Bialystok (Białystok) in the North-eastern part of Poland has about 290,000 inhabitants. It's situated 184 kilometers from Warsaw. Bialystok is the capital of the Podlaskie Provence. It's the largest city in this part of Poland. It's the administrative, economic, and academic center of the region. The region, due to its exceptional environmental assets, is also known as "The Green Lungs of Poland". The city has evolved as a melting pot of different nations, religions, cultures, customs and traditions.
Here the occidental rationalism meets the oriental mysticism. It has become an example of integration of ethnic and religious groups, a meeting place for Poles, Belarusians, Jews, Lithuanians, Germans, Russians, Ukrainians, Muslims and Tatars. The multi-ethnicity of the city was the reason for the Bialystok-born Ludwik Zamenhof to start his work on the universal language of Esperanto. The geographic location of Bialystok, close to the borders with Belarus, Lithuania and Russia, as well as the convenient transportation links, create excellent conditions for developing economic and cultural contacts with the countries of Eastern and Western Europe.
Branicki Palace in Bialystok
Branicki Palace in Bialystok is one of the most beautiful Baroque mansions in this part of Europe. Patronage of Jan Klemens Branicki in the eighteenth century led to naming the Bialystok palace the "The Versailles of Poland". The heritage of Jan Klemens Branicki continues with the Medical University of Bialystok, which is the owner of the residence since 1950.
The Palace is the headquarters of the University of Bialystok, which carries out regular repair and maintenance to restore the residence to its former splendor. Through various initiatives such as the Night of Museums, Open Days UMB, Podlaski Science and Art Festival, the European Heritage Days as well as organizing the Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy, the Palace is the center of science teaching and is a part of the cultural life of the city.
|Address||Jana Kilińskiego 1, Bialystok, Poland|
Kosciuszko Market (Rynek Kościuszki)
The whole town square is around the Town hall, erected with hetman's money. The first part is from 1755 - 1761, which was the central part of the construction. Then it was topped with a magnificent tower and four corner alcoves emerged, next to the main part with a series of arcades, which in turn served as a place for stalls for the local merchants. The town hall, therefore, served mainly as a shopping center as it was not used for meetings of the town council. The only premises used by the town were the selected courtroom and prison, called the "turma".
In the first years of the 19th century, there were 48 shopping stalls which were the inheritable property of the shopkeepers - mainly Jews. Due to the fact that a market surrounded the town hall, Jan Klemens Branicki ordered for a town weights to be built there. It was a ground floor building with arcades where the models of measures of length and volume, certified by the councilors, were kept. A sculpture personifying justice is near the town weights. The other sculpture, which is no longer there, presented St Florian and was near the fountain.
The tower of the town hall dominated the town skyline. In the 19th century a fire alarm post was placed on the tower, destroying its elaborate architecture. Together with all the adjacent constructions, the town hall served the purpose of a market until 1940. In the period between the two world wars, it was co-owned by over 100 shopkeepers. Upon invading the city, the Soviets destroyed the historical building, planning to place a Stalin monument in its place. Reconstruction of the town hall started in 1954 and finished within 4 years. The new building differed much from the original. The interior changed, the alcoves connected with the main building and the town weights was not reconstructed. The role of the town hall also changed - it no longer served the purpose of a market place but instead became the seat of the regional museum.
Cathedral complex of the Assumption of the Holy Mary
Above the eastern part of Rynek Kościuszki emerges the cathedral complex of the Assumption of the Holy Mary, composed of the neo-Gothic cathedral, the small late renaissance parish church which is the oldest brick building in town and a baroque presbytery built in the years 1617 - 1626 in place of the previous wooden church founded by the then owner of the city, Piotr Wiesiołowski Junior. In the 19th century, the temple became too small and so a plea was made to the tsarist authorities to give their consent for building a new church. After forty years of waiting, permission was finally given but only for adding an annex.
And so the construction works started in 1900 according to the design of the architect Józef Pius Dziekoński. Completion of the "annex" took six years, and it is several times bigger than the church itself. It is now a cathedral basilica of the archbishop Bialystok ordinary. A wide staircase leads to the interior of the tri-nave church. In front of the entrance stand the statues of St Peter and Paul and one of Pope John Paul II. The main oak altar created in 1915 by Wincenty Bogatczyk, presents a painting of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. There are two altars devoted to Holy Mary in the transept: one to the Lady of Częstochowa and the other to the Lady of Ostra Brama. There is also an altar of St Anthony.
Houses at Rynek Kościuszki
Among the three rows of houses of Rynek Kościuszki, the one on the western side is especially attractive to the eye, with the colorful facades of the brown stones rebuilt after the war, by which local and visiting painters present their works and where their favorite gallery and café, the "Marszand", is next to the "Akcent" bookstore and the antique store of "Desa". The façade elevations of the brown stones have ornaments decorated with graffito. Apart from floral elements, images of animals and figurines of muses and their attributes, we see the portraits of people who have been important to the region.
