Infobox Settlement
name = Białystok

imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Railway station

image_shield = POL Białystok COA.svg

pushpin_label_position = bottom
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = POL
subdivision_type1 = Voivodeship
subdivision_name1 = Podlaskie
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = "city county"
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Tadeusz Truskolaski
established_title = Established
established_date = 14th century
established_title3 = Town rights
established_date3 = 1692
elevation_min_m = 120
elevation_max_m = 160
area_total_km2 = 102.12
population_as_of = 2006
population_total = 295210
population_density_km2 = auto
population_metro = 370000
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2
latd = 53
latm = 7
lats =
latNS = N
longd = 23
longm = 10
longs =
longEW = E
postal_code_type = Postal code
postal_code = 15-001
area_code = +48 85
website =
blank_name = Car plates
blank_info = BI
Białystok Audio-IPA-pl|Pl-Białystok.ogg|b|j|a|'|ł|y|s|t|o|k (also known by alternative names) is the largest city in northeastern Poland. It is located near the border with Belarus, and is the historical capital of the Podlachia region. Białystok had a population of 294,830 in 2006. The capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship since 1999, it was previously in Białystok Voivodeship (1975-1998) (1921-1998).


According to legend, Białystok was given its name by the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas ca. 1320. An English translation of Białystok would be "white slope" or "clean stream" (in Old Polish language). The city has been known in Belarusian as Беласток ("Biełastok", IPA2|bʲeɫa'stok), in Lithuanian as "Baltstogė" ("White roof" in Lithuanian), and in Yiddish as ביאַליסטאָק ("Byalistok", "Bjalistok"). It has been known in Russian as Белосток or "Belostok", a variant also used sometimes in English.


The first mention of the place in historical sources dates from 1437 when the land around the Biala river (which is called "Bialka" by inhabitants) was given by Grand Duke of Lithuania Casimir IV Jagiellon to Raczko Tabutowicz, then in 1547 it passed to the Wiesiołowski family. They built a brick castle and a church here. It was then a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1645 after the death of Krzysztof Wiesiołowski, the last of the clan, Białystok became the property of the Commonwealth. In 1661 it was given to Stefan Czarniecki as a reward for his service in the victory over the Swedes. Four years later, as a dowry of his daughter Aleksandra, it passed to the Branicki family.

In the second half of the 18th century Field Crown Hetman Jan Klemens Branicki, a commander in chief, became the heir of the Białystok area. It was he who transformed the previously existing abode into the magnificent residence of a great noble. Several artists and scientists came to Białystok to take advantage of Branicki's patronage. Białystok received its city charter in 1749.

After the third partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795 it first belonged to the Prussian Kingdom, then after the Peace of Tilsit signed in 1807 it passed to Russia. During the 19th century the city became a major centre of textile industry. Due to an industrial boom the population grew from 13,787 in 1857, and 56,629 in 1889, to 65,781 in 1901. In this period the majority of the city's population was Jewish.

After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the first heavy bombing of the town took place on 20 April 1915. On 13 August 1915 German soldiers appeared in Białystok. The city was included in the Ober Ost occupational region. In March of 1918 it was declared part of the Belarusian National Republic; in July of 1918 it was made part of Lithuanian Province and became capital of the Southern Lithuania government precinct. On February 19, 1919 the city was taken by Poland.During 1920, when overrun by Soviet forces during the Polish-Soviet War, it briefly served as headquarters of the Polish Revolutionary Committee headed by Julian Marchlewski, which attempted to declare the Polish Soviet Socialist Republic.

In the years 1920–1939 the city was again part of independent Poland. In September 1939, Białystok was occupied by the German army, but then passed on to the Soviet Union with respect to the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, when it was annexed into the Byelorussian SSR. The Belastok Voblast with the centre in Bielystok was created in 1939.

