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"Versailles of Podlasie" - Branicki Palace in Białystok

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Branicki Palace in Białystok is one of the most appealing historic buildings in Podlasie land and one of the best-preserved aristocratic residences from Saxon times in Poland. Palace complex in Białystok is also one of the most beautiful baroque mansions in East Europe. The design of the residence refers to Baroque palaces of French kings and led to naming the Bialystok palace the "Polish Versailles", or “Versailles of Podlasie”.

The palace was designed and built between 1743 and 1750 by Jan Zygmunt Deybel for Count Jan Klemens Branicki, Great Crown Hetman and patron of art and science, raised in the French milieu of the Polish aristocracy. Branicki was one of the wealthiest Polish magnates in the 17th century. It was an owner of 12 towns, 257 villages and 17 palaces (including the palace in Choroszcz, see: Palace in Choroszcz - summer residence of hetman Branicki). The form of the palace in Białystok reflects hetman’s royal ambitions. In 1763–1764 he ran in the election of…

Palace in Choroszcz - summer residence of hetman Branicki

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In the small town of Choroszcz, not far from Bialystok (northeastern Poland) is located a charming small palace. The palace was the summer residence of the crown hetman and castellan of Kraków, Jan Klemens Branicki (1689-1771), a powerful Polish aristocrat. The palace was built on an artificial island, which is surrounded by canals modelled after those at Versailles.

The construction of the Baroque residence at Choroszcz lasted from 1745 almost until Branicki's death in 1771. A fire destroyed it in 1915, and the palace was reconstructed only much later during the years 1961-1973, and then made into a Museum of Palace Interiors in Choroszcz - branch of the Museum of Podlasie in Bialystok.

The ground floor, where the Branicki family once had its quarters, and the first floor, where the guest rooms used to be, were rebuilt for use today as exhibition rooms, where one can see period furniture, for example, from Rococo to sets in the style of Louis XVI. The interiors are decorated wi…

Supraśl - the pearl of Podlasie region

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The Charming town of Supraśl laid down by the Supraśl river, surrounded by forest complexes of Puszcza Knyszyńska is located 15 km from Białystok - the main city of Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland. It is a multicultural place: its inhabitants are of Polish, Belarusian, Russian, Tartar, Jewish and German origin, who profess a variety of different faiths including Catholic, Orthodox, Judaic and Protestant. The origins of the village are related to the founding of the monastery in 15th century. (See: Supraśl Lavra - important site of Orthodox culture in Poland).

Supraśl was located on the border of the Kingdom of Poland.  Initially, it was a border with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and then with the Russian Empire. Supraśl has witnessed many events which have played an important part in Poland’s history. For five centuries different cultures, nations, religious were mixing there.

In the 19th century Supraśl became an important centre for the textile industry. The first industrialist who c…

Windmills - perfect combination of beauty and power

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A windmill is a mill that converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. The first windwheel was used in the Babylon for the irrigation project in the seventeenth century BCE. The earliest certain reference to a windmill in Europe dates from 12th century.

The earliest windmills were used to grind cereals, but since the first half of the fourteenth century in the Netherlands were used to drain polders. In later years wind energy was used to paint mixing, crushing of rocks, cutting of wood etc. The majority of modern windmills take the form of wind turbines used to generate electricity, or windpumps used to pump water, either for land drainage or to extract groundwater.

Poland is blessed with a veritable wealth of mill, many sadly in varying states of decay. The most popular windmill type in Poland is the smock mill, on which only the cap is rotated rather than the whole body of the mill. It is named as "holender" ("Dutch win…

Visiting open air museum in Wdzydze Kiszewskie

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An open air museum in Wdzydze Kiszewskie stretches upon 22 ha of the area located at the bank of the beautiful Lake Gołuń. It is a magical place. It is located in heart of Kashubia - region in the Pomeranian Voivodship, Poland.

The Teodora and Izydor Gulgowski Kashubian Ethnographical Park - so is the official name of the museum - exhibits collections of buildings and artefacts from 17th till 20th century from regions of Kashubia and Kociewie.

The folk museum in Wdzydze Kiszewskie was established in 1906 and it is first an open air museum on Polish land.

Its founders Teodora and Izydor Gulgowski bought the 18th-century cottage of a rich peasant. The cottage and its furnishings were the beginning of the rich collection. The collection consisted of typical of those times household and farm objects, precious headdresses decorated with golden embroidery, glass paintings and pottery.


Nowadays area of the folk art museum is built up with 49 objects of regional architecture. Carefully renov…
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