Poland: Bialystok

Bialystok is the easternmost large city in Poland, miles from the border with Belarus. After a thriving period as a major town in the Great Duchy of Lithuania in 14-17th centuries, Bialystok changed hands between different rulers and invaders for the next 300 odd years – Poland, Russia, Prussia, more Poland on and off, Germany, USSR. The historic city center has a lot of attraction all centered more or less around the Kosciuszko Market Square with the Town Hall and row of cafes and restaurants, blood-red-brick catholic Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, Orthodox Church of St Nicholas, and several historical museums in period buildings. Also nearby is the 18th century baroque Branicki Palace.