Torun, the Polish city inbetween Warsaw and Gdansk where Copernicus was born in 1473 celebrates its famous former inhabitant by a impressive light festival: Skyway ‘1o.

 

The light festival starts from a simple, but intelligent concept. The heliocentric model of Copernicus is put on the urban plan of the old city as a new layer. The main market hosts the centre of the heliocentric model, the Sun. With the main market as the centre, the orbital movement of the different planets are drawn on the urban plan of the old city. Where these orbital movements cross a specific place, artists were asked to make a light sculpture which is inspired by the specific planet and by the specific place.

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Except for the cosmopolitan fountain, all the installations are temporary. The fountain is only used by full capacity (water and light) for specific occasions.

“With Skyway ’1o, Torun is transformed in a Magical way. The works are installed in the city as if for a brief period of the Festival, the Celestial Bodies, while still captured in their orbital movement, somehow “landed” on the city’s urban space.” (Mario Caerio, artist director of Skyway ’1o festival)

The urban space of the Old and New Town of Torun, where the festival mainly takes place, is known for being on the World Heritage list.

“The Committee decided to inscribe this property on the basis of criteria (ii) and (iv), considering that Torun is a small historic trading city that preserves to a remarkable extent its original street pattern and outstanding early buildings, and which provides an exceptionally complete picture of the medieval way of life.”

Torun is a candidate for the European Cultural Capital of 2o16.