Nicholas Copernicus Monument
The statue of Nicholas Copernicus is situated in the Old Market square in front of the Old Town Hall. It dates from 1853. It was made by a sculptor from Berlin, Friedrich Abraham Tieck, commissioned by the German Copernican Society. The author of the idea of erecting of the statue of Nicholas Copernicus was Stanislaw Staszic. In 1809 cornerstone was even embedded under the monument and the national fund-raising for this project began.
However, because Torun was taken over by Prussia in 1815, the decision was made to erect the statue in Warsaw. Yet in Torun the initiative of the building it was taken over by the German community. The society, specially formed for this purpose, started fund-raising in Prussia and the German Reich as well as in other parts of Europe, Russia, or even in South America. Eventually, two thirds of costs, however, were paid by the city of Torun and King Friedrich Wilhelm II.
The event of unveiling of the monument took place on the 25th of October 1853 and was a great fair for the city community. The statue casted bronze is 2.6 metre high. It presents Copernicus in the standing position clad in a professor’s robe, holding an armillary sphere (astrolabium) in his left hand, and pointing in the direction of the sky with the right one. There is an inscription in Latin engraved on the granite plinth: “Nicolaus Copernicus Thorunensis Terrae motor, Solis Caelique stator” (“Nicholas Copernicus, a citizen of Torun, moved the earth and halted the Sun and the sky”). In 2003, a thorough renovation of the statue of Nicholas Copernicus ended in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the unveiling of the monument. The work done included recreation of the stone basin with a bronze mouth of a dolphin and semi-circular reservoir, situated at the foot of the monument (these elements were dismantled during the interwar period). The 150th anniversary was celebrated on the 25th of October, 2003. The Speaker of Parliament, Marek Borowski, took part in the celebrations. Four months later, on the 24th of June, during the City Holiday, the President of Torun, Michał Zaleski, activated the renovated fountain from the mouth of the dolphin. On the occasion of the anniversary, the District Museum in Torun published a brochure devoted to the monument entitled “From the history of the monument of Nicholas Copernicus in Torun”. The brochure was financed by the Department of Promotion and Information of the Municipal Office of Torun.