Liliana Krantz-Domasłowska, Double cities in the Teutonic state on the example of Toruń, RIHA Journal 0068

RIHA Journal 0068 | 8 March 2013

Double cities in the Teutonic state on the example of Toruń

Liliana Krantz-Domasłowska

Editing and peer review managed by:

Katarzyna Jagodzińska, Międzynarodowe Centrum Kultury, Kraków / International Cultural Centre, Krakow


Marcin Szyma, Michał Wiśniewski

Polish version available at / Wersja polska dostępna pod:

(RIHA Journal 0067)


Toruń is the first exemplification of a double city on the territory of the Teutonic state. The ancient, 13th-century pedigree of the Old and New Town prompts a question about the reasons for founding a new urban centre and the expectations involved. Similar arrangements in Elbląg, Braniewo, Królewiec and Gdańsk are of a later date and each of them represents an individual history but Toruń stands out in this group. In my text I outline the historical conditions accompanying the founding of the Toruń conurbation and I present the artistic factors which might enrich the picture of the relations between the two cities. These factors are: the urban planning arrangement, the topography of religious facilities, the parameters of the principal churches. All these components add up to a coherent image of the New City of Toruń, then under Teutonic control.


The term double cities

  1. The eponymous term double cities, proposed recently by Marek Słoń, supplements the already existing nomenclature: Old Town – New Town, Altstadt – Neustadt, meaning a settlement composed of two constitutionally different but spatially adjoining cities.1 Such an approach allows us to look at this phenomenon from a dual perspective – as on parts of one conurbation, with an emphasis on what they have in common, or as on two independently functioning communities forming two legally and urbanistically separate entities. The keystone of the emergent relations between them usually was the founder of both cities, defining the beginning but often also the end of one of them. The new town was usually established later and had a lower economic potential, partly as a result of spatial and demographic constraints. Consequently New Towns usually belonged to the group of small or medium-size communities, at the same time being parts of large urban centres.


Double cities on the territory of the Teutonic state

  1. An area where double cities appeared as early as the second half of the 12th century and with varying intensity were present throughout the Middle Ages, was Central Europe.2 As many as eight of them were established within the Teutonic state based on military conquests, where the dominant feature of the administrative structures were castles, followed by newly founded cities.3 During the 13th and the 14th century the urban landscape of the Teutonic state was dominated by small settlements but several cities stood out in terms not only of their size but also of the functions they were ascribed. Chełmno (Kulm), Toruń (Thorn), Elbląg (Elbing), Braniewo (Braunsberg), Królewiec (Königsberg) and Gdańsk (Danzig) became members of the Hansa and all of them except Chełmno later acquired the status of double or multiple cities, for they were successively joined by: the New Town of Toruń (1264), a neighbour of the Old Town of Toruń chartered in 1233-1236, the New Town of Elbląg (1337-1347) besides the Old Town of Elbląg (1237-1246), the New Town of Braniewo (1342) close to the Old Town of Braniewo (1254-1284). Two examples belong to a subcategory of multiple cities, namely triple cities: the Old Town of Królewiec (1255-1286) supplemented by the New Town of Królewiec, later called Lipnik/Löbenicht (1300), and by Knipawa/Kneiphof (1327), as well as the Right Town Gdańsk/Rechtstadt (1236-1342) with the subsequent Old Town of Gdańsk (1377) and the Young Town of Gdańsk (1380).4 The founders of the New Towns were the Teutonic Knigths, the rulers of these territories in that period (with an exception of Braniewo, belonging to the Warmia [Ermland] bishop). The list above testifies to the lasting popularity of this urban model in the Teutonic state, for the earliest examples appeared already in the 13th century (Toruń, Królewiec) and the 14th-century charters (Królewiec, Elbląg, Braniewo, Gdańsk) continued this tradition. Each of the New Town communities has its "personal" story, which is also evidenced by the fact that the founding of neighbouring communities was separated by long periods of time. This lag was the shortest in the case of the Young Town and the Old Town of Gdańsk (3 years), and the longest in the case of Elbląg (almost a century). The remaining cities confirm this chronological diversity, every establishment of a New Town being dictated by local conditions (the approximate time between the chartering of the Old and New Town was: 28 years in Toruń, 58 years in Braniewo, 14 and 41 years in Królewiec and 35 and 38 years in Gdańsk).

  2. The Prussian New Towns are relatively well described in monographic and a few synthetic works.5 All of them take up the question of the function and meaning of the new settlement. Two approaches to the subject dominate. The first is Antoni Czacharowski's concept of cooperative cities, emphasising a functional division into the New Town focused on production and crafts and the Old Town playing the role of a mercantile centre; this division serves the economic development of the whole conurbation. Zenon Hubert Nowak perceives the new Prussian charters as a natural stage in the growth of particular centres, a phenomenon characteristic for many Medieval cities. He also underlines the aspects of competition between the New Town and the Old Town, stimulated by the policy of the Teutonic Order and the financial benefits for the Order based on rents paid by the New Towns.6


Toruń – the first Teutonic double city

  1. To understand the reasons and conditions connected with founding of New Towns we must take a look at the early, 13th-century charters, and the key role among them is played by the first one – the New Town of Toruń (Fig. 1). It is therefore interesting to ask why the Teutonic Knights decided to establish the new community. What were the expectations and plans connected with the new urban centre? Then, already in the 14th-century context, we should consider the issue whether the original assumptions were well suited to the realities of the next century or perhaps evolved once both Toruń communities became economically strong. These questions concern the relations between the two towns and their founder. This is an area studied by historians. On the basis of their discoveries I would like to supplement this picture with an analysis of the changing urban arrangement of Toruń, the topography of religious facilities, the form and parameters of the main churches, that is a group of artistic factors which may supplement our knowledge about the relations between the two towns.

Toruń, spatial development of the city in the Middle Ages, in: Historia Torunia, vol. 1, ed. Marian Biskup, W czasach średniowiecza (do roku 1454), ed. Jadwiga Chudziakowa et al., Toruń 1999, supplement, red outline added by the author

  1. The decision to charter the New Town of Toruń demanded adopting the concept of the double city already known from the territory of Central Europe but above all from the geographically closest Wrocław (Breslau, 1263). The factors hindering the implementation of the project were the unstable political situation, the threat constituted by the Prussian Risings (1260-1283) and the relatively young, still growing Old Town (1233 – granting the charter, 1236 – relocation seven kilometres upriver, 1251 – expanding the territory of the city). The swift and consistently executed decision of the Order must have been based on expected specific benefits. Should we follow Czacharowski's conception and assume that it was the desire to boost the growth of the entire conurbation or should we believe Nowak's claim and conclude that the intent behind the decision was to create a strategic instrument of political pressure?


