Like Toruń, Chełmno was once an important settlement controlled by the Teutonic Knights. The Teutonic Knights earmarked it as a potential capital when they arrived in the late 1220s. Their castle was completed by 1265, bolstering Chełmno’s profitable position on the Vistula trade route and its lucrative affiliation to the Hanseatic League.

After the Treaty of Toruń, Chełmno was returned to Poland, but a devastating plague and a series of wars rendered the town a forgotten backwater by the time it was annexed by Prussia in 1772. It was returned to Poland in 1920 and survived WWII without major damage.