On June 27, 1941, Białystok fell into Nazi hands as a result of the invasion of the Soviet Union. From the very beginning, the Nazis pursued a ruthless policy of pillage and extermination of the non-German population. The 56,000 Jewish members of the town were confined in a ghetto, which during August 1941 was exterminated. On the morning of June 27, 1941 Nazi troops from Order Police Battalion 309 [Goldhagen, Daniel J. "Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust" New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1997] surrounded the town square by the "Great Synagogue" (the largest wooden synagogue in Eastern Europe), and forced residents from their homes into the street. Some were shoved up against building walls and shot dead. Others — some 800 men, women and children — were locked in the synagogue, which was subsequently set on fire; there they burned to death. The Nazi onslaught continued with the grenading of numerous homes and further shootings. As the flames from the synagogue spread and merged with the grenade fires, the entire square was engulfed. On that day — June 27, 1941 — some 3,000 Jews lost their lives. [ [ ::::The Importance of World Peace: The Holocaust:::: ] ]

In the last year of the occupation, a clandestine upper Commercial School came into existence. The pupils of the school also took part in the underground resistance movement. As a result, some of them were jailed, some killed and others deported to concentration camps.

A number of anti-fascist groups came into existence in Białystok during the first weeks of the occupation. In the following years, there developed a well-organized resistance movement.

On August 15, 1943 the Białystok Ghetto Uprising began, and several hundred Polish Jews started an armed struggle against the German troops who were carrying out the planned liquidation of the ghetto.

Ecclesiastical history

For most of its existence, Białystok was part of the diocese of Vilna, the Lithuanian capital.

Only on June 5, 1991, was the diocese of Białystok (Latin rite) bishopric established. On March 25, 1992, it was promoted as Metropolitan Archdiocese of Białystok with two Suffragan dioceses: Drohiczyn (also established in 1991) and Łomża (established on March 25, 1798 as the Diocese of Sejny / Augustów / Sejna).


* Białystok University (Uniwersytet w Białymstoku)
* Białystok Technical University (Politechnika Białostocka)
* Medical University of Białystok (Akademia Medyczna w Białymstoku)
* Białystok School of Public Administration (Wyższa Szkoła Administracji Publicznej)
* Białystok Institute of Cosmetology (Wyższa Szkoła Kosmetologii w Białymstoku)
* Academy of Economics in Białystok (Wyższa Szkoła Ekonomiczna w Białymstoku)
* Academy of Finance and Management in Białystok (Wyższa Szkoła Finansów i Zarządzania w Białymstoku)
* Musical Academy in Białystok (Akademia Muzyczna w Białymstoku)
* Akademia Teatralna
* Archidiecezjalne wyższe Seminarium Duchowne
* Instytut Nauk Politycznych (Filia w Białymstoku)
* Wyższa Szkoła Matematyki i Informatyki Użytkowej
* Nauczycielskie Kolegium Rewalidacji i Resocjalizacji
* Niepaństwowa Wyższa Szkoła Pedagogiczna
* Wyższa Szkoła Gospodarowania Nieruchomościami (Filia w Białymstoku)
* Papieski Wydział Teologiczny (Studium Teologii)
* Wyższa Szkoła Menedżerska
* Niepubliczne Nauczycielskie Kolegium Języków Obcych
* Nauczycielskie Kolegium Języków Obcych "Inter - Lingua"


Białystok constituency

Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Białystok constituency

* Borawski, Edmund: PSL
* Cimoszewicz, Włodzimierz: SLD-UP
* Ciruk, Barbara: SLD-UP
* Czerniawski, Mieczysław: SLD-UP
* Czuż, Aleksander: SLD-UP
* Czykwin, Eugeniusz: SLD-UP
* Fedorowicz, Andrzej: LPR
* Jurgiel, Krzysztof: PiS
* Kamiński, Michał: PiS
* Krutul, Piotr: LPR
* Laskowski, Józef: Samoobrona
* Mioduszewski, Józef: PSL
* Wiśniowska, Genowefa: Samoobrona
* Zagórski, Marek: PO
* Zaworski, Jan: SLD-UP
* Zieliński, Jarosław: PiS

Municipal politics

to be written yet

Administrative division

The City of Białystok is divided into 28 districts:
# Centrum
# Białostoczek
# Sienkiewicza
# Bojary
# Piaski
# Przydworcowe
# Młodych
# Antoniuk
# Jaroszówka
# Wygoda
# Piasta I
# Piasta II
# Skorupy
# Mickiewicza
# Dojlidy
# Bema
# Kawaleryjskie
# Nowe Miasto
# Zielone Wzgórza
# Starosielce
# Słoneczny Stok
# Leśna Dolina
# Wysoki Stoczek
# Dziesięciny I
# Dziesięciny II
# Bacieczki
# Zawady
# Dojlidy Górne


