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Branicki Palace, Białystok

Branicki Palace
Pałac Branickich (Polish)
View of the corps de logis from the avant cour.
General information
Architectural style Late Baroque
Town or city Białystok
Country Poland
Construction started 1691
Completed 1697
Demolished 1944
Design and construction
Architect Tylman Gamerski

Branicki Palace (Polish: Pałac Branickich) is a historical edifice in Białystok, Poland. It was developed on the site of an earlier building in the first half of the 18th century by Jan Klemens Branicki, a wealthy Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth hetman, into a residence suitable for a man whose ambition was to become king of Poland.[1] The palace complex with gardens, pavilions, sculptures, outbuildings and other structures and the city with churches, city hall and monastery, all built almost at the same time according to French models was the reason why the city was known in the 18th century as Versailles de la Pologne (Versailles of Poland)[2] and subsequently Versailles de la Podlachie (Versailles of Podlasie).[3]


  • History 1
  • The palace grounds 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The Palace was built for Count Jan Klemens Branicki, Great Crown Hetman and patron of art and science, raised in the French milieu of the Polish aristocracy, who transformed a previous house[4] into the suitably magnificent residence of a great Polish noble, a rival to Wilanów Palace, making a start in 1726.[5] He also laid out the central part of the town of Bialystok, not a large place in the 18th century, with its triangular market.

View of the façade from the garden.
Illustration of the Branicki Palace (1752). View from today's Akademicka Street. At that time the palace was known as the Versailles of Poland.

The original wooden manor of the Raczkowicz family that occupied the site was transformed in the 16th century into a brick two-storey castle for Piotr Wiesiołowski the Younger.[6] The architect was Hiob Bretfus, who constructed the a

  • View of the palace from the drone

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  1. ^ "Podlaski Wersal Branickich". (in Polski). Retrieved 2009-11-26. 
  2. ^ Artaud de Montor (1834). Encyclopédie des gens du monde: répertoire universel des scineces, des lettres et des arts; avec des notices sur les principales familles historiques et sur les personnages célèbres, morts et vivans (in Français) 4. Librairie de Treuttel et Würtz. p. 143. Rentré dans ses terres, Branicki, déjà aflaibli par l'âge , y vécut tranquillement , occupé à embellir sa résidence de Białystok , qu'on surnomma le Versailles de la Pologne. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Michelin-Grüne Reiseführer (2009). Pologne (in Français).  
  4. ^ a b Magdalena Grassmann. "Podlaski Wersal Branickich". palac.amb. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  5. ^ "Miasto Białystok". (in Polski). Archived from the original on 2008-04-11. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  6. ^ a b Władysław Paszkowski (1952). Wątki gotyckie Pałacu Branickich w Białymstoku (Gohic elements of the Branicki Palace in Białystok) (in Polski) 5. Ochrona Zabytków. p. 287. 
  7. ^ a b c Roland Brockmann (2006). Polen (in Deutsch). Baedeker. p. 159.  
  8. ^ a b Katarzyna Samusik, Jerzy Samusik, Elżbieta Kozłowska-Świątkowska (2003). Dwory i pałace Podlasia (Manors houses and palaces of Podlaskie) (in Polski). Trans Humana. p. 36.  
  9. ^ Jerzy Samusik (2009). Wersal Podlaski (Versailles of Podlaskie) (PDF) (in Polski) 1. Spotkania z zabytkami. p. 4. 
  10. ^ a b Magdalena Grassmann. "Odbudowa pałacu". palac.amb (in Polski). Retrieved 2008-06-28. 


See also

Surrounding the Palace are the grounds. The garden front has a terrace raised on columns, which forms a podium for viewing the parterre in the French taste with a main central allée and French sphinxes, and a later "English garden," in the naturalistic taste associated with the English park, surrounding the grounds. The central axis continues to a guest pavilion. Other outbuildings include the Arsenal (1755), Orangery and Italian and Tuscan Pavilions.[4]

A straight avenue centered on the palace passes across the river on a three-arched bridge across the river, which is confined with deep stone embankment walling, to the large enclosed paved forecourt. The central block has two storeys upon a high arcaded basement story, with a pedimented central block displaying Branicki's coat-of-arms and end pavilions that have squared domes in two tiers. The roofline is an Italianate balustrade that masks a low attic story, and the heroic sculptural group of Atlas crowning all.

The palace grounds

With the first Partition of Poland it went to the Prussian Kingdom and, after 1807, to Russia. In the summer of 1920, briefly, the palace was the headquarters of the Provisional Polish Revolutionary Committee. Branicki Palace suffered from bombing and fires caused by the Germans, with damage totaling approximately 70%.[3][10] It was restored after World War II as a matter of national pride.[10] The Medical University is housed in the Palace.[3]

A trellised gazebo in the garden.

The newly created Versailles de la Pologne concentrated many great artists, poets including Elżbieta Drużbacka and Franciszek Karpiński and scientists.[3] A theater, orchestra and ballet were established. Among notable guests were King Augustus II the Strong (1726 to 1727 and again in 1729), King Augustus III and his wife and sons Prince Francis Xavier and Prince Charles (1744 and 1752), Prince Charles of Saxony, Duke of Courland (twice in 1759), Bishop Ignacy Krasicki (1760), King Stanisław August Poniatowski (occasionally), Emperor Joseph II Habsburg (1780),[3] Grand Duke Paul, future Tsar Paul I of Russia, with his wife (1782), King Louis XVIII of France (1798),[9] French, English, Turkish and Russian envoys and Italian actress.


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