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Białowieża
Białowieża
[bʲawɔˈvʲɛʐa] (Belarusian: Белавежа Biełavieža, Lithuanian: Bialovieža, Russian: Беловежская Belovezhskaya) is a village in Poland, in Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Voivodeship, in the middle of Białowieża
Białowieża
Forest, of which it is a namesake. The population of the settlement is 2,000 (2002). It lies approximately 21 kilometres (13 mi) east of Hajnówka
Hajnówka
and 66 km (41 mi) south-east of the regional capital Białystok.

Contents

1 Geographic location 2 History 3 Sites of interest 4 Notable people 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Geographic location[edit] Białowieża
Białowieża
is in north-eastern Poland
Poland
in the Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Voivodeship near the border with Belarus. The nearest city is Białystok, which is the capital of the voivodeship. Białowieża
Białowieża
is also connected to the town of Hajnówka
Hajnówka
some 20 km (12.43 mi) away. The Narewka river flows through Białowieża. Białowieża
Białowieża
is the seat of the administrative district of Gmina Białowieża, which encompasses an area of 203 km2 (78.38 sq mi) and has a population of 3068 (2000). Other villages in Białowieża
Białowieża
area are Budy, Gródek, Pogorzelce, and Teremiski. History[edit]

Białowieża
Białowieża
hill in 1820

St. Nicholas Orthodox church in Białowieża

For a more detailed history of Białowieża
Białowieża
and the area see: Białowieża
Białowieża
Forest

Before 1426 a wooden hunting manor for king Władysław Jagiełło
Władysław Jagiełło
was built in the middle of the Białowieża Forest
Białowieża Forest
on the Lutownia stream. It was most probably one of the first permanent settlements in the area, although the forest was already penetrated by hunters from the nearby areas and by the king himself who went to hunt there. The wooden manor was painted in white and became the namesake both for the future village and the forest ( Białowieża
Białowieża
means White Tower in Polish).

Hunter's manor - the oldest surviving building in Białowieża

From 1538 the forest was protected by the laws of king Sigismund I the Old. However, until the times of John Casimir the forest was mostly unpopulated. Sporadic settlements were established in various places, but the manor in Białowieża
Białowieża
was the only one to be permanent. In the late 17th century, several small villages were started for development of local iron ore deposits and tar production. The villages were populated with settlers from Masovia
Masovia
and Podlaskie
Podlaskie
and many of them still exist. After the Partitions of Poland
Poland
the local population was turned into serfs and Białowieża
Białowieża
quickly depopulated. Tsar Alexander I reintroduced the reserve in 1801 and hired a small amount of peasants for protection of the animals. Most of them were settled in the administrative centre of the area - Białowieża. However, since most of the foresters took part in the November Uprising
November Uprising
(500 out of 502 in total), their posts were abolished and protection was again harmed. Yet again the village of Białowieża
Białowieża
ceased to exist. Protection was reintroduced in 1860 and the village was repopulated with Russians. During World War I
World War I
most of the local Russian population fled before the advancing German army which seized the area in August 1915. The Germans built a lumber mill in Białowieża, connected to the nearby town of Hajnówka
Hajnówka
by a railway. However, the village did not recover until 1921 when the Białowieża National Park
Białowieża National Park
was established. The village became the administrative center of the Park and one of the most popular tourist attractions of the area. Following the Polish-Soviet War, Białowieża
Białowieża
was returned to Poland. During World War II, after the joint German and Soviet attack on Poland, the area came under Soviet occupation. In 1939 and 1940 most of the local inhabitants were arrested and sent to gulags. They were replaced with Russian forest workers, but in 1941 the forest came under German occupation and the Russian inhabitants were also deported. Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
planned to create the biggest hunting reserve in the world there, but those plans were never realized. After July 1941, the forest became a refuge for both Polish and Soviet partisans. The German authorities organized mass executions of people suspected of aiding the resistance. In July 1944 the area was captured by the Red Army. The withdrawing Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
blew up the historic Białowieża
Białowieża
hunting manor. After the war Białowieża
Białowieża
yet again recovered and became the center of the re-established National Park
National Park
in 1947. Nowadays it is one of the least populated areas in Poland, while at the same time it is one of the most important tourist attractions in the eastern part of the country with almost 100,000 visitors every year. The Reserve was inscribed on the World Heritage List
World Heritage List
in 1992 and internationally recognized as a Biosphere Reserve
Biosphere Reserve
under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Program in 1993. British historian Simon Schama
Simon Schama
devotes several chapters of his 1995 book Landscape and Memory to a consideration of the historical vicissitudes of the forests around Białowieża
Białowieża
in an effort to explore the ways in which cultural imagination shapes humans' vision of the land. Sites of interest[edit]

Iconostasis
Iconostasis
in St. Nicholas Orthodox church

Białowieża
Białowieża
National Park Palace park (Park Pałacowy) - covering the area of 470,000 m2 (5,059,037.90 sq ft), built in 1890. It is a park in English style with a large view to Białowieża
Białowieża
National Park. Upon the ponds there is an obelisk for the memory of hunting in 1752 when king Augustus III
Augustus III
hunted in Białowieża
Białowieża
forests. There are also several tsarist red brick buildings from the 19th century, and a gate which is the only remnant of the wooden manor. Ecological Museum (Muzeum Przyrodniczo-Leśne im. prof. Jana Miklaszewskiego) - museum of natural history St. Nicholas the Miraculous' Orthodox Church - with a unique iconostasis from Chinese porcelain. Open-air folk museum (Skansen) - with original huts, windmills and wells PTTK Tourist Service[1] Nature expert guides (birdwatching, bison and other wildlife observations) you can find at the Białowieża Forest
Białowieża Forest
website[2] Graveyard Chapel of St. Cyril (Kaplica św. Cyryla) - from 1873 with an 18th-century icon.

Notable people[edit]

Gavriil Ilizarov, Soviet orthopedic surgeon, known for inventing the Ilizarov apparatus
Ilizarov apparatus
for lengthening limb bones and for his eponymous surgery. Igor Newerly, Polish novelist and educator, member of the Polish resistance during the Nazi German occupation of Poland.

See also[edit]

Białowieża
Białowieża
Forest Podlaskie
Podlaskie
Voivodeship

References[edit]

^ "PTTK Białowieża
Białowieża
- English - Puszcza Białowieska, atrakcje, wycieczki z przewodnikiem, organizacja imprez". Pttk.bialowieza.pl. Archived from the original on 2012-11-18. Retrieved 2013-02-02.  ^ " Białowieża Forest
Białowieża Forest
guide – Arek Szymura "Pygmy owl" Nature tours - With passion and knowledge - for passionate about nature..." bialowiezaforest.eu. 

Coordinates: 52°42′14″N 23°51′09″E / 52.70389°N 23.85250°E / 52.70389; 23.85250

Nature Tours "Pygmy Owl" Arek Szymura

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Białowieża.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
has media related to: Białowieża
Białowieża
(category)

Forresters school in Białowieża
Białowieża
(in Polish)

v t e

Gmina
Gmina
Białowieża

Seat

Białowieża

Other villages

Czerlonka Grudki Podcerkwy Podolany Pogorzelce Przewłoka Teremiski Zwierzyniec

Authority control

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