Spatial development of Toruń in 1236-1251

  1. The day 13 August 1264, when Land Master Ludwik Baldersheim granted the charter to the New Town of Toruń, was the culmination of a one-man project.7 And it prompts us to ask the question how the Old Town of Toruń looked like in the early 1260s. First of all, the initial stage of building the city was overshadowed by the armed confrontation with the Prussian tribes, which ended in the 1280s. The first urban planning decision after the relocation to the current place (1236) was the erection of the original castle defences on a slight elevation where a citadel had been. The subsequent process of creating the urban structures of the city was inscribed in a permanent relation with the seat of the ruler. The spatial arrangement of the Old Town emerged in two phases, with a watershed in 1251. Initially the city assumed the shape of an elongated rectangle about 500 by 200 metres, its longer northern side adjoining the Vistula and the eastern one adjoining the castle. Inner divisions defining the blocks and the grid of streets, conditioned by the topography and the pre-charter housing and run of the roads, did not fit into modular regularity.8 The east-west św. Anny Street (now Kopernika) as well as Żeglarska, Łazienna and Mostowa Streets, perpendicular to the river, were highlighted, which evoked the comb-shape model. The central point of this arrangement was occupied by the church square corresponding to the traditional location of the main square, and north of if there was the terrain of the so-called island (Werder).9 Both areas accumulated the main functions of public space, religious and commercial. The first fifteen-year period of rapid development of Old Town structures also witnessed the foundation of the main religious buildings – the parish church of St. John and the first Franciscan convent in the Chełm Land (1239), which later became the architectural symbols of the city. The two buildings stood far from each other, for the land granted to the monks was located outside the city borders, as was commonly practised in that period. The distance in space and differing functions did not translate into a marked disparity in external appearance. Raised in the 1240s, both buildings were based on the simplest pattern of a rectangular hall structure. Archaeological reconstructions prove that they also had similar dimensions and that in both bricks were laid in the Flemish bond.10 The universality of form and the fact that they were the first Old Town religious structures show that they were executed by members of the same community and point to the role of the Teutonic Knights, who supported both projects, also financially.

  2. The year 1251 became an important watershed. Perceiving the potential of the new urban centre and wanting to introduce some corrections in the original Chełm charter, the Knights granted a new one, which, among other provisions, extended the patrimony of the Old Town.11 The area of the city increased twofold, which proves that it was a prosperous period. The northward expansion resulted in a more classic pattern with a central square but surrounded with houses of irregular shape. An important mark in the second stage of development of the Old Town was the change in spatial relations between the oldest religious buildings. In real terms the distance between them of course remained the same but the Franciscan convent gained in status as located in the corner of the Main Square, while the parish church "moved away" from the new compositional and functional centre of the city. Buildings organising the public life of the inhabitants were supplemented by the Merchant House (1259).12 The shape of the early Medieval city was consolidated – and enhanced – by the defensive walls, with the first stage of their erection coinciding with a period between the successive Prussian Risings (1250-1260). They replaced the older, timber and clay fortifications which protected the original city. In the same period the strategic but also symbolic localisation of the Teutonic fortress in place of the citadel, the sign of assuming power over this terrain, was underlined by the monumental form of the new structure. The walls, which follow the irregular outline of the former defences, were enclosed from the side of the Vistula by a wing of a convent, a rectangular house with a narrow communications passage adjoining the courtyard.13 This meant that all principal elements of the architectural landscape of the Old Town had been put in place. Their form was to evolve but their place in the topography of the city remained unaltered.


Chartering the New Town of Toruń – the historical context

  1. The development of the Old Town urban structure described above, spanning almost thirty years, was just one of the symptoms of the dynamic growth of the city. The rapid increase in the economic and demographic potential was owed mostly to the founder, who supported the city by granting privileges and by other means. Just ten years after 1251 a decision was taken to found a neighbouring town or rather to start preparatory work. The possible inspirations by the founding of the Wrocław New Town (1263), mentioned by some historians,14 must be supplemented with the local context. On 2nd April 1263, in the north-eastern part of the Old Town of Toruń, the Dominican Order settled extra muros. We may assume that the idea of creating the New Town and bringing the Dominicans in were maturing side by side at a certain stage of developments. Definitely in favour of this idea was the Chełm bishop Heidenryk, a Dominican who wanted to invite the predicants to Toruń. But the second half of the 13th century was the time when the Teutonic Knights clearly distanced themselves from this order, opposing the election of their representatives for Prussian bishoprics and promoting incorporation of cathedral chapters, that is aiming to weaken their competitors.15 It is possible that in exchange for letting the Dominicans settle in Toruń the bishop had to agree to the incorporation of the Chełm Chapter into the Teutonic Order (the Incorporation Act was signed in 1264). It probably was an important argument but at the same time the presence of another mendicant convent perfectly harmonised with the project of founding the New Town and was probably taken into consideration by both negotiating parties.

  2. On 13 August 1264 the New Town of Toruń was chartered according to the Chełm law.16 All the components of the new city followed the vision of the founder: the location north-east of the castle, preserving the central position of the ruler's seat relative to both towns and expanding the defence zone both of the castle and the city; the size – thirteen hectares, obtained two years before by the Teutonic Knights from the Old Town in exchange for other land; a regular arrangement with the main square and a modular pattern of streets and blocks; a legal status identical to that of the Old Town of Toruń except for the rent imposed on the Merchant House and the butchers' banks.17 These basic facts might be enriched by pointing to spreading out of important structures on the town plan – moving the main square closer to the castle, locating the Dominican St. Nicholas's Church in the north-eastern corner of the town and the St. James's Church in the south-eastern corner, that is mirroring the spatial relations between the main churches of the Old Town (the difference was that the New Town parish church was traditionally placed in a block by the main square). The lack of direct access to the Vistula, usually perceived as a constraint in the development of trade imposed by the Teutonic Order, also meant a north-side extension of the border with the Castle compound and hence the deepening of spatial relations with the seat of the Komtur.

  3. The Order was the founder of both Toruń communities but it seems that since it had created the New Town structures from scratch, it identified more strongly with it. Still in the stage of organisation, the Old Town was not involved in the process of creating the new urban centre but disagreements between the two communities appeared early on. When we look at official verdicts, we see that the Order settled the economic matters "according to the situation", often siding with the Old Town but always stressing the political separateness of the two communities. For example, in 1276 there was one of the first conflicts perceived as a campaign clearly targeted against the New Town and regarding the common use of municipal land. The conflict was settled by Konrad von Thierberg, who sanctioned the separate character of the Old Town and New Town patrimony and unambiguously decreed that the two communities were forever to remain fully independent.18 The events of the 13th century, that is the beginnings of the Toruń conurbation, show that it was the Order which consistently built the double neighbourhood, symbolically situating itself in its centre. The Old Town was only beginning to notice the potential competition of the New Town.

