A road tourist trail commemorating the figure of Nicolaus Copernicus and his connections with the regions through which the route runs, is approximately 590 km long. In the Pomorskie Voivodeship itself, the Copernicus Trail is about 90 kilometers long.
In the Pomorskie Voivodeship area , it starts on the border river Nogat and leads to Nowy Dwor Gdanski, and then through the main cities on the route: Malbork, Sztum and Kwidzyn. Nicolaus Copernicus visited these places during numerous diplomatic trips, mainly at the side of Bishop Watzenrode. Documented travels of Copernicus around today’s Pomorskie Voivodeship fall in the years 1504-1530.
The trail in Malbork
From Nowy Dwor Gdanski through Malbork Low Land, the trail reaches Malbork, that Copernicus visited many times. He visited the castle in Malbork as his uncle’s secretary and participated in the congresses of the Prussian estates. In the Middle Castle courtyard in the eastern wing there is a bust of Nicolaus Copernicus commemorating his visits. The biggest event related to the castle is the annual staging of the “Siege of Malbork in 1410”.
The trail in Sztum
Further on, the trail leads south to Sztum. In the local castle in January 1521, Copernicus, already the chancellor of the Warmia cathedral chapter, participated in the audience of Gdansk envoys. The castle in Sztum was the former summer residence of the grand masters of the Teutonic Order. The castle was unusually erected on a pentagonal plan in the 14th century.
The trail in Kwidzyn
The last town in the Pomorskie section of the trail is Kwidzyn. The probable stay of Copernicus in the city falls on May 1504. At that time, the city was the capital of the diocese, and today’s walls of the castle of the Pomezan chapter and the cathedral complex in Kwidzyn could be places where he stayed.
Heading further south, near the village of Gardeja, the trail reaches the border with the Kujawy-Pomorskie Voivodeship.
Outside the main loop of the Copernicus Trail, there is Gdansk, where the astronomer stayed several times for private and business matters. Business visits were related to the duties performed by the bishop. Copernicus participated in confirming the privileges of the city by the king, and during the homage of loyalty to King Aleksander Jagiellonczyk by the townspeople at Dlugi Targ Street.
In 1540, “Narratio prima” (Polish: “The first report from the books On the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus”) by Jerzy Retyk was published. With the consent of Copernicus, Retyk wrote a text summarizing and introducing the heliocentric theory. Printing was undertaken by Franciszek Rhode’s publishing house in Gdansk. Anna Schilling, who lived in the Copernicus house in Frombork, was also supposed to come from this city, which resulted in episcopal admonitions.
More information about the road Copernicus Trail can be found here