* In memory of victims of the Polish-Bolshevik war - [ Picture]
* "42nd Infantry Regiment" of Jan Henryk Dabrowski monument - [ Picture]
* Armia Krajowa monument - [ Picture]
* In memory of heroes from Białystok Land in WWII - [ Picture]
* Jadwiga Dziekońska (soldier of Armia Krajowa) monument - [ Picture]
* In memory of murdered Poles in Katyn - [ Picture]
* Marshal Józef Piłsudski monument - []
* Jerzy Popiełuszko monument - [ Picture]
* Polish Army in western Europe (during WWII) monument - []
* Solidarność monument - [ Picture]
* In memory of Poles deported to Siberia - [ Picture]
* In memory of murdered Jews in the "Great Synagogue" (WWII) - [ Picture]
* In memory of victims of the Ghetto uprising in Białystok - [ Picture]
* Defenders of Białystok monument (WWII) - [ Picture]
* Ludwik Zamenhof monument - [ Picture]

Historical population

Famous people

Birthplace of

* Sala Burton (nee Galante) - United States representative from California
* Tomasz Bagiński ("The Cathedral")
* Hermann Friedmann, philosopher
* Ryszard Kaczorowski, last emigre President of the Republic of Poland.
* Boris Kaufman
* Dziga Vertov (Kaufman) - A Soviet documentary film and newsreel director.
* Maxim Litvinov (Wallach-Finkelstein).
* Albert Sabin - Polio Vaccine.
* Izabella Scorupco (Skorupko) - Actress.
* Ephraim Urbach - Talmud scholar, recipient of the Israel Prize
* Max Weber - Artist.
* L. L. Zamenhof - The creator of Esperanto.
* Abraham b. Eliezer Lipman Liechtenstein - Rabbi, author and talmudic scholar.
* Michael Marks - Founder of Marks & Spencer stores
* Maciek Korbut - Famous tattoo skateboarder


* Hetman Białystok
* Jagiellonia Białystok - football team (Orange Ekstraklasa 2007/2008)
* Rowerowy Białystok - cycling association, PTR Dojlidy - MTB Sport Team []

Cultural references

The asteroid 19981 Bialystock was named in the city's honour on 1 June 2007.MPCit_JPL|19981

The bagel-like roll, the bialy, derives its name from the city.

The protagonist of Mel Brooks' film and musical The Producers is named Max Bialystock.

In the 1995 computer game Command & Conquer, the Brotherhood of Nod manipulates the global media into believing that Bialystok and all of its inhabitants were slaughtered by GDI forces.

A large part of the narrative of David Zagier's early memoirs, "Botchki", centres on Bialystok.

Twin towns

Białystok is twinned with the following cities and towns:
* Częstochowa, Poland
* Dijon, France
* Eindhoven, Netherlands
* Hrodna, Belarus
* Jelgava, Latvia
* Kaliningrad, Russia
* Kaunas, Lithuania
* Milwaukee, U.S.

See also

* Branicki Palace
* Krzysztof Kononowicz
* Max Bialystock

ources and external links

* [ History of Bialystok]
* [ Bialystoker Synagogue in New York City]
* [ We Remember Jewish Bialystok!]
* [ Giga-Catholic]
* [ Catholic Encyclopaedia- Vilna]
* [ VisitBiał]
* [ Archdiocesan website (in Polish)]
* [ oficial website of Bialystok (both English and Polish)]
* [ Michał Hoffman fotograf Białystok]
* [ Historic images of Bialystok]
* [ Polish Skyscrapers - Bialystok]
* [ Podlasie & Białystok Transport]
* [ Official Site Białystok City Transport]
* [ Google Transit in Białystok ]
* [ Transit Trip Planner in Bialystok using Google Transit algorithm (ENGLISH VER.]
* [ Jewish Heritage Trail in Bialystok (in Polish)]


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