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The Vistula – The Queen of the Polish rivers

On October 19th, 2016, in Torun the inauguration of the nationwide commemoration of the Year of the Vistula River 2017, established by the Sejm through the June 22nd, 2016 act, was held. The act stated that "The Vistula – The Queen of the Polish Rivers, constituting a symbol of the Polish character and patriotism, is our natural as well as historical and cultural heritage."

The idea of the celebration was initiated by the Social Committee of the Celebration of the Year of the Vistula River in 2017 in order to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the signing of the Second Peace of Torun and the first free timber rafting on the Vistula. The celebration was supported by a range of institutions and municipalities.

Among the participants of the event one could find representatives of the state, municipalities, social organizations, keelmen, residents of Torun, and numerous invited guests with the Vistula always in their hearts.

The inaugural events were commenced with a scientific conference titled "The Vistula – yesterday, today, and tomorrow," held in the Marshal's Office of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Province. The program involved handing in commendations (The Vistula Medal, among others), lectures on the application of the Vistula's potential prepared by the scientific staff of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, the Casimir III the Great University in Bydgoszcz, Pomeranian School of Higher Education in Gdynia, and the representatives of the Association of Vistula Cities and the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation.

The inaugural session was held at noon in Torun's Artus Court. During the conference a commemorative postcard issued by the Polish Post was presented. During the session, Bruno Platter, the great master of the Teutonic Order, spoke about the difficult history and relations of Poland and the Teutonic Order. Then, Robert Jankowski, Secretary General of the Social Committee of the Celebration of the Year of the Vistula River in 2017 gave a talk on the idea behind the celebration of the Year of the Vistula River and the programs prepared by various regions, while Professor Roman Czaja, PhD, from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun discussed the significance of the Second Peace of Torun, its historical meaning and influence on the development of the Vistula navigation.

The Old Town Hall held the opening of the exhibition titled: "The 550th Anniversary of The Second Peace of Torun," which featured the original document of the Second Peace of Torun.

Additional attractions of Torun's celebration included rowing regattas, parades of replicas of historic boats, and historical staging of a battle between the armies of King Casimir IV Jagiellon and the Teutonic Order on the river, after which the Second Peace of Torun was signed.

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