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BIAłYSTOK ( ( listen ); English: /bjɑːˈwɪstɒk/ byah-WIH-stok ; Belarusian : Беласток Bielastok, Lithuanian : Balstogė, Russian : Белосток Belostok, Yiddish : ביאַליסטאָק‎ Byalistok) is the largest city in northeastern Poland
Poland
and the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship .

Located in the Białystok
Białystok
Uplands of the Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Plain
Plain
on the banks of the Biała River , Białystok
Białystok
ranks second in terms of population density, eleventh in population, and thirteenth in area, of the cities of Poland. It has historically attracted migrants from elsewhere in Poland
Poland
and beyond, particularly from Central and Eastern Europe . This is facilitated by the fact that the nearby border with Belarus
Belarus
is also the eastern border of the European Union , as well as the Schengen Area . The city and its adjacent municipalities constitute Metropolitan Białystok . The city has a Warm Summer Continental climate , characterized by warm summers and long frosty winters. Forests are an important part of Białystok's character, and occupy around 1,756 ha (4,340 acres) (17.2% of the administrative area of the city) which places it as the fifth most forested city in Poland.

The first settlers arrived in the 14th century. A town grew up and received its municipal charter in 1692. Białystok
Białystok
has traditionally been one of the leading centers of academic, cultural, and artistic life in Podlachia and the most important economic center in northeastern Poland. Białystok
Białystok
was once an important center for light industry , which was the reason for the substantial growth of the city's population. The city continues to reshape itself into a modern metropolis. Białystok
Białystok
in 2010, was on the short-list, but ultimately lost the competition to become a finalist for European Capital of Culture in 2016.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 History

* 3 Geography

* 3.1 Climate

* 4 Districts * 5 Metropolitan Białystok * 6 Demographics * 7 Governance * 8 Military units * 9 Economy

* 10 Culture and tourism

* 10.1 Performing arts * 10.2 Museums * 10.3 Parks and green spaces * 10.4 Architecture

* 11 Sports * 12 Media * 13 Religion * 14 Transport * 15 Education * 16 Notable residents * 17 References * 18 Further reading * 19 External links

ETYMOLOGY

The English translation of Białystok
Białystok
is "white slope". Due to changing borders and demographics over the centuries, the city has been known as Belarusian : Беласток (Byelastok? , Biełastok? ), Yiddish : ביאַליסטאָק‎ (Byalistok, Bjalistok), Lithuanian : Baltstogė, Balstogė, and Russian : Белосток (Belostok).

Linguist A. P. Nepokupnyj proposes that the language source for Białystok
Białystok
is Yotvingian . Names with the -stok suffix as a second element of a hydronym are localized in the basin of the upper Narew .

HISTORY

See also: History of Białystok and Timeline of Białystok Branicki Palace , also known as the Polish Versailles

Archaeological discoveries show that the first settlements in the area of present-day Białystok
Białystok
occurred during the Stone Age . Tombs of ancient settlers can be found in the district of Dojlidy . In the early Iron Age a mix of Prussians , Yotvingians
Yotvingians
and Wielbark culture people settled in the area producing kurgans , the tombs of the chiefs in the area located in the current village of Rostołty . Since then, the Białystok
Białystok
area has been at the crossroads of cultures. Trade routes linking the Baltic to the Black Sea favored the development of settlements with Yotvingia
Yotvingia
-Ruthenian -Polish cultural characteristics.

The city of Białystok
Białystok
has existed for five centuries and during this time the fate of the city has been affected by various political and economic forces.

Surviving documents attest that around 1437 a representative of the Raczków family, Jakub Tabutowicz of the coat of arms Łabędź , received from Michael Žygimantaitis son of Sigismund Kęstutaitis , Duke of Lithuania, a wilderness area along the river Biała that marked the beginning of Białystok
Białystok
as a settlement.