Important persons of Bialystok on display
- Father Krzysztof Kluk - a biologist from Ciechanowiec, the author of the "Plant Dictionary";
- Duchess Anna of Siemiatycze - a well-known reformer of the Enlightenment period;
- Adrian Krzyżanowski - a mathematician, physicist and historian born in Dąbrowa Białostoocka;
- Krzysztof Lach Szyrma - a man of words and political sciences from the area of Olecko;
- Antoni Waga - an entomologist from Grabów.
Ludwik Zamenhof Center (Centrum im. Ludwika Zamenhofa)
Across the narrow Biała River from the Branicki Palace, this cultural center dedicated to the creator of Esperanto hosts a range of art exhibitions, concerts, lectures, and performing arts events. Its interesting permanent exhibition, The Bialystok of Young Zamenhof, brings to life the multicultural city of the 19th century via sound, light and photography of the era. It was founded to celebrate the 94th World Congress of Esperanto that was held from 25 July to 1 August 2009 in Bialystok. Very helpful guides are available here.
|Address||ul Warszawska 19, Bialystok, Poland|
|Phone||+48 85 67 67 367|
|Ticket price||8 zt (2016)|
Holy Spirit Greek Orthodox Church Bialystok
The church of the Holy Spirit in Bialystok is the greatest of all Orthodox churches in Poland and one of the most beautiful in Europe. The pressing need for new churches in Bialystok had long been felt. In 1970 the first attempts were made to get consent for establishing a new parish, but it was not until 1982 that the authorities agreed to allow construction of a new Orthodox church in Bialystok.
Excavation of the building site began in June of 1982, and on August 1st,1982 Bishop Sawa blessed the foundation stone.
|Address||ul. Antoniuk Fabryczny 11 D,Bialystok|
|Phone||+48 85 653 28 54|
Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy Bialystok
The Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy at the Medical University of Bialystok was officially established by the rector of the Medical University of Bialystok professor Jacek Niklinski in 2011. It's at the main seat of the University – the Branicki Palace, one of the most interesting baroque residences of Central Europe which in the 18th century was dubbed the Polish Versailles.
The museum cultivates the medical heritage of Bialystok initiated by the owners of the city in the 17th century. Inside the Palace today it is possible to learn about the workings of the Institute of Midwifery from the 18th century as well as of a German World War I field hospital.
The main goal of the museum is protecting the medical and pharmaceutical heritage developed at the border of the Polish Crown and The Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The objects collected date to the 18th and 19th century and represent various fields of medicine and pharmacology. The collection includes a Siemens & Halske x-ray machine from 1921, dentist’s chairs from the turn of the 19th century, furnishings of a gynecological clinic from the period between the two world wars, surgical tools from the beginning of the 20th century as well as anatomic and pathological preparations.
It's also possible to learn about the 60-year-long history of the Medical University of Bialystok through the recollections of the school’s first students and lecturers. A visit to the museum is an interactive stroll into the past where we can enter the offices of a dentist, an eye doctor, a gynecologist, an x-ray room, a drug-making laboratory or the workroom of the anatomist of old.
The arrangement of the exhibitions are in a way which allows the visitor to discover the secrets of medicine and pharmacology using all senses. The facility also plays a role of a research and educational center related to the history of medicine and pharmacology for the students of the University. Additionally, the museum organizes educational workshops addressed to any interested person. The participants learn about the work of a doctor or a pharmacist and make their own souvenirs to remind them of their visit at the Museum.
The museum has become a fixture in the cultural calendar of Bialystok and the Podlasie region. Every year the facility participates in such events as: the Long Night of Museums, European Heritage Days, The European Day of Academic Heritage, the Podlaskie Science and Art Festival, Open Days at the MUB, Children’s Week, and the „Zubroffka” International Short Film Festival.
Other events promoting the medical heritage of Podlaskie region are also organized and include temporary exhibitions, book promotions, concerts or historical reconstructions. In 2013 and 2014 the Museum received an award for the Publication class in „the Most Interesting Museum Event of the Year in Podlaskie” competition.
|Address||ul. Jana Kilinskiego 1, Bialystok, Poland|
Army Museum Bialystok
Those interested in the army and military equipment should pay a visit to the Military Museum founded in 1968. The role of this institution is to document and popularize the history 22 of the army in the region, starting from as far back as the 10th century. The collected exhibits include the Supraśl iron sword from the turn of the 11th century, a medieval helmet with a wide, sloping brim, a gold-plated armor from the end of the 16th century, the famous "Enigma" - or the German ciphering machine, a flag of the 3rd Cavalry Corps from Wołkowysk.
Among the regular exhibitions are: "The Military History of North-Eastern Poland, 10th - 20th centuries", "The Room of the Knights", "The Hall of Combat Fame", "The Polish Soldier in Folk Art", "Gallery of Edmund Majkowski's Battle Sculpture".
|Address||Jana Kilińskiego 7, Bialystok|
|Phone||+48 85 741 54 48|
Bialystok Airport Connection
Another major airport is Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW / EPWA), which has international and domestic flights from Warsaw, and is 214 km from Bialystok.