  4. The facts described above characterise the situation right after the founding of the new urban centre and are only indirectly related to the reasons for this decision. The answer to the question why the New Town came into being is not simple and rests mostly on hypotheses. We may assume that the idea of chartering the New Town appeared suddenly, for in 1251 the Knights were still focusing on enlarging the area of the Old Town. The new conception was based mostly on the desire to create an urban centre which would be economically and legally connected with the founder. The idea was swiftly executed thanks to favourable local conditions. Even the unstable political situation and the attempts by the Chełm bishop Heidenryk to bring the Dominicans to Toruń might have played the role of stimulating factors. These speculations find confirmation in the curious relations between the mendicant monasteries in the Old and New Town. The Franciscans, the first religious order on the map of Toruń, could count on the financial support of the Teutonic Knights from the very beginning, while the Dominicans, who went begging in the emergent New Town, were supported mostly by the Chełm bishops, who tried to boost the generosity of the inhabitants by issuing successive indulgencies.19 The untypical localisation of the Dominican complex on the border between the two towns, along the wall marking the territorial separateness of the two communities, favoured the confrontation of forms of the two monastery churches. In the second half of the 13th century this architectural discourse was not so obvious yet. Growing from the tradition of the mendicant orders' architecture, the churches represented the two-part arrangement with a long choir and a two-aisle (or hall (?) – the Holy Virgin Church) main body, while differing from each other in the form of the eastern ending.20 The visual dialogue between the main Toruń churches became more pronounced in the 14th century, when as a result of successive modifications the structures assumed more monumental proportions. It was also a mark of the relations between the two towns and their founders.


14th century – historical perspective and architectural dialogue of the main churches in both towns

  1. The 14th century was a period when the original expectations and plans of the Teutonic Knights regarding the founding of the New Town Toruń were put to a test. It was a time of economic development of both communities, especially propitious for the Old Town. As a result the mutual competition grew in importance. The Knights created a strategy of balance between the two towns, especially in the economic sphere. Turning the New Town into an economic powerhouse was not their intent. They treated this urban centre above all as the seat of various crafts. Its inhabitants could also engage in trade, not the long distance one reserved for Old Town merchants but local trade encompassing the closest vicinity and providing for the needs of the Toruń Komtur. Records do not abound in conflicts between the two communities. It may reflect a strong position of the Order, which tried to remove the potential reasons for conflicts through legislation; for example, in 1303 another privilege for the New Town was granted, which produced more favourable conditions for the development of crafts and for trading in goods made here.21 The economic subservience to the Old Town, lower average income of the inhabitants, stronger legal subordination to the Teutonic founder – all these allow us to assume that the New Town was perceived by the Order as its own community, with which it identified and was the guarantor of its freedoms and political independence. At the same time the Knights tried to instil into the inhabitants a similar sense of identification with the town and with the Order as its legal guardian. In this context the form and decorative richness of the parish church of St. James (Figs. 2-4), exceptional in the architectural cityscape of Toruń and defined by the individual preferences of the Teutonic founder, achieves an additional dimension. It is a sign of prestige of the founder. Moreover, the interior accessible to the inhabitants serves to build a religious bond but is also a place for shaping the collective identity and a sense of pride in the independence of the community. One of the characteristic features of the church, the friezes with inscriptions on the façade and inside the choir, preserve the historical memory of the beginnings of the church (1309) and its benefactor bishop Herman; the inscriptions also confirm that the patrons of the church, St. James and St. Philip, look after the inhabitants and that Mary's intercession is there.22 The worship of the main patron saint is the fundamental factor integrating the New Town community. It is consolidated by the painted images on the church walls but also by the names of the streets adjoining it, referring to the patrocinium (St. James Street, By the Church of St. James Street, Behind the Church of St. James Street).23

Toruń, St. James's Church, ground plan, in: Teresa Mroczko, Architektura gotycka na ziemi chełmińskiej, Warszawa 1980, 159

Toruń, St. James's Church, the exterior, photo Andrzej Skowroński

Toruń, St. James's Church, interior, photo by the author

  1. The main church of the New Town was built in 1309-1340/50.24 If we assume that it was the first church erected on a terrain designated before, the inhabitants of the New Town for a long time had to practice their religion in the monastery church of St. Nicholas, which thanks to the privileges granted by Bishop Heidenryk was allowed to perform the functions of a parish church. The uncomfortable situation of not having their own church were compensated by the artistic virtues of the new building. The structure was composed of an elongated straight-ended choir, a three-aisled basilica hall and the western mass of the towers. The main elements were given a stylistically nuanced character. What stood out was the chapel-like look of the eastern part, achieved through a system of articulation of the walls and the illusionist form of the enclosing, created thanks to an original idea of the architect (the polygon effect resulted from the combination of a triad of windows in the eastern wall with a deepening of the first bay and using a pseudo-polygonal vault with additional three ribs and doubled oblique corner buttresses).25 The main corpus was the first basilica arrangement in Prussia, with a structural system based on flying buttresses. The high western tower was the highlight of the cityscape. A characteristic feature was the decorativeness of the façade, connected with the use of glazed brick and decorative embellishments and pinnacles. The exceptional form of the St. James's Church was an effect of the work of an original architect, who fully satisfied the expectations of the Knights. A church came into being with which both the founders and inhabitants could identify.

Toruń, St. John's Church, interior of the presbytery, photo Andrzej Skowroński

  1. If we wanted to make use of the architectural dialogue between the two Toruń churches as an element enriching the picture of the relations between both towns and their founder, we should juxtapose the St. James's Church with the parish church of the Old Town Toruń, rebuilt in the first three decades of the 14th century.26 We may assume that designs of both structures we created at the turn of the 14th century. The unity of time and place allows us to assume that the expectations towards the designers were similar. But the building which had risen in the Old Town had a different ground plan, spatial arrangement and structural system. A three-aisle, nine-span hall was erected (as can be read from the extant relics), enclosed from the west with a four-sided tower or a two-tower arrangement (this fragment is a complete reconstruction) and with a three-span rectangular choir from the east (now the oldest preserved part of the church). Was this form, much simpler than in the case of St. James's and genetically originating from the late-Romanesque halls of Westphalia, more satisfying for the inhabitants of the Old Town, among which the settlers from this area constituted a significant group at the turn of the 14th century? Did the Knights accept it deliberately, as less attractive, so the visual confrontation with the New Town parish church would be clearly unfavourable for St. John's (Fig. 5)? It seems that this architectural dialogue reflects the relations between the two towns, as expected by the Teutonic founder. It was the New Town with the Church of St. James which was to be identified with the prestige of the local authorities.

  2. In a similar period, in the first half of the 14th century, also the Church of St. Nicholas (Figs. 6-7) changed its outside look. Preserving its original two-aisle hall structure, the church achieved monumental proportions thanks to the extension of its main body and an elongation of the choir with a three-sided ending. This form of enclosing the choir was the feature which would differentiate the Dominican Church from other religious buildings in Toruń. Within the New Town, when we compare it with St. James's, we find no common points. The churches represented different stylistic modes and the Dominican structure lacked a comprehensive plan of future extension. As a result later additions annexed to it were used as chapels. It is a symptom anticipating a phenomenon which in the second half of the 14th century would dominate the processes of modernisation of the Toruń churches.