The first brick church and a castle were built between 1617 and 1826. The two-floor castle, designed on a rectangular plan in the Gothic-Renaissance style, was the work of Job Bretfus. Extension of the castle was continued by Krzysztof Wiesiołowski , starost of Tykocin, Grand Marshal of Lithuania
Lithuania
since 1635, and husband of Aleksandra Marianna Sobieska. In 1637 he died childless, and as a result Białystok
Białystok
came under the management of his widow. After her death in 1645 the Wiesiołowski estate, including Białystok, passed to the Commonwealth to cover the costs of maintaining Tykocin Castle . In the years 1645–1659 Białystok
Białystok
was managed by the governors of Tykocin and was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania . Lubomirski Palace

In 1661 it was given to Stefan Czarniecki as a reward for his service in the victory over the Swedes during the Deluge . Four years later, it was given as a dowry of his daughter Aleksandra, who married Hetman Jan Klemens Branicki
Jan Klemens Branicki
, thus passing into the hands of the Branicki family . In 1692, Stefan Mikołaj Branicki, the son of Jan Klemens Branicki (Marshal of the Crown Court), obtained city rights for Białystok
Białystok
from King John III Sobieski
John III Sobieski
. He constructed the Branicki Palace on the foundations of the castle of the Wiesiołowski family. In the second half of the eighteenth century the ownership of the city was inherited by Field Crown Hetman Jan Klemens Branicki
Jan Klemens Branicki
. It was he who transformed the palace built by his father into a magnificent residence of a great noble.

The end of the eighteenth century saw the division of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
, in three steps, among the neighboring states. The Kingdom of Prussia acquired Białystok
Białystok
and the surrounding region during the third partition . The city became the capital of the New East Prussia province in 1795. Prussia lost the territory following Napoleon Bonaparte 's victory in the War of the Fourth Coalition as the resultant 1807 Treaties of Tilsit
Treaties of Tilsit
awarded the area to the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
, which organized the region into the Belostok Oblast , with the city as the regional center. Białystok
Białystok
circa 1900

At the end of the nineteenth century, the majority of the city's population was Jewish. According to Russian census of 1897 , out of the total population of 66,000, Jews constituted 41,900 (so around 63% percent). This heritage can be seen on the Jewish Heritage Trail in Białystok
Białystok
. The first Anarchist groups to attract a significant following of Russian workers or peasants, were the Anarcho-Communist Chernoe-Znamia groups, founded in Białystok
Białystok
in 1903. The Białystok pogrom occurred between 14–16 June 1906 in the city. During the pogrom between 81 and 88 people were killed, and about 80 people were wounded. Ginzburg House
House

During World War I
World War I
the Bialystok-Grodno District was the administrative division of German -controlled territory of Ober-Ost . It comprised the city, as the capital, and the surrounding Podlaskie region, roughly corresponding to the territory of the earlier Belostok Oblast. At the end of World War I
World War I
the city became part of the newly independent Second Polish Republic , as the capital of the Białystok Voivodeship (1919–1939) . During the 1919–1920 Polish-Soviet War , possession of the city by the Red Army and the Provisional Polish Revolutionary Committee occurred during the lead up to the Battle of Warsaw
Warsaw
. During the resultant counteroffensive, the city returned to Polish control after the Battle of Białystok .

With the beginning of World War II
World War II
, Poland
Poland
was invaded by Nazi Germany
Germany
and the Soviet Union , and initially the city came under Soviet control, as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
. It was incorporated into the Byelorussian SSR
Byelorussian SSR
from 1939 to 1941 as the capital of the Belastok Voblast . After the Nazi attack on Soviet Union in 1941, Białystok
Białystok
was occupied by the German Army on 27 June 1941, during the Battle of Białystok–Minsk
Battle of Białystok–Minsk
, and the city became the capital of Bezirk Białystok , a separate region in German occupied Poland
Poland
, until 1944. The Great Synagogue, Białystok was burnt down by Germans on June 27, 1941, with an estimated number of 2,000 Jews inside. Białystok Ghetto , 1941–1943

From the very beginning, the Nazis pursued a ruthless policy of pillage and removal of the non-German population. The 56,000 Jewish residents of the town were confined in a ghetto. On August 15, 1943, the Białystok Ghetto Uprising began, and several hundred Polish Jews and members of the Anti-Fascist Military Organisation (Polish : Antyfaszystowska Organizacja Bojowa) started an armed struggle against the German troops who were carrying out the planned liquidation of the ghetto with deportations to the Treblinka extermination camp .

The city was liberated by the Red Army on 27 July 1944 and on 20 September 1944 transferred to Poland. After the war, the city became capital of the initial Białystok Voivodeship (1945–1975)
Białystok Voivodeship (1945–1975)
of the People\'s Republic of Poland
Poland
. After the 1975 administrative reorganization, the city was the capital of the smaller Białystok Voivodeship (1975–1998) . Since 1999 it has been the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship , Republic of Poland
Poland
.

