Białowieża

Białowieża, located on a forest meadow, is world famous for the age-old forest and European bison. However, it is also the people together with their legends and stories that make the town such a special place. Białowieża is unique in that it is a place where East meets West, and where cultures, nations and religions mix, like no other place in Europe.

 

Worth seeing:

Obelisk

Obelisk

On September 27th 1752 Augustus III arranged one of the largest hunting events in the history of Białowieża forest. A sandstone obelisk was erected in order to commemorate this day. The names of the hunting party and the animals they killed are listed on the obelisk in both German and Polish.

Royal Oaks in Old Białowieża

Royal Oaks in Old Białowieża

According to legend, this is the site of the first royal manor in the Białowieża forest. The oldest of the oaks situated here were probably planted as holy trees by the Lithuanian tribes that once inhabited the forest. The venue is the home to a large group of listed oaks, which are named after Polish or Lithuanian royals who once hunted throughout the forest.

Czar’s buildings

Czar’s buildings

In 1888 Białowieża forest became the private hunting ground of the Russian Czar. That event was the cause of intensive modernisation and the developement of Białowieża that cumulated in the building of a massive and decadent hunting palace for Czar Aleksander III under the supervision of architect Nicolaus de Rochefort. Unfortunately, the palace was destroyed, because it was viewed as a relic of a monarchist past, during Communist rule in Poland. Today almost nothing remains from the once beautiful buildings except for fragments of the main gate and an English-style garden.

Nature and Forest Museum of the Białowieża National Park

Nature and Forest Museum of the Białowieża National Park

Where the Czar’s palace once stood now stands the Nature and Forest Museum of the national park. The museum contains a permanent multi-media exhibition about the flora and fauna of the Białowieża National Park.

Bison reserve

Bison reserve

Bisons, deers, elks, roe deers, wild boars and carnivors like wolf and lynx can all be found in the bison reserve of the Białowieża National Park. Of particular interest, one can see a herd of Polish horses and a żubroń (a hybrid of a bison and a cow).

Rezerwat Ochrony Ścisłej

The strict reserve

The strict reserve can be found in the central part of the Białowieża forest located between the two rivers of Hwoźna and Narewka. To the east it borders the Belarussian part of the national park. For centuries the reserve has been an area where nature is allowed to rule without any interaction from man.

Place of power

Place of power

The place of power is an ancient site that is unique in that it contains several unusual tree forms and a mysterious central stone circle. According to local legend, it is a place where positive energy is harnessed and it becomes easier to make difficult decisions here.

Orthodox church of St Nicholas the Wonderworker

Orthodox church of St Nicholas the Wonderworker

The work and construction of the orthodox church of St Nicholas the Wonderworker were completed in 1897 in preparation for the visit of Czar Nicholas II. The church is built out of red brick, made in Bialowieza by the Upper Silesian craftsmen Julius Charles Miller, and stands on a foundation of ancient stones found in the Bialowieza forest. The building has two domes, one of which is the bell-tower. The iconostasis inside the church are made of bone china which was brought from St. Petersburg, and are the only surviving example of such work in Poland today.

Roman-catholic church of St Theresa

Roman-catholic church of St Theresa

On the opposite side of the town to the orthodox church stands the catholic church of St. Theresa. The church was built and consecrated in the late 1920s and in 2007 received 17 new voice organs, made in Nuremberg.

 

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