Toruń, St. Nicholas's Church and the Dominican Monastery, ground plan, drawing by J. F. Steiner, in: Toruń i miasta ziemi chełmińskiej na rysunkach Jerzego Fryderyka Steinera z pierwszej połowy XVIII wieku (the so-called Steiner Album), ed. Marian Biskup, Toruń 1998, 98

Toruń, St. Nicholas's Church, a mid-distance view from south-east, drawing by J. F. Steiner, in: Toruń i miasta ziemi chełmińskiej, Toruń 1998, 100

  1. Growing social diversity, a patrician group forming around rich merchants, popularity of a new type of religiousness, devotio moderna, accompanying these processes – all these stimulate the founding of numerous altars and chapels. The architectural response to this phenomenon was to modify the shape of the churches, with their main bodies annexed with rows of chapels. The parish churches in both towns acquired additional spaces, employing the simplest architectural solution, that is making arched holes in the external wall, elongating the buttresses of the aisles and adding a new lateral wall. This operation, modifying the volume and arrangement of the interior, was conducted in a similar way in both churches. As the result the proportions of the aisles and the form of the roofs were altered. The process of rebuilding was gradual. On the basis of incomplete records we may assume (following Piotr Oliński) that the row of south chapels in St. James's was initiated by the donation of the Aldeweise and Jungeweise families before 1359, while a similar project in the Old Town parish church, on the north side, was started in 1349 by the Pfafkorn family. The question of precedence is not so important here, especially that further chapels were consistently added in the second half of the 14th century and the first half of the 15th century. Individual donations by the inhabitants, fraternities and guilds prove that there were various financial, family and professional connections between particular churches in Toruń, exemplifying also the social differences between the citizens of the Old Town and the New Town.27 The founding activity was usually limited to the administrative area of a particular community but as Oliński has shown, some families made donations to churches in both towns. It was an effect of growing personal and professional interactions between the inhabitants. A spectacular example of that is the St. Catherine's Chapel in the Dominican Church, where furriers from the Old Town and the New Town had an altar as two professionally independent fraternities.28 Differences in the material status between the inhabitants of the two communities may be attested by the fact that in the Old Town parish church donations from rich aldermen and judges as well as the richest patricians, with fraternities making a more modest showing. While in the New Town parish church we see an opposite proportion: initially the majority of the chapels were for the fraternities and private founders only gradually joined in.29 Such a state of things confirms that the new community was dominated by craftsmen and the process of building a status of a rich burgher was slower among its inhabitants.

  2. An important watershed in terms of developments described here was 1351, when the Old Town was to a significant extent destroyed by a fire.30 This disaster served as an impulse for rebuilding the local churches, especially the spectacular extension of the Franciscan church, ended in the 1390s.31 Despite the constraints imposed by the presence of the earlier structure and monastery buildings the architect created an original design, which was consistently executed in a number of stages. We may perceive it as a kind of architectural response to the monumental form of the Dominican Church, the mass of which dominated the skyline not only of the New Town. Also the Franciscans, foregoing their original ascetic ideal, enlarged their church to a maximum extent, giving it a form of a three-aisled hall with a gallery in the north part and a long, straight-ended choir (Figs. 8-10). The simple ground plan and volume contained a spatially varied interior. The idea from St. Nicholas's was repeated: a wing of the monastery cloister was made part of the church but it was used as an ample gallery for the monks, while the opposite lateral wall was given a more sculptural character by creating a row of shallow chapels through bringing the buttresses inside. So expanded, the Virgin Mary's Church was to serve not only the monks but above all the citizens of the Old Town, offering an attractive liturgy, burial place and protective prayers of the brothers. The prestige of the building was enhanced by the proximity to the Main Square, additionally emphasised by crowning the choir with a decorative, elaborate gable creating a picturesque closure of the north-west corner of the square. As a result the Virgin Mary's Church not only became an architectural counterpoint to the New Town religious buildings but also overshadowed the Old Town parish church (which also had to be rebuilt after the 1351 destruction) with its monumental form.32 So the generosity of the inhabitants supporting their churches had to become polarised. Representatives of the Old Town patricians identified with one or the other church, increasingly often choosing the Franciscan churchyard for their burial place, which brought the Franciscans significant financial proceeds.33 Preserving the rights and duties connected with their patronage over St. John's, the Teutonic Knights were less involved financially in the two investment projects. This was true also for the Franciscans, whom the Order had generously supported in the early stage of their presence in the Old Town. These were symptoms of a gradual economic and political emancipation of the citizens of the older community.

Toruń, Virgin Mary's Church, plan on the level of the vaults, in: Zbigniew Nawrocki, "Pofranciszkański kościół NMP w Toruniu," in: Zeszyty Naukowe UMK, Zabytkoznawstwo i Konserwatorstwo 2, 1966, 50, drawing by Zbigniew Nawrocki

Toruń, Virgin Mary's Church, volume, photo Andrzej Skowroński

10 Toruń, Virgin Mary's Church, interior, photo by the author

  1. This process was to culminate in yet another refurbishment of the Old Town parish church, which was also a reaction to the monumental shape of the Virgin Mary's Church. A characteristic element of the new architectural concept was – like previously with the Franciscans – extending the basic dimensions of the building, which used up the space of the church square to a maximum extent. It was decided that the hall arrangement would be continued, with a broad three-aisle choir added (this idea was not realised) and the western mass enlarged, dominated by the tower, which had originally been planned as four-storeys high.34 The principal intent was to create a monumental, high interior based on the pattern inherited from the earlier nine-section hall. The process of extending the Old Town parish church lasted almost seven decades but the basic design came into being in the early 15th century, at the same time reflecting the changing internal relations within the Old Town (embodying, among other things, a kind of competition against the Franciscans for the "hearts and minds", especially of the rich and influential). And the monumental outline of St. John's, the principal element of the townscape looking from the river, was also to serve as a visual sign of the domination over the New Town and its parish church (Figs. 11-13).

11 Toruń, St. John's Church, ground plan according to J. Heise, in: Bazylika katedralna świętych Janów w Toruniu, ed. Marian Biskup, Toruń 2003, 57

12 Toruń, St. John's Church, volume, photo Andrzej Skowroński

13 Toruń, St. John's Church, interior, photo Andrzej Skowroński

  1. This reading of the architectural dialogue between the two main churches of Toruń confirms the change in the balance of power between the two towns. The end of the 14th century and the first half of the 15th century is the period of growing opposition of the inhabitants of the Old Town against the Order, particularly visible in the context of the crisis of the monastic state and the Polish-Teutonic conflicts.35 The New Town community remained an enclave of the Knights, who could count on the loyalty of the citizens, while the Church of St. James, unaltered in its basic form, was a visual symbol of the permanence of this relation. The internal balance of power between the two towns was put to the test by the events accompanying the Thirteen Years' War and culminating in the end of the more than two centuries long history of the double city of Toruń. In the conflict involving the cities belonging to the Prussian Union and the Teutonic Order the inhabitants of the New Town initially supported the Knights but the commoners from the Holy Virgin Fraternity mutinied against the local Council and made an offer to the Old Town of a union maintaining a broad autonomy of both communities. Making use of the politically favourable situation, on 8 March 1454 the Old Town authorities incorporated the neighbouring community, opening a new chapter in the history of Toruń.36 The first new town structure in Prussia disappeared, marking the failure of its founder and the victory of its twin, that is the Old Town of Toruń.



