Historical features


The history of the city dates back to 1320. In 1691 Bialystok received city rights from a Polish king Jan Sobieski III. The town was shaped by Jan Klemens Branicki, who developed it and built a splendid residence here.
Bialystok is a provincial capital and the largest city in the north-eastern region of Poland. Bialystok is an important communication centre and owing to its close  to border location, a gate to the East.
At the end of the 19th century the city was inhabited by Poles, Russians, Byelorussians, Jews and Germans. This inspired doctor Ludwik Zamenhof, who was born in Bialystok, to create an international artificial language – Esperanto.
Bialystok is also a scientific centre, the seat of:  the Bialystok University, founded in 1968 as a branch of Warsaw University; Medical Academy, founded in 1950; Warsaw Conservatoire Branch, founded in 1974; Branch of the Higher Theatrical School in Warsaw, founded in 1974; Archdiocesan Theological Seminary  founded in 1945;  several private high schools and colleges;  and - last but not least – the seat of Bialystok Technical University.