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 and traditions.
A multicultural city
Here the occidental rationalism meets the oriental mysticism. Bialystok has become an example of integration of ethnic and religious groups. It's a meeting place for Poles, Belarusians, Jews, Lithuanians, Germans, Russians, Ukrainians, Muslims and Tatars. The multi-ethnicity of the city was the reason for 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.
Cathedral complex of the Assumption of the Holy Mary Bialystok
Above the eastern part of Rynek Kościuszki emerges the cathedral complex of the Assumption of the Holy Mary. It's composed of the Neo-Gothic cathedral and the small late Renaissance parish church. The latter is the oldest brick building in town. There's also a baroque presbytery built in the years 1617 - 1626 replacing the previous wooden church.
In the 19th century, the temple became too small. So the congregation asked the tsarist authorities to give consent for building a new church. After 40 years of waiting, permission was finally given but only for adding an annex.
Construction of the Cathedral starts
Construction works started in 1900 according to the design of the architect Józef Pius Dziekoński. Completion of the "annex" took six years, being several times bigger than the church itself. It's now a cathedral basilica of the archbishop Bialystok ordinary. A wide staircase leads to the interior of the 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 presents a painting of the Assumption of the 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 Bialystok
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. It has colorful facades of brownstones rebuilt after the war. Local and visiting painters present their works here. It's close to their favorite gallery and café, the "Marszand", which is next to the "Akcent" bookstore and the antique store of "Desa".
The facade elevations of the brownstones have ornaments decorated with graffito. Apart from floral elements, images of animals, and figurines of muses, 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 Bialystok
Centrum im. Ludwika Zamenhofa
Across the 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 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, 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)|
Kosciuszko Market Bialystok
The whole town square is around the Townhall, erected with hetman's money. The first part is from 1755 - 1761, being the central part of the construction. Then it got a magnificent tower and four corner alcoves emerged with a series of arcades.
These, in turn, served as a place for stalls for the local merchants. So the town hall served as a shopping center as it wasn't used for meetings of the council. The only premises used by the town were the courtroom and prison, called the "turma".
19th Century Shopping Center
In the first years of the 19th century, there were 48 shopping stalls, being an inheritable property of the shopkeepers. Because a market surrounded the town hall, Jan Klemens Branicki ordered for a town weights there. It was a ground floor building with arcades holding the certified models of measures of length and volume. A sculpture personifying justice is near the town weights. The other sculpture, 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 appeared on the tower. This destroyed 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 were not reconstructed. The role of the town hall also changed. It no longer served as a market place but it became the seat of the regional museum.
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 18th 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. The latter owns the palace since 1950.
University of Bialystok
The Palace is the headquarters of the University of Bialystok. They take care of regular repair and maintenance to restore the palace 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|
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. There was a pressing need for new churches in Bialystok for long.
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
Muzeum Historii Medycyny i Farmacji
Rector Jacek Niklinski established the Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy at the Medical University of Bialystok in 2011. It's at the main seat of the University – the Branicki Palace. This is one of the most interesting Baroque residences of Central Europe.
The museum cultivates the medical heritage of Bialystok initiated by the owners of the city in the 17th century. Inside the Palace, it's 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.
Protecting the medical and pharmaceutical heritage
The main goal of the museum is to protect the medical and pharmaceutical heritage developed at the border of the Polish Crown and The Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Objects date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. They represent various fields of medicine and pharmacology. The collection includes an 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.
A walk through specialties
It's also possible to learn about the 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. You 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.
Arrangement of the exhibitions allows the visitor to discover the secrets of medicine and pharmacology using all senses. The facility also plays the role of research and educational center related to the history of medicine and pharmacology for 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 to the Museum.
Museum in the middle of cultural life
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,
- „Zubroffka” International Short Film Festival.
Other events promoting the medical heritage of Podlaskie region are also organized. They include temporary exhibitions, book promotions, concerts, or historical reconstructions. In 2013 and 2014 the Museum received an award for „the Most Interesting Museum Event of the Year in Podlaskie” competition.
|Address||ul. Jana Kilinskiego 1, Bialystok|
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 museum is to document and popularize the history of the army in the region. It goes as far back as the 10th century.
The collection includes a Supraśl iron sword from the turn of the 11th century, a medieval helmet, a gold-plated armor from the end of the 16th century, the famous "Enigma" - or the German ciphering machine, and 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|