  1. The above reflections lead to a number of conclusions. The extensive, 190 years long history of the New Town of Toruń shows that the relations with the neighbouring community must have evolved in tune with the changing economic and political circumstances and the condition of the Teutonic overseer. The example of Toruń proves that Czacharowski's claim about the production and crafts character of the smaller town, contributing to the economic status of the whole conurbation, and the competitive aspect underlined by Nowak do not exclude but supplement each other. A peculiar feature of Toruń is the continuous perceiving of the New Town as the Teutonic Knights' sphere of influence and its inhabitants as the Order's natural allies. Besides the basic facts determining such an assessment, such as ensuring the legal and administrative separateness or creating institutional structures (parish church, town house, hospital, school), actions aimed at building a distinct identity were an important factor. This separate identity was expressed, among other things, by the selection of the architectural form of the parish church, which played the role of the religious centre for the inhabitants and was also a place on which the worship of the patron, St. James, was focused. The shape of the New Town parish church satisfied the aspirations of the Teutonic founder but was also a source of pride for the citizens identifying with it. And it was this "Teutonic nature" of the younger community that triggered the competitive drive in the Old Town, increasing in line with its aspirations for a political and economic autonomy (this process gathered momentum in the late 14th century). The outlines of the four main churches of Toruń, including the New Town parish church, were a visual sign of the relation between the two towns. This architectural dialogue continued for centuries beginning in the 13th century but in the early 15th century (that is in the stage of designing the New Town parish church) it became more pronounced, especially against the background of the political crisis of the Teutonic Order, particularly visible after 1410. These developments led to the change of the political balance of power in the two towns, reflected also in the extension and monumentalisation of the Old Town church. St. John's and the Franciscan Church, invoking the typologically common model of a high hall, created a visual dialogue in the space of the Old Town. Among monastery buildings one could juxtapose two mendicant churches, Holy Virgin's and St. Nicholas's, ascribed to both towns. And finally the most dynamic comparison between the old and the new is provided by the basilica shape of St. James's from mid-14th century (or possibly the second half of the 14th century, if we take into account the modifications connected with adding the chapels) and the 15th-century hall version of the Old Town parish church. It was already too late for an architectural response in the form of restructuring the New Town parish church.

  2. Each of the themes touched upon above requires future elaboration but just putting them together confirms that the double city of Toruń was an exceptional case. A separate study comparing Toruń with other Prussian new town charters would be necessary in order to recognise in full the remarkable nature of this urban centre. In the present article I will just outline the fundamental features involving the historical context, spatial arrangement and the religious topography of the Prussian double cities of Elbląg and Braniewo. Two remaining conurbations, Królewiec and Gdańsk, are triple cities and as such offer much more complex arrangements.


Comparison between two double cities: Elbląg and Braniewo

  1. In the Chełmno Land Toruń remained alone as a double settlement. The other big centre did not acquire the double city status.37 All other new towns were chartered in the 14th century, which makes it legitimate to ask the question if they made use of the experiences of Toruń. The main context for comparison is set by Elbląg (Figs. 14-15) and Braniewo, two big Hanseatic cities in the Warmia Diocese, predestined for important functions (Elbląg: until 1309 the seat of the Grand Master, later of the Komtur and the Grand Hospitaller; Braniewo: originally meant to play the role of the cathedral city). Like in Toruń, the Old Town was chartered in the 13th century and in the same period its urban arrangement and the location of the main religious buildings was determined. What they also had in common was the proximity of a river, which defined their functions as ports, as well as the symbiotic relation between the town and the castle, the founder's seat.

14 Elbląg, reconstruction of the plan of the Old and the New Town according to Otto Bolz, in: Elbląg dzieje i architektura, Elbląg 1992, 5

  1. The importance of Elbląg came from its location, which allowed the Knights to control the lower Vistula and The Vistula Lagoon and provided access to the Baltic trade routes. The Old Town of Elbląg was chartered according to the Lübeck law (1246) and it followed the main-street pattern, typical for Hanseatic port cities (this was probably influenced by the fact that many of the first inhabitants arrived from Lübeck). The city was enclosed by defensive walls from three sides and by the Elbląg River from the west. The thus delimited area of 18 hectares was only slightly smaller than that of the Old Town of Toruń after the 1251 extension, which testified to the envisioned rank of the new urban centre. The main compositional axis was the thoroughfare called Stary Rynek (Old Market) running parallel to the river, with five side streets leading to the embankment. The broad thoroughfare accumulated the main commercial, religious and administrative functions. An open space both sides of it was designated for the parish church of St. Nicholas and the town house complex, while the Dominican monastery was traditionally located on the outskirts in the north-eastern part of the city. The castle of the Grand Master on the opposite side was connected with the southern line of the defensive walls. A panorama of the city opened to the north of it, the topographically closest dominant feature being the mass of the parish church. The charters of the Old Town in 1246 and the New Town in 1347 mark a century long period of economic growth. It was also a period of gradually building the town's communal autonomy, not provided by the original charter.38 By the middle of the 14th century many of the constraints contained in it had been repealed. We may assume that the decision to found the New Town of Elbląg, made in the period of peak development of the older community, was a partly economic but mostly a political act. It was to express an enhancing of the Teutonic control over the economically and politically stronger neighbour, which was particularly important after the 1309 removal of the Grand Master's seat to Malbork. This was a new – and unknown in Toruń – context of the New Town charter based on the experience which the Order had gathered by the end of the 14th century. The Knights were able to utilise the element of competitiveness stemming from the proximity of the two urban centres.

  2. The New Town Elbląg was located on nine hectares of rent-free Castle land, south-east of the Old Town and directly adjoining the Teutonic Knights' castle.39 Distant from the river and lacking stone defences, an attribute of spatial sovereignty, the New Town did not present an economic competition for the flourishing neighbour. And it was closely dependent economically and politically on its founder. The Knights treated it instrumentally from the very start and the privileges offered were an element of political strategy. The 1347 charter based on the Lübeck law only theoretically guaranteed equal rights to both urban centres. The arrangement of the New Town was different to that of the Old Town; it followed the classic model with a central main square but the pattern of streets was laid inconsistently. The layout was defined by two broader parallel streets leading to the Old Town and crisscrossed by five narrower north-south streets. So the urban pattern of the New Town does not follow the grid model (perhaps the distance from the river was a factor here) and its characteristic feature was using the central square as the location of the parish church. This building, with the patrocinium of the Three Wise Men not met anywhere else in the Teutonic State, was never finished and did not offer a visual competition for the Old Town parish church. Two elements, threespan, polygonal presbytery and the lower storey of the western tower – separated by the planned but never executed short hall corpus – survived from the third quarter of the 14th century when they were raised until 1881.40 The fact that such an incomplete structure satisfied the needs of the inhabitants shows that the aspirations of the citizens and the Teutonic founder were lower than in the Old Town.

