The Branicki Palace and park complex in Bialystok is one of the most beautiful monuments in Poland and the baroque gardens around the Palace are one of the most beautiful in Europe. You can’t miss this place on the tourist map of Podlasie. This place is a reminder of the Branicki family and is called the Branicki residence or the “Versailles of Podlasie.”
The history of the Branicki Palace is fascinating. Initially, in the 16th century, the Palace was a defensive castle built by the Wiesiołowski family – the owners of Białystok at that time.
Time of the greatest flowering of the Palace and gardens took place during the reign of the Branicki family in Bialystok. In the 1790s, Stefan Mikołaj Branicki began rebuilding the castle into a baroque palace. His son – Jan Klemens Branicki, continued to expand the residence for another fifty years.
During this time, both the Palace, beautiful gardens around, and the city of Bialystok acquired such a fascinating character. After the death of Jan Klemens Branicki in 1771, the Białystok residence until 1808 was managed by his widow Izabela Branicka (sister of the last King Stanisław Poniatowski).
Then the city and the Palace pass into the hands of the Potocki family, who later sold the whole complex to the Prussian King Frederick Wilhelm II. In 1809, the residence changed its owner again, and was acquired by Tsar Alexander I.
The original plans assumed the transformation of the whole complex into a summer residence; however, in 1833, the idea was abandoned. Four years later, the Institute of the Nobly Born Maidens was established in the building, which exists until 1915.
The period of World War I was a time of further devastation of the Palace. Regaining independence in 1918 and the location of public offices in it, began to improve its technical condition and partial reconstruction. However, the residential character was not restored but transformed into a public administration facility (Voivodeship Office).
Unfortunately, the restoration was interrupted by World War II; therefore, the former “Versailles of Podlasie” came out destroyed by about 70%. In 1945 state began to secure the ruins and save the remains of sculptures.
The decision to rebuild at that time was to restore the 18th-century character of the entire establishment. During the works, many exciting historical remains were discovered from different periods. In a reasonably short time, several years, the Palace and gardens were reconstructed and restored.
The original purpose of the Palace was to be the Folk Culture House, including the Regional Historical Museum, the Scientific Library, and scientific and artistic associations. Even several exhibitions were organized in the interiors.
However, on December 5, 1949, the Minister of Culture and Art donated the building and established Medical Academy in Bialystok.
Reconstruction works are practically ongoing to this day. Despite the university-like nature of many rooms, the building regains a partial appearance of the former magnificent Branicki residence. It is undoubtedly the most famous monument in the entire region.
If you are in Bialystok during the tourist season, i.e., from May to the end of September, you can count on help from the Tourist Information Point, which is located at the Great Gate and is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00.
The Great Gate and park area make a huge impression and delight guests with its beauty. The golden Gryf, located on the top of the Gate, is a symbol of the Branicki family. Hence, we recommend starting a walk around the park and palace complex.
The upper part of the garden has the shape of a regular quadrangle and is in direct contact with the Palace. It is a French garden characterized by numerous fountains and flower beds.
The English part of the park looks slightly different and abounds with gazebos, pavilions, promenades, boulevards, monuments, statues, ponds. It is delightful to stroll along the main avenue of the Branicki Palace garden, amongst beautiful flowers and greenery. Visiting the gardens is free and open all year.
Part of the interior of the Branicki Palace can be visited for free, e.g., staircase, corridors, and some rooms. From the terrace, on the first floor, we can admire palace gardens. The Palace as the seat of the Medical University is a public building so anyone can go inside and see the open rooms.
Other attractions of the Branicki Palace: Magna assembly hall, exhibition in the palace basements, a chapel with a papal armchair you will visit for a fee. The ticket can be bought in the right-wing of the Palace, where the Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy is located.
Admission and opening hours
We have available two sightseeing routes:
1. Walk into the past – a historical path.
Sightseeing time: 60-90 min.
Regular ticket – 20 PLN
Reduced ticket – 10 PLN
2. The Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy at the Medical University of Białystok and the representative rooms of the Branicki Palace.
Sightseeing time: 45-60 min.
Regular ticket – 12 PLN
Reduced ticket – 6 PLN
Opening hours of the Museum and the historical path “Walk into the Past.”
Tuesday-Friday: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm
Saturday -Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Guide service included in the ticket price.
Payment only in cash.
Tickets can be purchased at the Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Medical University of Białystok.
(right wing of the Palace)
J. Kilińskiego Street 1, 15-089 Białystok
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TELEPHONE RESERVATION: 85 748 54 67, 85 748 54 05.
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