Historical Towns and Villages
Situated on the historical and modern road from Warsaw to Brest, the city developed as an important trade centre of the aristocratic estate of the Radziwiłł Dukes of Nieśwież.
Biała, until the 19th century called Radziwiłłowska or Książęca, became the centre of the estate, known as Bialskie County, in the 1720s. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Radziwiłł family built a castle complex here, fortified with bastions, earthen ramparts and moats, and surrounded by a large park. Preserved to this day are the palace outbuildings and the triumphant arc-shaped gate, connected to a vaulted corridor called ‘the neck’ with a high gate tower. Part of the castle facilities houses the Museum of Southern Podlasie with a rich collection of Ruthenian icons as well as equestrian paintings and sculptures created during the open air workshops in the nearby Janów Podlaski. A favourite excursion destination of both the locals and tourists visiting the castle and park complex is the restored representative Italian garden.
Among other sights, worth visiting is St Anne’s church with a chapel – the mausoleum of the Radziwiłł family. In the vicinity of the church stands a contemporary monument of the city’s patron – St Michael the Archangel Slaying the Dragon, in the coat of arms of Biała since 1670. In the vicinity of the castle is the preserved 1628 building of the former Bialska Academy with a monument bench of its most famous student, writer J. I. Kraszewski.