Chelmno (Chełmno)
The town is one of the most beautiful medieval Polish cities. The spacious town hall is among the most breathtaking Renaissance edifices in Poland. Attention deserves also the massive Gothic parish church.

City History
The first mention of Chelmno comes form the 11th century. The oldest records of the name read Cholmien with the North-Polish connection of the sounds ‘ol’. The Latin name Culmen and German Colmen or Culm originate from this.
The name of the city refers mainly to its topographical location. The Polish word Chelmno comes from the word ‘chelm’ which means helmet or hill. Also the Latin Culmen and German Kulm have the same meaning. So originally Chelmno meant a settlement on the hill as it was located on the hills as was Kaldus and later a new city of Chelmno in today’s Starogrod, and Chelmno as well.

The city’s coat of arms
The history of the city’s coat of arms dates back to the 13th century and the first image showed a knight on a horse under a baldaquin, holding a flag of Chelmno (or possibly the Chelmno Land). The waves represented the Chelmno hills or the three rivers enclosing the historic Chelmno Land, i.e. the Vistula, the Drweca and the Osa, and above them a symbol of the capital overlooking the whole land. In the subsequent centuries the coat of arm was transformed and showed the location of the city on nine hills. The today’s coat of arms is nine hills with the city on them, and an inscribed Maltese cross – a symbol of the Christianity. Above them a golden crown, underneath – three river waves symbolizing the Vistula.

The Gothic-Renaissance City Hall
It is one of the most beautiful Renaissance art objects in Poland. It was the focal point of the Medieval main square. Built in 1567-1572 in place of the earlier Gothic city hall that had been built around 1298. The tower was added between 1584 and 1596, and a Baroque cupola was made by Krzysztof Wagner from Gdansk in 1721. The city hall is a detached building situated slightly to the south-west of the centre of the main square. It is a rectangular building 13.20 m wide and 22.70 m long, and about 47 m high. Originally, a Gothic town hall stood here, which was discovered during the excavations performed during the preservation-repair works in 1956 – 1959. The original town hall from the 13th century was a one-storey building 10 m wide and 13 m long and about 8 meters high, with a tower, a tower clock and two bells: one councilmanic and one municipal. The town hall had several chambers: the balance room, the archives, the city council’s chamber, the Chelmno court chamber and finally the summer representative hall on the first floor. The present building from the 16th century swallowed up the previous one. It was built for the city to gain more prestige and because there was simply need for the ever growing secular authority thanks to the 16th century economical growth of the city. The late-Renaissance outer façade of the city hall is, with its richness of ornamentation, very close to mannerism with the Italian like motive of the attic built in 1885-1887. The second floor was added by knocking out the windows in the wall between the attic’s pillars. The repair works of the Town Hall were performed in the years 1852, 1863, 1882, 1885-1887, 1956-1959, and 1976-1983. Since 1983 the Tourist Information Centre together with the Museum of the Chelmno Land with its regional-historical exhibitions has been open here. The permanent exhibitions in the museum are: ‘The history of Chelmno’ and ‘Ludwik Rydygier, a world famous Polish surgeon’. The institution organizes temporary exhibitions in the Townsmen Hall on the second floor as well.