GEOGRAPHY

Biała River near Białystok
Białystok

Białystok
Białystok
is situated in the Białystok
Białystok
Uplands (Polish : Wysoczyzna Białostocka) of the Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Plain
Plain
(Polish : Nizina Północnopodlaska), part of what is known collectively as the Green Lungs of Poland. The Biała River, a left tributary of the Supraśl River , passes through the city. The landscape of the Białystok Upland is diverse, with high moraine hills and kame in excess of 200 m (660 ft) above sea level . Vast areas of outwash , a glacial plain formed of sediments deposited by meltwater at the terminus of a glacier , are covered by forests.

Forests are an important part of the city character, they currently occupy approximately 1,756 ha (4,340 acres) (17.2% of the administrative area of the city) which places it as the fifth most "wooded" city in Poland; behind Katowice
Katowice
(38%), Bydgoszcz
Bydgoszcz
(30%), Toruń (22.9%) and Gdańsk
Gdańsk
(17.6%).

Part of Knyszyn Forest is preserved within the city limits by two nature reserves —a total area of 105 ha (260 acres). The Zwierzyniecki Forest Nature Reserve (Polish : Rezerwat przyrody Las Zwierzyniecki), which is contained within the city limits, is a fragment, 33.48 ha (82.7 acres), of the riparian forest with a dominant assemblage of oak and hornbeam . The Antoniuk Nature Reserve (Polish : Rezerwat Przyrody Antoniuk) is a 70.07 ha (173.1 acres) park in the city that preserves the natural state of a forest fragment characteristic of the Białystok
Białystok
Upland, with a dominant mixed forest of hazel and spruce .

The 40 ha (99 acres) of forests lying in the vicinity of the Dojlidy Ponds are administered by the Central Sports and Recreation Center in Białystok
Białystok
(Polish : Miejski Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji w Białymstoku – MOSiR). The Dojlidy Ponds recreation area includes a public beach, walking trails, birdwatching and fishing.

CLIMATE

The city has a Mild Summer Continental or Hemiboreal climate (Dfb) according to the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
system, characterized by warm temperatures during summer and long and frosty winters. It is substantially different from most of the other Polish lowlands. The region is one of the coldest in Poland, with the average temperature in January being −2.5 °C (27 °F). The average temperature in a year is about 7 °C (45 °F). The number of frost days ranges from 50 to 60, with frost from 110 to 138 days and the duration of snow cover from 90 to 110 days. Mean annual rainfall values oscillate around 580 mm (22.8 in), and the vegetation period lasts 200 to 210 days.

CLIMATE DATA FOR BIAłYSTOK 2000–2012

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

RECORD HIGH °C (°F) 12 (54) 16 (61) 20 (68) 24 (75) 30 (86) 30 (86) 33 (91) 32 (90) 28 (82) 22 (72) 12 (54) 11 (52) 33 (91)

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 0 (32) 1 (34) 6 (43) 14 (57) 19 (66) 22 (72) 24 (75) 24 (75) 19 (66) 13 (55) 6 (43) 1 (34) 12.4 (54.3)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) −4 (25) −4 (25) −1 (30) 3 (37) 8 (46) 11 (52) 13 (55) 13 (55) 9 (48) 4 (39) 1 (34) −3 (27) 4.2 (39.4)

RECORD LOW °C (°F) −34 (−29) −25 (−13) −23 (−9) −7 (19) −3 (27) 1 (34) 5 (41) 2 (36) −4 (25) −10 (14) −16 (3) −26 (−15) −34 (−29)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 30 (1.18) 20 (0.79) 30 (1.18) 30 (1.18) 50 (1.97) 70 (2.76) 70 (2.76) 70 (2.76) 50 (1.97) 40 (1.57) 40 (1.57) 40 (1.57) 580 (22.83)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS 8 7 8 8 8 10 10 9 9 8 10 10 106

AVERAGE RAINY DAYS 7 7 8 9 7 8 8 7 8 9 9 6 93

AVERAGE SNOWY DAYS 9 10 7 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 7 41

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 36.1 58.0 124.6 190.1 252.6 255.3 258.0 250.7 158.6 96.1 36.5 24.5 1,741.6

Source #1: Weatherbase

Source #2: ClimateData.eu

source 3= meteblue.com date=July 7, 2017 }}

DISTRICTS

One of the remaining tenements in Centrum , the central district of Białystok
Białystok
Main article: Districts of Białystok

The city of Białystok
Białystok
is divided into 28 administrative units, known in Polish as osiedla . The first 27 of these were created on October 25, 2004. The 28th, Dojlidy Górne , was created by on October 23, 2006, out of three settlements which had been incorporated into the city: Dojlidy Górne, Kolonia Halickie, and Zagórki.

