Sunday, 15 July 2012

We Stand Corrected

Readers, we have been reprimanded. You come to us for toilet information, expecting it to be well researched and accurate. Well, we got sloppy with our research. Turns out we were wrong on many counts regarding the city of Toruń. We apologise.
Intellectual Friend smacked our fingers and gave us a bit of a lecture. Here it is:
No doubt the bombing of 1703 was particularly destructive to the town. However, I think I might have to question and challenge several of the details coming from that Historien om Sverige, no doubt a useful and entertaining work but perhaps rather too, ahem, populärhistorisk.

For some reason probably involving money and madness, the Polish nobility had just elected as new king some Saxon prince, which would explain why the armies defending against the Swedes were both Polish and Saxon. So I guess the Poles were fighting too, having had by then a century of wars against Sweden behind them and one or two previous sieges of Toruń. Except that some Polish forces started to ally themselves with the Swedes, the better to oust the Saxon king once they realised he wasn't that much of a good idea.

As to the length of wall along the Vistula visible on that photo, they are in fact medieval (13-14th c. or something near), as are two ot three gates, one of which is visible on the photo. Actually this is a view from the south -- possibly and quite logically, maybe the Swedes were only attacking from the north? Some fortress towers and a number of houses, including the huge town hall, are also survivors from the late Middle Ages. Also there are bits and ruins of a medieval castle. Much of the destruction of castle and walls was apparently done way before, or way after, 1703, by Poles for whatever reasons probably involving madness and vodka.
Toruń: Ok fine, the walls date back from before 1703. Or after. Whatever.
I much more sympathise with the accounts of military hygiene and the use made of the vital virtues of vodka, which seem plausible enough and presumably are among the stronger aspects of the book! (If I can be allowed to indulge in such a review of a book (or whatever that is!!!) which I know nothing about!!)
In defense of the author of Historien om Sverige, Herman Lindqvist, we would like to say that he, despite not being a historian, writes entertaining and accessible history books, although we would personally desire a more frequent use of semicolons, and a more observant proofreader.

What's this to do with toilets, anyway, you may well ask. Let us, for the sake of hard-hitting academic research, revisit Intellectual Friend's reviews of Toruń toilets:

There's this one.

And this one.

Also, and here's where this post finally gets exciting, there is another Toruń toilet review coming soon!!!

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