Chełmno is located on nine hills, and is referred to as “The City of Lovers” or “The City of Love”, titles it owes to the relics of Saint Valentine kept for centuries at a parish church there, and to “St. Valentine’s Day in Chełmno” celebrated every year on 14th February.
There is certainly more to Chełmno, as it is a city with a rich history, and it played an important role in the history of Poland and the Teutonic Order. The Order determined on Chełmno to become the capital of their State, and it was referred to as “the main town, more worthy than others”, for the entire duration of the existence of the Order.
It is the capital of the historic Chełmno land, which was first mentioned in documents as early as in 1065, although its history dates back much earlier. On 28th December 1233, the Teutonic Order granted Chełmno a foundation charter, known as Kulm law, which continued to be the model for founding over 200 towns in Poland, for example Warszawa, Toruń, Gdańsk, and Wadowice, until the 18th Century.
Chełmno is attractive for its mediaeval monuments, and the beautiful panorama of church towers rising high up in the sky, while the urban arrangement of the city often makes people think of a “Polish Carcassone.” The city has five well-preserved Gothic churches, an almost-intact urban arrangement, and practically the complete perimeter of city walls dating back to the Middle Ages, as well as many tenement houses, the oldest of which were built in the 13th Century.
In 2005, its Old Town was listed as a Historic Monument. The historic monuments in Chełmno are part of the European Route of Brick Gothic (EuRoB) and the Copernicus Route.
The city has appeared in films on numerous occasions. It was the location where Dorota Kędzierzawska shot her film entitled “Jestem/I Am”. Łukasz Palkowski used a cemetery in Chełmno, and some other locations, in his TV series “Belfer”, while in “A Grain of Truth”, Borys Lankosz shot a number of scenes in the St. Mary Church in Chełmno. The film crew which made the cult TV series “Czterej pancerni i pies/Four tank-men and a dog” also paid a short visit to the city, and quite recently Chełmno was transformed into one of the districts of Königsberg (Kaliningrad), in a Japanese film entitled “Persona non grata”.