The center of the city, Osiedle Centrum , surrounds Lipowa Street (pl), the main street of the city. Lipowa Street extends from Rynek Kościuszki (the corner of Spółdzielcza Street) to Plac Niepodległości im. Romana Dmowskiego (the corner of Krakowska Street). Over the centuries the name of this street has taken on a number of different names; Choroska , Nowolipie, Lipowa, Józef Piłsudski , Joseph Stalin , Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, once again, to return, after the end of World War II, to its original name – Lipowa Street. A public square dedicated to Constantine the Great

The city covers 10,212 ha (25,230 acres) of which 3,210 ha (7,900 acres) is agricultural land , 4,889 ha (12,080 acres) is urbanized areas, 85 ha (210 acres) is surface waters and 65 ha (160 acres) is wasteland. The composition of the districts vary from residential near the city center, with a combination of multi-story apartment buildings and individual houses on small parcels, to industrial and agricultural at the city edges.

METROPOLITAN BIAłYSTOK

Main article: Metropolitan Białystok

Metropolitan Białystok was designated by the Voivodeship of the Regulation No. 52/05 of 16 May 2005 to help develop the region economically. In 2006, the metropolitan area population was 450,254 inhabitants. The municipalities adjacent to Białystok
Białystok
are slowly losing their agricultural character, becoming residential suburban neighborhoods with single-family housing and small businesses.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Main article: Demographics of Białystok

In June 2009, the population of the city was 294,399, among cities of Poland, Białystok
Białystok
is second in terms of population density, eleventh in population, and thirteenth in area.

Historically, Białystok
Białystok
has been a destination for internal and foreign immigration, especially from Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to the Polish minority , there was a significant Jewish majority in Białystok. According to Russian census of 1897 , out of the total population of 66,000, Jews constituted 41,900 (around 63% percent). Białystok's pre- World War II
World War II
Jewish population constituted about 63 percent of the city's total population of 107,000. World War II changed all of this, in 1939, around 107,000 people lived in Białystok, but in 1946 – only 56,759, and to this day there is much less ethnic diversity than in the previous 300 years of the city's history. Currently the city's population is 97% Polish, 2.5% Belarusian and 0.5% of a number of minorities including Russians, Lipka Tatars
Lipka Tatars
, Ukrainians and Romani. Most of the modern-day population growth is based on internal migration within Poland
Poland
and urbanization of surrounding areas.

GOVERNANCE

Main article: Governance of Białystok Podlasie Voivodship Office in Białystok
Białystok
Marshal's Office of Podlaskie
Podlaskie

CITY GOVERNMENT Białystok, like other major cities in Poland, is a city county (Polish : Miasto na prawach powiatu). The Legislative power in the city is vested in the unicameral Białystok
Białystok
City Council (Polish : Rada Miasta), which has 28 members. Council members are elected directly every four years, one of whom is the mayor , or President
President
of Białystok
Białystok
(Polish : prezydent). Like most legislative bodies, the City Council divides itself into committees which have the oversight of various functions of the city government. Bills passed by a simple majority are sent to the mayor , who may sign them into law. If the mayor vetoes a bill, the Council has 30 days to override the veto by a two-thirds majority vote. The current President
President
of Białystok, elected for his first term in 2006, is Tadeusz Truskolaski won the elections as the Civic Platform
Civic Platform
's candidate, however, he has no official connection with the party. In the first round of the elections he received 49% of the votes (42,889 votes altogether). In the later runoff he defeated his rival candidate Marek Kozlowski from Law and Justice
Law and Justice
(Polish : Prawo i Sprawiedliwość), receiving 67% of the votes cast (53,018 votes).

For the 2010–2011 fiscal year the city received revenue (taxes levied + investments) of 1,409,565,525 zł, expended 1,676,459,102 zł leaving a budget deficit of 266,893,577 zł. The deficit was covered by short-term borrowing of 166,893,577 zł and the issuance of 100 million zł in municipal bonds .

OTHER LEVELS OF GOVERNMENTAL REPRESENTATION It is also the seat of government for the Podlaskie Voivodeship . The city is represented by several members of both houses of the Polish Parliament (Sejm and Senat) from the Białystok
Białystok
constituency . Białystok
Białystok
is represented by the Podlaskie
Podlaskie
and Warmian-Masurian constituency of the European Parliament .

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS There are two consulates in Białystok, Belarus
Belarus
has a Consulate General and Romania
Romania
has an Honorary Consulate. The City of Białystok is a member of several organizations such as Union of Polish Metropolises (Polish : Unia Metropolii Polskich), Euroregion Niemen, Polish Green Lungs Foundation (headquarters) and Eurocities
Eurocities
.

Białystok
Białystok
is twinned with Częstochowa , Poland, Dijon
Dijon
, France:, Eindhoven
Eindhoven
, Netherlands, Hrodno , Belarus, Jelgava , Latvia, Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad
, Russia Kaunas
Kaunas
, Lithuania, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin , USA and Tallinn
Tallinn
, Estonia.

MILITARY UNITS

The 18th Reconnaissance Regiment (Polish : 18 Pułk Rozpoznawczy) of the Polish Land Forces is based in Białystok. The heritage of the unit was the former 18th Territorial Defense Battalion (Polish : 18 Białostocka Brygada Obrony Terytorialnej) and prior to that the former 18th Mechanized Brigade. December 31, 2001, as a result of the restructuring of the Armed Forces, 18th Mechanized Brigade (Polish : 18 Brygada Zmechanizowana) was disbanded and in its place created the 18th Territorial Defense Battalion (Polish : 18 Białostocka Brygada Obrony Terytorialnej).

HISTORICAL MILITARY UNITS During December 1993 an order of the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces created the 18th Mechanized Brigade (Polish : 18 Brygada Zmechanizowana) at the garrison in Białystok. The unit was formed from the 3rd Mechanized Regiment (Polish : 3 Pułk Zmechanizowany) and was subordinated to the commander of the 1st Warsaw
Warsaw
Mechanized Division (Polish : 1 Warszawskiej Dywizji Zmechanizowanej im. Tadeusza Kościuszki). On December 31, 2001, as a result of the restructuring of the Armed Forces, the 18th Mechanized Brigade was disbanded and in its place was created the 18th Territorial Defense Battalion.

The Podlaska Cavalry Brigade (Polish : Podlaska Brygada Kawalerii) was a military unit of the Polish Army , created on April 1, 1937. Its headquarters was located in Białystok
Białystok
and operated as part of Independent Operational Group Narew . It was formed from the Cavalry Brigade "Białystok", which existed between February 1929, and March 30, 1937. After the Soviet invasion of Poland
Poland
, remnants of the Brigade fought both Wehrmacht and Red Army troops, capitulating on October 6, 1939.

The Cavalry Brigade "Białystok" (BK "Białystok") of the Polish Army Second Republic was formed in February 1929. April 1, 1937 BK "Białystok" was renamed the Podlaska Cavalry Brigade .

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of Białystok High-rise building in the city center

In the nineteenth century Białystok
Białystok
was an important center for light industry, which was the reason for the substantial growth of the city's population. The tradition continued with many garment factories established in the twentieth century, such as Fasty in the district of Bacieczki . However, after the fall of communism in 1989 many of these factories faced severe problems and subsequently closed down.

The unemployment rate for February 2011 in Białystok
Białystok
was 13.2%. The 2009 average household had a monthly per capita income of 1018.77 zł and monthly per capita expenses of 823.56 zł

The city has a number of nearby border crossings. The border with Belarus
Belarus
is only 50 km (31 mi) away, the nearest border crossings are located in; Bobrowniki (road crossing located about 50 km (31 mi) from the city limits), Kuźnica Białostocka (road and rail crossing located 60 km (37 mi) from the city limits), Siemianówka (railway – freight traffic), Połowce (road) and Czeremcha (railway). Since the border with Belarus
Belarus
is also the eastern border of the European Union , as well as the Schengen Area the city is a center for trade in mainly from the east.

INDUSTRY Silos of Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Zakłady Zbożowe ( Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Cereal Industrial Plants)

The leading industries in the city's economy are: food processing (production of meat products, fruit and vegetable products, the production of spirits , the production of frozen food, grain processing), electrical engineering (production tools and equipment for machine tools, production of electric heaters, manufacture and production mixers household appliances). There is also a developed machine industry (electronics, machinery and metal), plastic processing (production of household appliances), textiles (textiles and upholstery, manufacture of underwear, clothing accessories, footwear and backpacks), Wood (production plywood and furniture) building materials.

