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Bialystok travel guide — Bialystok tourism and travel information

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about Bialystok

Białystok (pronounce: [bȋa:wistɔk]) is the largest city (pop. 291,300 in 2004) in north-eastern Poland and the capital of Podlasie Voivodship since 1999, previously of Bialystok Voivodship (1921-1998). Białytok is located in north-eastern Poland near the border with Belarus; it is the largest city and the historical capital of Podlasie region.

Bialystok history

Białystok's history started in the 15th century when Raczko-Tabutowicz received the area of forests at the Białka River. The Wiesiołowski family was another owner of this land. They built abrick castle and a church here. Jan Klemens Branicki, a commander in chief, became the heir of the Białystok area. It was he who transformed the previously existing abode into the magnificent residence of a great noble. Several artists and scientists came to Białystok to take advantage of Branicki's patronage.

After the partition of Poland it first belonged to the Prussian Kingdom and, after 1807, to Russia. After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, first heavy bombing of the town took place on 20 April 1915. On 13 August 1915 German soldiers appeared in Białystok. On February 19, 1919 the city was liberated from German occupation.

In 1939, Białystok was occupied by the German army, then by the Red Army. On June 27, 1941, Białystok again fell into German hands, as a result of the invasion of the Soviet Union. From the very beginning, the Germans pursued a ruthless policy of pillage and extermination of the non-German population. The numerous Jewish population, some 50-60 thousand, were confined in a Ghetto, which during August 1941 was exterminated. On 24 July 1941 German troops locked over 3,000 Jews within the Great Synagogue (the largest wooden synagogue in Eastern Europe) and burned it down.

A number of anti-fascist groups came into existence in Białystok during the first weeks of the occupation. In the following years, there developed a well-organized resistance movement.

In the last year of the occupation, a clandestine upper Commercial School came into existence. The pupils of the school also took part in the underground resistance movement. As a result, some of them were jailed, some killed and others deported to concentration camps.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bialystok".

This city is also known as: Białystok.

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