The palace-garden premises in Bialystok date back to the sixteenth century when a defensive castle of the Wiesiolowskis, the then owners of Bialystok, was built on the site of the present-day palace. The origin of the great residential premise is associated with the Branicki family. During the 1690s, Stefan Mikolaj Branicki, the voivode of Polesie, commissioned Tylman of Gameren to redesign the Bialystok residence which became an imposing Baroque palace. The period of its greatest splendour is connected with the son of Stefan Mikolaj - