• Updated 02.02.2017 by Biuro Promocji i Rekrutacji

    History

    The history of Bialystok, as an urban center begins in the 15th century, and is closely linked to the Raczko-Tabutowicz family. In the middle of the 16th century, Bialystok was taken over by the Wiesiołowski family who built a brick tenement house at the location of today's Branicki Palace. They also funded a catholic church and a hospital which functioned as a shelter. The most significant period in the city's development happened between the second half of the 17th and the beginning of the 19th century, which was during the reign of the Branicki family. In the 18th century, owing to the Hetman Jan Klemens Branicki and his wife Izabela Branicka, nee Poniatowska, the city of Bialystok was called Versailles of Podlasie. The palace of the magnate Branicki, was itself very remarkable. It was built in Baroque style, very popular at the time, and surrounded by a complex of gardens and parks. The Branicki family cared about the city’s development. Owing to them, the city gained a town hall, an arsenal, a market square, numerous artists and craftsmen were brought and a theater was established. They also provided health care for the citizens (a new parish hospital and a hospital supported by the Jewish community, were built and Sisters of Mercy were brought to Bialystok). During the reign of the Branicki family, education flourished in the city and two schools were created, namely, the Military School of Construction and Engineering and the Obstetrics Institute with a clinic. In the 19th century, due to a large number of incoming manufacturers, Bialystok was called the Manchester of North. People of many different nationalities created the economy and the culture of Bialystok, including Polish, Jewish, Belorussian, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Tatars. Nowadays, the city cultivates its cultural heritage and clearly marks its presence on the cultural map of Poland, aiming to become the capital for dance and puppetry.