date: 04.03.2024 current local time in Toruń:
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Monument to Nicolaus Copernicus
Erecting the imposing Copernicus Monument in front of the south-east corner of the Old City Town Hall in Toruń was the initiative of the State Council of the Duchy of Warsaw, which laid the cornerstone for the monument during the session held in Toruń in 1809. The project was implemented much later, in 1853.
Although the monument was erected only a century and a half ago, it seems to have been blended in with Toruń’s scenery for ever. At any rate, it is difficult to picture Toruń without the monument. Today, it also serves as a meeting point for both the townspeople and visitors.

The bronze statue of the astronomer stands on a granite pedestal bearing a Latin inscription in gold letters, which translates as: ‘Nicolaus Copernicus of Toruń, moved the Earth, held the Sun and the heavens’. Garbed in a professorial gown, Copernicus holds an astronomical instrument in his left hand, the astrolabe. Beneath the pedestal there is a well with a dolphin; from the dolphin’s mouth, situated above the well, flows water. The well was built to commemorate Toruń’s first water supply system, allegedly installed by Copernicus. In fact, wooden water supply pipes had been installed in the city much earlier, i.e. before the mid-fourteenth century.
The monument was unveiled in 1853, yet its history can be traced back to earlier times. In 1809, Toruń became home to the State Council of the Duchy of Warsaw, which had left Warsaw besieged by the Austrians (read the History of Toruń here). It was the Council’s leader, Stanisław Staszic, who initiated building of the monument and laid the cornerstone under the structure. However, the political change and the re-incorporation of Toruń in Prussia in 1815 postponed the unveiling of the monument. Another initiative was put forward by certain German association that brought the construction of the monument to completion.
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