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Dec 18 2015

The Leaning Tower of Toruń

You’ve heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but have you heard of the Leaning Tower of Toruń?  No?  That’s OK because you can find out all about it in this Foto Friday.  I’m being serious.  It really does exist.  See…

The Leaning Tower of Torun

The Leaning Tower of Toruń was built in the 13th century to defend the town, which it did until the 18th century.  After that, it was used as a women’s prison, then a blacksmith’s shop, and, at some point, an apartment for a gunsmith.  Now, it houses the Toruń Cultural Department and a café, and it is one of the most important landmarks in Toruń’s Old Town.

There are a couple of legends about why the tower leans, and I do love a good legend.  The first is ‘The Sin of the Teutonic Knight’.  One of the knights from the Order of Teutonic Knights fell in love and courted a beautiful woman.  He wasn’t supposed to fraternise with women because of his monastic vows.  They were found out, and the townspeople reported both of them to the city authorities.  Apart from a fine, the woman also got 25 lashes.  The knight was spared the whip.  Instead, he was tasked with building a tower which had to tilt to represent how he had deviated from monastic life.  It is said that if you can’t keep your balance under the tower, it means you have sinned.  Did I keep my balance when I walked under it?  What do you think?

The other legend is completely wacko, but here goes anyway.  The tower and the river Wisla were friends and the tower loved the stories the river told.  Over time, the river got closer and closer to the tower.  Well, they were friends, after all.  The moist ground caused the tower to lean, so the tower had to plead with the river to recede because it was at risk of falling down.  The river must have obliged because the tower is still standing.

The legends are great stories that explain why the tower is leaning, but what has actually caused this red brick tower to lean?  It’s due to the soft ground on which it was built.  It’s about 1.5 metres off where it should be, apparently.  That’s quite a bit, isn’t it?


This is where the tower is located in Toruń, Northern Poland.

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Which legend do you like best?  What other leaning towers have you seen?

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