  3. The story of the construction of the Old Town parish church is quite different. Its form evolved in line with the ups and downs of the economic prosperity of the Old Town of Elbląg and the growing ambitions of its inhabitants. If we look at the matter from the perspective of selecting the architectural model and the presence of status-enhancing elements, we may observe that over the period of more than two centuries the original form from the second half of the 13th century and the ultimate form from late 15th century belonged to the hall church variety with a western tower. The three-aisle, five-span corpus ending in a two-span rectangular choir formed an arrangement standing out in the late 13th century townscape.41 From the side of the river the tower was the dominant feature, while the straight-line ending of the eastern part was part of the roofline of Ulica Rynkowa. The extension of St. Nicholas's Church, started in the second half of the 14th century and terminated in 1428, involved all its parts. A three-aisle basilica choir was raised in the eastern section, in the main corpus the nave was heightened and the aisles were broadened through adding rows of chapels between buttresses pulled inside, while the western tower was flanked with two annexes and thus transformed into a three-partite western mass. Making the extreme parts of the building more monumental underlined the dominance of the Old Town parish church in the cityscape, particularly highlighting the east-west visual axis. At the same type in each stage of its construction St. Nicholas's dominated over the New Town parish church through its scale, shape and above all through being completed.

  4. Towards the end of the 14th century the economic conditions began to change with the growing competition from Gdańsk in the overseas trade and the worsening of the water transport environment around Elbląg. The Teutonic State was affected by a crisis as well. The trilateral relations between the Old and New Town of Elbląg and their founder also depended on these developments. Their acquired a new importance after the Prussian Union was established (1440), which both communities joined.42 A symbolic act uniting the citizens of both communities was the destruction of the Teutonic Castle in the early stages of the Thirteen Years' War in 1454. But the subsequent process of amalgamating the two communities was slower here and found expression in a number of legal acts, the final one, issued by Casimir the Jagiellonian on 1 March 1478, incorporated the New Town into the older settlement.43 The two chapel galleries by the choir, still present in the architectural structure of St. Nicholas's, may be perceived as a sign of the times. The older southern one from around 1409 probably served as a "VIP box" for the Elbląg Knight Hospitaller and after 1457 for the Polish king. The northern one was added during the last modernisation of the main body of the church when in the late 15th century it assumed the shape of a high hall. Called Sprachkammer in the records, is served as an assembly hall for the aldermen. So the period of its construction (after 1494) coincided with the Town Council's taking charge of the parish church, an important attribute of the municipal autonomy.44

  5. The comparison of the Toruń and Elbląg conurbations shows the differences resulting from individual stories of the two communities (later chartering of the New Town Elbląg, a much more pronounced political aspect behind this decision, subordination to the Teutonic founder without identification with the Order, a much inferior form of the New Town parish church). What these two cases have in common is the riverside location, which determined the functions of the town centre by the harbour but also influenced the way of shaping the townscape, with the view of the main religious and municipal buildings from the river given preference.

  6. Another double city, Braniewo on the Pasłęka (Passarge) River, presents a similar set of problems. What was specific for this city was its close subordination to the person of the Bishop of Warmia, its founder, who endowed it with the status of the main centre of his domain. In the charter from 1284 Bishop Henryk Fleming granted the inhabitants of Braniewo full rights from the Lübeck law, which put them in a privileged position against the cities chartered by the Teutonic Order.45 As a result the gradual process of gaining municipal autonomy characteristic for the latter in the case of Braniewo meant attempting to preserve previously granted rights and the defence against the strivings of the bishops, trying to recuperate their original influence. And the decision of the Prague bishop Herman, who in 1342 founded the New Town Braniewo, resulted from following the fate of the Teutonic New Town settlements (the example of the New Town of Elbląg, chartered on the basis of the Lübeck law, might have been particularly inspiring). Of prime importance were the political benefits expected by the founder after relocating the seat of the Warmia bishops to Orneta (1340). The new settlement was to serve as an instrument of control over the older community and enhance the prestige of the Old Town, which ceased to play the role of the bishop's residence. These important functions did not translate into a planning impetus and clarity of the spatial arrangement. The city enclosed by a quadrangle of defensive walls was protected from the south by the Pasłęka and a system of moats. The plan did provide for a main square with the town house but the main compositional axis was defined by two parallel streets leading to a ford across the river, marking the south and north side of the main square.46 The east-west pattern was underlined by the opposite placing of the St. Catherine's Parish Church (Fig. 16) by the southern line of the walls and the Franciscan complex in the north-west corner. But the location of the Braniewo parish church was not typical not only because of the proximity of the defensive walls but also of the Bishops' Palace, its wings flanking the parish church from the east. Such a spatial relation between the two buildings corresponded with the relations between the seat of the bishop, extending his patronage over St. Catherine's, and the inhabitants, who enjoyed full rights under the Lübeck Law and for whom the parish church symbolised the city's autonomy. On the other hand, the New Town of Braniewo was small, poorly defended, separated from the Old Town by the river (a peculiar feature of the Braniewo New Town location), based on the main-street pattern, with the Town House and St. Trinity Church situated by the north-south thoroughfare. Holy Trinity's, founded as late as 1437, represented the form of a small hall chapel with a polygonal choir. It did not bear comparison with the Old Town parish church, where the original basilica pattern with a polygonal choir was replaced in the second half of the 14th century with a hall corpus characteristic for Warmia churches, with a non-typically three-partite eastern section.47

15 Braniewo, town map from 1826-1829 according to Giese, in: Adolf Boetticher, Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Ostpreussen, vol. 4: Ermland, Königsberg 1894, 37

16 Braniewo, St. Catherine's Church, ground plan, in: Adolf Boetticher, Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Ostpreussen, vol. 4: Ermland, Königsberg 1894, 41

  1. Braniewo, the main city of the Warmia bishopric domain, is thus inscribed in the general picture of the Teutonic double city. Other similarities are the conflicts between the old and new community, where the bishop, just like the Teutonic Komtur, played the role of a political arbiter. His failed attempt at amalgamating the two towns (1394-1398) is one example of such actions.48

  2. Comparing Toruń to two later settlements, Elbląg and Braniewo, shows that each city had its own individual history. But it also demonstrates that Toruń was a distinct case, not only due to its chronological precedence but also an outstanding nature of the New Town urban arrangement in terms of the spatial pattern, the form of the parish church, the presence of a monastery complex. These components point to a specific status of the New Town settlement for its Teutonic master. But we must stress that assessing the New Town communities as economically and politically weaker is relative, for in comparison to the remaining small towns, statistically dominating on the map of the Teutonic state, the New Towns were at least equal in this respect.

Translation by Tomasz Bieroń


How to cite this article:
Liliana Krantz-Domasłowska, "Double cities in the Teutonic state on the example of Toruń," RIHA Journal 0068 (8 March 2013), URN + URL: (date of access: [please add]).

Originally published as: Liliana Krantz-Domasłowska, "Miasta podwójne w państwie krzyżackim – przykład Torunia," RIHA Journal 0067 (8 March 2013).

