dimarts, 19 de febrer de 2008

Białystok's History

The first mention of Białystok in written sources dates back to the year 1514. Around the year 1570 the Wiesiołowski family erected a fortress mansion within the limits of today’s city. In the 1670’s a wooden church was put up nearby and a market place was laid out, thus marking the beginning of what was to be an early town.

The Wiesiołowski fortress was destroyed during the Swedish invasion, to be reconstructed in the late 16th century by Stefan Mikołaj Branicki the Podlaskie Voivode, who converted it into a Baroque palace. It was then that Białystok began to look like a town, which was crowned by the city charter that was granted to Białystok in 1692 by king Jan III Sobieski, and confirmed by king August III the Saxon under the Magdeburg law in 1749. Białystok’s development owes much to the grand Crown Hetman and a claimant to the throne, Jan Klemens Branicki.

Following the year 1726, Branicki considerably extended the palace. He was the driving force of such undertakings as the establishing of a hospital, three schools, or a monastery. The Hetman and his wife were also recognized for their patronage of the arts and sciences.

In the aftermath of repressions in- flicted by the fall of the November Uprising, rigorous customs border measures were set up between the Congressional Kingdom of Poland and the Russian Tsar Empire. Paradoxically, the situation caused the city to flourish as many textile manufacturers moved to Białystok from the city of Łódź to escape high duties on goods exported to Russia. Consequently, the following years saw many manufacturing plants mushrooming in and around Białystok, thereby creating new jobs for the locals to reap the benefits of.

The city continued to develop following the launch of the Warsaw – Sankt Petersburg railway in 1862. By 1879 Białystok had as many as 47 textile factories of 1.500 employees, and the population almost numbered 35.000. The last decade of the 19th century saw telephone lines, water pipes and horse-pulled trams springing up. By the turn of the century the population reached 70.000.

Following the regaining of independence in 1919, Białystok became the capital of a newly formed voivodship and enlarged its territory by the incorporation of several suburban villages. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, the city centre was modernized and enriched with a newly landscaped metropolitan park dubbed Planty, to transform into an elegant office district.

Under the Nazi German occupation during World War II, in Białystok existed a strong resistance movement led by the National Army (Armia Krajowa). The Jewish population suffered the hardest moment when the Jews were relocated to a walled-in ghetto between July and August 1941 and then murdered or transported to camps in August 1943.

3 comentaris:

  1. Your city has an interesting history. As far as I know, Sant Boi does not.

    I would like to ask you these questions:
    1. Was the Swedish invasion a good thing or a bad thing?
    2. About the Nazi Occupation, how many soldiers resisted in Bialystok?
    3. Were they able to defeat or, atleast, defend the city for long?
    4. The walled-in ghetto, was it inside Bialystok?
    5. Where did you get the information from?
    6. Who wrote it?
    7. How many people are living in Bialystok right now?
    8. How was life in Bialystok during the Communist time?


  2. As I understood there has been a strong comercial exchange among Bialystok, Sweenden and Russia.
    Is there still a lively jewish community?

    what is voivodship? is some kind of territorial name?
    Sant Boi

  3. Hi
    I answer to you questions:
    Swedish invasion is very bad thing for my city and my country.
    The ANTI-NAZI resistance organized about 15000 people in my city.
    Inside Bialystok was walled-in the ghetto.
    I have those information from books,from old people,internet and many different sources.
    Right now living in Bialystok 300000 people.
    During the communist time was very hardly.
    We have little Jewish community in my city now.
    Yes, it's some kind of territorial name.


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