Bialystok

Unlike most cities in Poland, Bialystok is settled by various nationalities (Poles, Russians, Belorussians and Tartars) and religious groups (Catholic and Orthodox) who coexist there peacefully. The most attractive sight in Bialystok is a palace dubbed the “small Versailles”. The whole region is dotted with Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish temples, attracting both pilgrims and tourists, but it also has unrivalled natural features, including wild woods and meandering rivers.

Only a small part of the old architecture survived in Bialystok, but there are several places that are certainly worth a visit. Besides, the Podlachia region is known for its uniquely clean environment, protected in several national parks and reserves. Exploring the rich cultural heritage of the neighborhood may provide visitors with many surprises, including discovering the traces of a Muslim and Jewish presence.

Considering that the city has been a melting pot of diverse nations, cultures and traditions, it is easy to understand why it was in Bialystok that the artificial language of Esperanto emerged. Its inventor, Ludwik Zamenhof, wanted to find a simple way of communication between nations. Although Esperanto did not become a commonly-used international language, it has spread all over the world, gaining many supporters (with around 2 million users world-wide).

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