Gdanisko, one of the most characteristic buildings in Toruń, is the only well-preserved feature of the former Teutonic castle which is in ruins now. The tower, also referred to as Dansker, was located outside the curtain wall and served dual purpose; it was a defensive tower as well as a toilet tower. It was accessed through a covered gallery, supported by arcades, leading from the eastern corner of the castle.
The local burghers resolved to spare the tower in the course of the Thirteen Years' War (1454-1466). In 1454 when they started an uprising that marked the beginning of the war, they demolished the castle but left the Dansker intact. One of the local legends has it that their intention was to leave this "toilet tower" standing for centuries as the only relic of the Teutonic Knights in Toruń.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.