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Branicki Palace
Białystok and surrounding
Architecture,  Palaces,  Monuments, Sculptures,  Squares, Parks, Gardens,  Universities
Monuments, Sculptures

Branicki Palace, or Versailles of Podlasie as it is often called, was a residence of Count Klemens Branicki, a wealthy hetman, aristocrat, patron of art and sciences.

The Baroque palace was built in the mid-18th century. It started with a two-floor stone mansion with a small tower. Later, they added another floor, changed the facade, introduced a pond and a fountain. The latter became a bright finishing touch in the appearance of the palace and its surroundings. A landscape park, sculptures, a greenhouse, an arsenal, a guest pavilion... In the splendour and sophistication of its decoration, Branicki Palace was on a par with Wilanow Palace. The construction was guided by the German architect Johann Sigmund Deybel and then his successor, Polish architect Jakub Fontana.

By the construction, Branicki succeeded in giving Bialystok the city status. In 1754, the First Military School appeared at the palace. Later, it housed the Institute of Midwifery, and in 1773 - the school of the Bialystok Academic Assembly.

The Branickis were passionate admirers of art and education. Plenty of poets, artists, and scientists were always around them. For many years, the Polish poet Elzbieta Druzhbacka and the poet Franciszek Karpinski worked in the palace. There were a theatre and an excellent orchestra, and Italian ballet troupes came here on tour.

The palace was often visited by the members of the royal family and dignitaries: King August Mocny, Duke of Courland Prince Karl Christian Wettin, King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, Emperor Joseph II of Habsburg, Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich with his wife, and many foreign envoys.

In 1807, the palace fell in the hands of the Russian Emperor Alexander I. It was almost completely looted. The Second World War also caused irreparable damage. Even the reconstruction in 1946-1960 did not help to restore the original appearance.

Branicki Palace houses the active Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy. In the big assembly hall, there are regular competitive choir auditions.

Address: Jana Kilińskiego 1

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Tanya Slyotina

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