Some notable major employers who are based in Białystok
Białystok
include:

* Dojlidy Brewery in the district of Dojlidy produces the second most popular beer in Poland, Żubr . * Polmos Białystok , the biggest vodka manufacturer in Poland, is located in the city district of Starosielce . The company produces Absolwent and Żubrówka (bison grass vodka) – both major exports abroad. * Standard Motor Products Poland
Poland
Ltd. headquartered in Białystok began manufacturing ignition coils for original equipment manufacturers 30 years ago. * "Supon" Białystok
Białystok
is the leading Polish producer of fire fighting equipment. * SavaPol, Sp.z o.o. is a manufacturer of stationary and mobile concrete mixing equipment based in Białystok. * Biazet S.A. is a large manufacture of household appliances, including vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, and LED lighting located in Białystok. * Agnella, a major Polish producer of carpets and similar products is in Białystok, located in the district of Białostoczek . * Rosti Poland
Poland
Sp. z o.o., has provided for more than 60 years precision injection molded products for some of the world's leading brands. * Biaglass Huta Szkla Białystok
Białystok
Sp. z o.o.,established in 1929, produces mouth blown glass lampshades and related products. Biaglass belongs to elite group of Glass Works in Europe, where 100% of the lighting glass is mouth-blown. * Chłodnia Białystok
Białystok
S.A (Cold Store Białystok
Białystok
S.A.), established in 1952, is one of the largest Polish producers of frozen vegetables, fruits and ready-to-heat meals. * Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Zakłady Zbożowe S.A. was established on 1 July 2000 as a result of privatizing The Regional Establishment of Corn and Milling Industry 'PZZ' in Białystok. It is one of the leading firms in Podlaskie
Podlaskie
region in the department of preservation and processing of grain with elevators in Białystok, Grajewo
Grajewo
and Suwałki
Suwałki
.

CULTURE AND TOURISM

Main article: Culture in Białystok Węgierko Drama Theatre

Białystok
Białystok
is one of the largest cultural centers in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. The attractions include performing arts groups, art museums, historical museums, walking tours of architectural / cultural aspects and a wide variety of parks and green spaces. Białystok
Białystok
in 2010 was on the short-list, but ultimately lost the competition, to become a finalist for European Capital of Culture in 2016.

PERFORMING ARTS

The city has a number of performing arts facilities including:

The Białystok
Białystok
Puppet Theater (Polish : Bialostocki Teatr Lalek), established in 1953, is one of the oldest Polish puppet theaters. The facility is located at Kalinowskiego 1 in Białystok. The repertoire includes performances for both children and puppet adaptations of world literature for adults. Because of the high artistic level of productions, the theater has been recognized as one of the best puppetry arts centers in Poland.

The Aleksandra Węgierki Drama Theatre. Housed in a building designed by Jarosław Girina, built in the years 1933–1938.

The Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic – European Art Centre in Białystok
Białystok
is the largest institute of arts in Northeastern Poland, and the most modern cultural center in this region of Europe. In its amphitheatre every year in the end of June Halfway Festival takes place.

MUSEUMS

Historical Museum

There are a number of museums in the city including:

The Historical Museum in Białystok
Białystok
(Polish : Muzeum Historyczne w Białymstoku) is part of the Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Museum. The facility has a rich collection of archival materials and iconography illustrating the history of Białystok
Białystok
and Podlasie, and a number of middle-class cultural relics, especially in the field of craft utility. There are also the Numismatic Cabinet of the collection of 16 000 coins, medals and securities. The museum is in possession of the only collections in the country memorabilia connected with the Tatar settlement on the Polish–Lithuanian–Belarusian region.

The Army Museum in Białystok
Białystok
(Polish : Muzeum Wojska w Białymstoku) was established in September 1968 as a branch of the Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Museum to house the research and collections of many people connected with military history of north-eastern Poland.