1 Marek Słoń, Miasta podwójne i wielokrotne w średniowiecznej Europie, Wrocław 2010, 18.

2 Słoń, Miasta podwójne, 95-106.

3 The Order of the German Hospital of Virgin Mary in Jerusalem came to Poland on the invitation of Prince Konrad of Masovia in order to conquer Prussian lands. In bulls granted by Friedrich II (1226) and Pope Gregory IX (1234) it received privileges forming the legal basis for establishing in Prussia their own state, which combined the functions of a feudal and theocratic state. Alongside with military successes (the lands of Prussian tribes were conquered by 1283 and Western Pomerania in 1309) centres of local government and Komturships were created and processes of urbanisation went on. The Teutonic state survived until 1466, that is the treaty ending the Thirteen Years' War against Poland. Monastic Prussia was established, territorially limited to eastern Prussia and fiefdom of the Polish king. Janusz Tandecki, "Podziały administracyjne państwa zakonnego w Prusach," in: Państwo zakonu krzyżackiego w Prusach. Podziały administracyjne i kościelne w XIII-XVI wieku, ed. Zenon Hubert Nowak, Toruń 2000, 17-28.

4 Słoń, Miasta podwójne, 252-253; Roman Czaja, "Miasta i ich posiadłości ziemskie w państwie zakonu krzyżackiego w Prusach," in: Państwo zakonu krzyżackiego w Prusach, 45-65.

5 Antoni Czacharowski, "Die Gründung der 'Neustädte' im Ordensland Preußen," in: Hansische Geschichtsblätter 108 (1990), 1-12; Antoni Czacharowski, "Początki Nowych Miast w państwie krzyżackim," in: Czas, przestrzeń, praca w dawnych miastach, ed. Andrzej Wyrobisz et al., Warszawa 1991, 47-55; Zenon Hubert Nowak, "Neustadtgründungen des Deutschen Ordens in Preußen. Entstehung, Verhältnis zu den Altstädten, Ende der Eigenständichkeit," in: Stadt und Orden. Das Verhältnis des Deutschen Ordens zu den Städten in Livland, Preußen und im Deutschen Reich, ed. Udo Arnold, Marburg 1993, 129-142; Arthur Semrau, "Die Neustadt Thorn während ihrer Selbständigkeit 1264-1454," in: Mitteilungen des Coppernicus-Vereins für Wissenschaft und Kunst zu Thorn 37 (1929), 11-70.

6 Nowak, "Neustadtgründungen," 139; Słoń, Miasta podwójne, 254.

7 Preussisches Urkundenbuch, vol. 1-2, Königsberg 1909, 225, 168.

8 Zbigniew Nawrocki, "Układ przestrzenny trzynastowiecznego Torunia," in: Sztuka Torunia i ziemi chełmińskiej 1233-1815, ed. Józef Poklewski, Warszawa 1986, 17-30; Jadwiga Chudziakowa, "Średniowieczny Toruń (w świetle źródeł archeologicznych)," in: Historia Torunia, vol. 1, ed. Marian Biskup, W czasach średniowiecza (do roku 1454), ed. Jadwiga Chudziakowa et al., Toruń 1999, 58-99; Tomasz Jasiński, "Toruń XIII-XIV wieku – lokacja miast toruńskich i początek ich rozwoju (1231-około 1350," in: Historia Torunia, vol. 1, 100-166; Krzysztof Mikulski, Przestrzeń i społeczeństwo Torunia od końca XIV do początku XVIII wieku, Toruń 1999, 23-36.

9 Mikulski, Przestrzeń i społeczeństwo, 28.

10 Lidia Grzeszkiewicz-Kotlewska, "Badania archeologiczne prezbiterium kościoła świętojańskiego w Toruniu w latach 1994-1995," in: Dzieje i skarby kościoła Świętojańskiego w Toruniu, ed. Katarzyna Kluczwajd and Michał Woźniak, Toruń 2002, 103-117

11 Jasiński, "Toruń XIII-XIV wieku," 130-133.

12 Jasiński, "Toruń XIII-XIV wieku," 152.

13 Zbigniew Nawrocki, "Zamek krzyżacki w Toruniu. Dzieje budowy, upadek, ponowne zagospodarowanie," in: Rocznik Muzeum Okręgowego w Toruniu 13/14 (2005), 7-32.

14 Słoń, Miasta podwójne, 182; Czacharowski, "Początki Nowych Miast," 50.

15 Janusz Trupinda, "Wizerunek dominikanów w kronice Piotra z Duisburga – obraz rzeczywisty czy oficjalna propaganda Zakonu Niemieckiego?," in: Dominikanie – Gdańsk – Polska – Europa, ed. Dariusz Dekański et al., Gdańsk 2003, 531-540.

16 Preussisches Urkundenbuch, vol. 1-2, Königsberg 1909, 225, 168.

17 Czacharowski, "Początki Nowych Miast," 49.

18 Słoń, Miasta podwójne, 272; Jasiński, "Toruń XIII–XIV wieku," 145-146.

19 Six indulgencies are from the 13th century, with the first one (27 June 1263) permitting the brothers to do perform their pastoral duties. Łukasz Myszka, "Przywileje odpustowe dla dominikanów toruńskich. Przyczynek do dziejów życia religijnego średniowiecznego miasta," in: Nasza Przeszłość 110 (2008), 329-344.

20 In 1821 and 1834 the Dominican complex was dismantled. Zbigniew Nawrocki, "Kościół Mariacki w Toruniu – budowa i przebudowy w świetle odkryć w ostatnim ćwierćwieczu," in: Dzieje i skarby kościoła Mariackiego w Toruniu, ed. Katarzyna Kluczwajd, Toruń 2005, 19-53; Christofer Herrmann, Mittelalterliche Architektur im Preußenland. Untersuchungen zur Frage der Kunstlandschaft und -geographie, Petersberg 2007, 756-760.

21 Czacharowski, "Początki Nowych Miast," 50; Słoń, Miasta podwójne, 264.

22 Liliana Krantz-Domasłowska, "Inskrypcje na murach kościoła – sacrum miejsca i treści," in: Dzieje i skarby kościoła Świętojakubskiego w Toruniu, ed. Katarzyna Kluczwajd, Toruń 2010, 121-139.

23 This principle was commonly followed in the Middle Ages but in the Teutonic state it was an exception. Waldemar Rozynkowski, Omnes Sancti et Sanctae Dei. Studium nad kultem świętych w diecezjach pruskich państwa zakonu krzyżackiego, Malbork 2006, 238-239.

24 Liliana Krantz-Domasłowska and Jerzy Domasłowski, Kościół św. Jakuba w Toruniu, Toruń 2001; Herrmann, Mittelalterliche Architektur, 762-763.

