweca river. Among all the Torun-based residential buildings owned by his family (including the tenement house at 36 Old Town Square), the 15th-century house at 15 Kopernika street has been determined to function as the real dwelling of the man who "stopped the Sun and moved the Earth".

Tour Overview

Visit the meticulously-restored Gothic tenement house of the Copernicus family to enrich your knowledge  of the life and works of the author of "On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres". Step inside the medieval burgher house considered as the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and sightsee the permanent exhibitions placed inside. Familiarise yourself with the merchant background of Copernicus' family, see the paraphernalia used by this famous astronomer and explore the past of Torun while tasting the world-famous gingerbread baked just around the corner.

In order to visit the cradle of Nicolaus Copernicus, you need to travel 260 kilometres northwards from Warsaw via A1 and A2 motorways. When you finally reach Torun, you will be stricken by the impression that the city must have barely changed since when the famous astronomer resided there. Its well-preserved fortifications, as well as the general coherence of the Gothic architectural complex of the walled Old and New Towns of Torun, made the city noticed by UNESCO. As a result, it became inscribed to the World Heritage Sites list. As you wander around, you will definitely appreciate the beauty of Copernicus House: as if left intact since the end of medieval period, representing the Hanseatic brick architecture with its residential-warehouse construction and stunningly decorated arched windows having stained glass visible on the outside. The internal structure of Copernicus' House is composed of a high hall located in the ground floor, a sleeping chamber serving the whole family at one time and the remaining chambers or cellars serving more specific purposes. The museum operating there is open daily except Mondays, with about 1 hour needed to sightsee it with a guided tour chosen.

The exhibition of Copernicus House is roughly divided into three separately available exhibitions: Nicolaus Copernicus House, the World of Torun Gingerbread and interactive Model of Medieval Torun, with reduced prices offered with regard to the visiting configuration chosen. A part of the exhibition within "Nicolaus Copernicus House" programme is also devoted to the merchant class of medieval and Renaissance Torun, with plenty of trade-related artifacts on display. Carefully conserved interiors with timber furniture, staircases and ceilings represent an ideal space arrangement as suitable for a family of the status. A well-reconstructed kitchen, fireplaces, Gothic polichromy or masterpieces by outstanding artists of the era (e.g. by Albrecht Duerer or the school of Jan Peter Bruegel) beautifully complement the warm interior of Copernicus House, exemplifying the lifestyle or taste of medieval burghers of Torun.

The part devoted to Copernicus family, life and work, encompasses a carefully-selected set of exhibits, including the equipment of the astronomer and a collection of various editions describing his most revolutionary heliocentric theory (e.g. the manuscript of "De revolutionibus"). The last exhibit may be seen in the study room of Nicolaus Copernicus, along with the 17th-century "A scholar in his study" painting of considerable artistic value. This is definitely the most informative part of the museum, with lots of instructive commentary provided by the well-spoken guides to the museum.

Those who never have enough of sweetness may also visit "The World of Torun Gingerbread", comprised of interesting artifacts related to the second-to-Copernicus thing Torun is so famous for. It is not subject to any doubts that Copernicus himself must have been in love with these originally-composed pastries whose taste found a lot of appraisal arounf the world between the 14th and 19th centuries. The "Model of Medieval Torun" may be seen at the rear part of Copernicus House. The 18-minute-lasting light and sound presentation presents the model of Torun layout circa 1500, providing visitors with a lot of facts on the turbulent history of the city. Overall, the visit to Copernicus House makes the knowledge concerning this outstanding individual absorbable in an amusing way, full of pleasant feelings related to the beautiful space arrangement of the tenement house he would once reside at. The attraction is referred to as the most interesting museum of Torun for a reason you need to discover yourself.

Interested in visiting the place where a genius was born? Let us show you the Nicolaus Copernicus House in Torun – contact us to have a trip to this beautiful Gothic city arranged!

Tour Details

  • It is possible to visit Copernicus House regardless of where your place of stay in Poland is. Simply - inform us of where you are or what the intended date of your visit is and we will do the rest!
  • The price includes: admission fees, transport (pre-arranged hotel pick-up and drop-off) and a guided tour for individual tourists / small groups of visitors.

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