The Ludwik Zamenhof Centre (Polish : Centrum im. Ludwika Zamenhofa w Białymstoku) offers the visitors a permanent exhibition, 'BIALYSTOK OF YOUNG LUDWIK ZAMENHOF \', and various temporary exhibitions, concerts, film projections, and theatre performances. The Centre has a branch of Lukasz Gornicki’s Podlaska Library dedicated to the Esperanto
Esperanto
language. Planty park

PARKS AND GREEN SPACES

Around 32% of the city is occupied by parks, squares and forest preserves which creates a unique and healthy climate. The green spaces include:

Branicki Palace (Polish : Pałac Branickich) is a historical edifice and 9.7 ha (24 acres) park in Białystok. It was developed on the site of an earlier building in the first half of the eighteenth century by Jan Klemens Branicki
Jan Klemens Branicki
, a wealthy Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth hetman , into a residence suitable for a man whose ambition was to be elected king of Poland
Poland
. The palace complex with gardens , pavillons , sculptures , outbuildings and other structures and the city with churches , city hall and monastery , all built almost at the same time according to French models was the reason why the city was known in the eighteenth century as Versailles of Podlaskie
Podlaskie
(Polish : wersalem podlaskim).

Planty is a 14.94 ha (36.9 acres) park created between 1930 and 1938, under the auspices of the then Voivode Kościałkowskiego Mariana Zyndrama in the areas adjacent to Branicki Palace. The modernist composition of the park was designed by Stanislav Gralla. Kościuszko Square

ARCHITECTURE

The various historically driven changes have had a very significant influence on the architectural space of the city. Most other Polish cities have suffered similarly, but the processes in Białystok, have had a particularly intense course. Numerous historic works of architecture no longer exist, while many others have been rebuilt to their original configuration. Very few historic buildings of the city have been preserved – the sights are merely an echo of the old historical shape of Białystok.

Main sights include:

* Palaces: Branicki Palace , Branicki Guest Palace, Lubomirski Palace, Hasbach Palace, Nowik Palace * Town hall * Catholic Cathedral * St. Roch Church * St. Adalbert Church * Orthodox Cathedral * Daughters of Charity Monastery * Former Arsenal * Former Masonic Lodge

SPORTS

Main article: Sports in Białystok Białystok City Stadium Ruch Chorzów
Chorzów
Jagiellonia Białystok
Jagiellonia Białystok

The city has both professional and amateur sports teams, and a number of venues where they are based. Jagiellonia Białystok
Jagiellonia Białystok
is a Polish football club, based in Białystok, in the Ekstraklasa
Ekstraklasa
League that plays at the Białystok City Stadium . Jagiellonia Białystok
Jagiellonia Białystok
won the Polish Cup in 2010, Super Cup and qualified to play in the third round qualification of the UEFA Europa League . A new 22,500 seat stadium was completed at the beginning of 2015.

Hetman Białystok
Białystok
(formerly known as Gwardia Białystok) is a Polish football club based in Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Voivodeship. They play in the Division IV or the (4th) League.

Lowlanders Białystok is a football club, based in Białystok, that plays in the Polish American Football League (Polish : Polska Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego) PLFA I Conference. The Lowlanders were the champions of the PLFA II Conference in 2010 with a perfect season (8 wins in eight meetings). Because of the win they were advanced to the upper conference (PLFA I) in 2011.

MEDIA

Offices of Kurier Poranny Main article: Media in Białystok

Białystok
Białystok
has a wide variety of media outlets serving the city and surrounding region. There are two locally published daily newspapers, Gazeta Współczesna (36.3% market share) and Kurier Poranny (20.3% market share). In addition two national papers have local bureaus. There are a number of national and locally produced television and radio channels available both over-the-air from the nearby RTCN Białystok
Białystok
(Krynice) Mast, the seventh highest structure in Poland, in addition to transmitter sites within the city. TVP Białystok is one of the locally produced, regional branches of the TVP , Poland's public television broadcaster. There is also a cable television system available within the city. The city has two campus radio stations; Radiosupeł at the Medical University of Białystok and Radio Akadera at Białystok Technical University .

RELIGION

Main article: Religion in Białystok

In the early 1900s, Białystok
Białystok
was reputed to have the largest concentration of Jews of all the cities in the world. In 1931, 40,000 Jews lived in the city, nearly half the city's inhabitants. The city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Białystok . Pope John Paul II on 5 June 1991, during a visit to Białystok, announced the establishment of the Archdiocese of Białystok
Białystok
which ended the period of the temporary church administration of the portion of the Archdiocese of Vilnius that had, after World War II
World War II
, remained within the Polish borders. The city is also the seat of the Białystok-Gdansk Diocese of the Autocephalous Polish Orthodox Church . Białystok
Białystok
is the largest concentration of Orthodox believers in Poland. In Białystok, the following Protestant churches exist: a Lutheran parish, two Pentecostal churches, Baptist church, a congregation of the Church of God in Christ and a Seventh Day Adventist church.