25 Adam Soćko, "Trzy etapy budowy chóru kościoła pw. św. Jakuba w Toruniu," in: Dzieje i skarby kościoła Świętojakubskiego w Toruniu, 49-71; Jakub Adamski, "Pseudopoligonalne sklepienie w chórze kościoła pw. św. Jakuba w Toruniu – próba nowego spojrzenia," in: Dzieje i skarby kościoła Świetojakubskiego, 73-90; Jakub Adamski, "The Pseudo-poligonal Rib Vaults, St. James' Church in Toruń and the Question of Illusionism in Gothic Architecture," in: Artibus et Historiae 65 (2012), 275-305.

26 Teresa Mroczko, Architektura gotycka na ziemi chełmińskiej, Warszawa 1980, 16-17, 74-99; Liliana Krantz-Domasłowska, "Architektura," in: Bazylika katedralna św. Janów w Toruniu, ed. Marian Biskup, Toruń 2003, 54-108; Elżbieta Pilecka, "Kościół p.w. św. Jana Chrzciciela i św. Jana Ewangelisty w Toruniu w okresie średniowiecza jako wizualizacja świadomości społecznej," in: Dzieje i skarby kościoła Świetojańskiego w Toruniu, 119-176; Herrmann, Mittelalterliche Architektur, 760-762.

27 Piotr Oliński, Fundacje mieszczańskie w miastach pruskich w okresie średniowiecza i na progu czasów nowożytnych (Chełmno, Toruń, Elbląg, Gdańsk, Królewiec, Braniewo), Toruń 2008, 184-223, 509-523.

28 Oliński, Fundacje mieszczańskie w miastach pruskich, 515-522.

29 Oliński, Fundacje mieszczańskie w miastach pruskich, 186-201, 207-222; Aleksander Konieczny, "Historia budowy kaplic przy kościele pw. św. Jakuba w Toruniu," in: Dzieje i skarby kościoła Świętojakubskiego w Toruniu, 91-120.

30 Annalista Thoruniensis, Scriptores rerum Prussicarum, vol. 3, ed. Ernst Straehlke, Leipzig 1868, 78.

31 Jerzy Domasłowski and Jarosław Jarzewicz, Kościół NMP w Toruniu, Toruń 1998; Herrmann, Mittelalterliche Architektur, 756-758; Dzieje i skarby kościoła Mariackiego w Toruniu, ed. Katarzyna Kluczwajd, Toruń 2005 (containing articles by Z. Nawrocki, L. Krantz-Domasłowska, B. Małecki, A. Soćka).

32 Construction works at St. John's in the second half of the 14th century were focused on building the western mass, vaults and northern side chapels.

33 Oliński, Fundacje mieszczańskie w miastach pruskich, 509-512. In the 14th century members of the Allen family, Werle and Wale, were buried here.

34 Construction work lasted from 1407 to 1473, their scope and sequence are variously interpreted. Arthur Semrau, "Forschungen zur Baugeschichte der Johanniskirche in Thorn von 1250 bis 1500," in: Mitteilungen des Coppernicus-Vereins für Wissenschaft und Kunst zu Thorn, vol. 21, 2 (1913), 28-55; Johannes Heise, Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler der Provinz Westpreussen, vol. 2: Kulmerland und Löbau, No 6-7: Kreis Thorn, Danzig 1889, 256, 258. See also Architektura gotycka w Polsce, ed. Teresa Mroczko and Marian Arszyński, vol. 2, Warszawa 1995; Katalog zabytków, ed. Andrzej Włodarek, Warszawa 1995, 240-241; Herrmann, Mittelalterliche Architektur, 760-762.

35 Zenon Hubert Nowak, "W okresie kryzysu państwa krzyżackiego (1411–1454)," in: Historia Torunia, vol. 1, Toruń 1999, 249-278.

36 Nowak, "W okresie kryzysu," 271-278.

37 The reasons were partly of objective nature. Chełmno was planned with some reserve area in mind, the defensive walls enclosed the maximum possible surface given the topographic arrangement of the hill (28 hectares). And depriving the city of capital status could also have destabilised its development, but the main hindering factor was the lack of direct access to the river, which was the foundation of economic development in all the remaining big Teutonic cities.

38 Roman Czaja, Miasta pruskie a zakon krzyżacki. Studia nad stosunkami między miastem a władzą terytorialną w późnym średniowieczu, Toruń 1999, 19-23.

39 Janusz Tandecki, Struktury administracyjne i społeczne oraz formy życia w wielkich miastach Prus Krzyżackich w średniowieczu i na progu czasów nowożytnych, Toruń 2001, 27-36; Bernhart Jähnig, "Das Entstehen der mittelalterlichen Sakraltopographie von Elbing," in: Beiträge zur Geschichte Westpreußens 10 (1987), 21-48.

40 Karl Hauke and Horst Stobbe, Die Baugeschichte und die Baudenkmäler der Stadt Elbing, Stuttgart 1964, 74. The New Town parish church in Elbląg was demolished in 1881. Its external appearance is known from two 1870 watercolours.

41 Hauke and Stobbe, Die Baugeschichte, 206-216; Architektura gotycka w Polsce, 61; Herrmann, Mittelalterliche Architektur, 405-407.

42 Arthur Semrau, "Die Beschreibung der Neustadt Elbing und ihres Gebietes im Mittelalter," in: Mittteilungen des Coppernicus-Vereins für Wissenschaft und Kunst zu Thorn 33 (1925), 36; Słoń, Miasta podwójne, 278.

43 Zenon Hubert Nowak and Janusz Tandecki, "Inkorporacja Nowego Miasta Elbląga do Starego Miasta Elbląga," in: 750 lat praw miejskich Elblaga. Księga Pamiątkowa, ed. Andrzej Groth, Gdańsk 1996, 93.

44 Adam Soćko, Układy emporowe w architekturze państwa krzyżackiego, Warszawa 2005, 87-94.

45 Stanisław Achremczyk and Alojzy Szorc, Braniewo, Olsztyn 1995, 12-21.

46 Marian Arszyński and Marian Kutzner, Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce. Seria Nowa, vol. 2, No 1: Województwo elbląskie, Warszawa 1980, 11.

47 The group of so-called choir-less halls marks out Warmia town churches from the second half of the 14th century. Marian Kutzner, "Społeczne warunki kształtowania się cech indywidualnych sakralnej architektury gotyckiej na Warmii," in: Sztuka pobrzeża Bałtyku, Warszawa 1978, 65, 70; Dierk Loyal, Sakrale Backsteingotik im Ermland. Eine bautopographische Untersuchung, Bonn 1995, 80-89. Jakub Adamski recently wrote about St. Catherine's, "Między 'modusem regionalnym' a innowacją. Kościół św. Katarzyny w Braniewie i jego związki z gotycką architekturą południowych pobrzeży Bałtyku," in: Studia Zamkowe, vol. IV, ed. Artur Dobry and Barbara Pośpieszna, Malbork 2012, 9-19 (in print).

48 In 1394 the Bishop incorporated the New Town of Elbląg, acting in the interest of the Old Town and with consent of both communities. Four years ago he rescinded the incorporation in response to the mutiny of the burghers in 1396. Słoń, Miasta podwójne, 258-263.

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