Białystok
Białystok
is home to more than two thousand Muslims (mainly Tatars ). There is an Islamic Centre a House
House
of Prayer, and various organisations. There is magazine issued – "Pamięć i trwanie" ("Memory and persistence").

*

Church of St. Roch in Białystok
Białystok
*

Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Białystok
Białystok
*

Old Church *

Church of the Resurrection in Białystok
Białystok
*

Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit in Białystok
Białystok
*

Eastern Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas in Białystok
Białystok

TRANSPORT

Białystok railway station Main article: Transport in Białystok
Białystok

The city is, and has been for centuries, the main hub of transportation for the Podlaskie Voivodeship and the entire northeastern section of Poland. It is a major city on the European Union roadways ( Via Baltica ) and railways ( Rail Baltica
Rail Baltica
) to the Baltic Republics and Finland
Finland
. It is also a main gateway of trade with Belarus
Belarus
due to its proximity to the border and its current and longstanding relationship with Hrodno , Belarus.

RAILWAYS Passenger trains connect from Suvalki , Hrodno and Lithuania
Lithuania
to Warsaw
Warsaw
and the rest of the European passenger network. Passenger services are provided by two rail service providers, PKP Intercity that provides intercity passengers trains (express, intercity, eurocity, hotel and TLK) and Przewozy Regionalne
Przewozy Regionalne
that operates only regional passenger trains financed by the voivodeship . Passenger trains are mostly run using electrical multiple units (on electrified lines) or rail buses. Solaris Urbino 18 W29 bus operated by BKM in Białystok
Białystok

BUSES There is an extensive bus network that covers the entire city by three bus services, but no tram or subway exists. The three bus operators are partially owned by the city (KPKM, KPK and KZK) and each shares approximately a third of the lines and the bus fleet.

ROADS AND HIGHWAYS The National Roads (Polish : Droga krajowa) running through Białystok:

* : Rzeszów Lublin
Lublin
Bielsk Podlaski
Bielsk Podlaski
Białystok
Białystok
– Kuznica (Belarus–Polish border) * : Gołdap (Russia–Polish border)- Ełk
Ełk
-Białystok-Bobrowniki (Belarus-Polish border) * / 67 : Budziska (Polish– Lithuania
Lithuania
border) – Białystok
Białystok
Warsaw
Warsaw
Wrocław
Wrocław
– Kudowa Zdrój (Czech–Polish border)

AIRPORTS A civil airport, Białystok-Krywlany Airport , lies within the city limits, but does not provide regularly scheduled service. There were plans in 2011 to build a new regional airport, Białystok-Saniki Airport, that would have provided flights within Europe.

EDUCATION

University of Białystok Library Main article: Education in Białystok
Białystok

Higher education in the city can be traced back to the second half of the eighteenth century, when the ownership of the city was inherited by Field Crown Hetman Jan Klemens Branicki
Jan Klemens Branicki
. As a patron of the arts and sciences, Branicki encouraged numerous artists and scientists to settle in Białystok
Białystok
to take advantage of Branicki's patronage. In 1745 Branicki established Poland's first military college, the School of Civil and Military Engineering, in the city.

Since the fall of communism many privately funded institutions of higher educations have been founded and their number is still increasing. Currently Białystok
Białystok
is home to one principal public university ( University of Białystok ) and two other public specialist universities ( Białystok Technical University and Medical University of Białystok ). Some institutions, such as Musical Academy in Białystok, are branches of their parent institutions in other cities, usually in Warsaw
Warsaw
.

NOTABLE RESIDENTS

L. L. Zamenhof , the creator of Esperanto
Esperanto
Main article: Notable persons from Białystok See also: Category:People from Białystok
Białystok
.

Over the centuries Białystok
Białystok
has produced a number of persons who have provided unique contributions to the fields of science, language, politics, religion, sports, visual arts and performing arts. This environment was created in the mid eighteenth century by the patronage of Jan Klemens Branicki
Jan Klemens Branicki
for the arts and sciences. A list of recent notable persons includes, but is not limited to; Ryszard Kaczorowski , last émigré President
President
of the Republic of Poland
Poland
, L. L. Zamenhof , the creator of Esperanto, Albert Sabin , co-developer of the polio vaccine , Izabella Scorupco , actress, Max Weber , painter. Tomasz Bagiński illustrator, animator and director Oscar nominee in 2002 for The Cathedral
The Cathedral

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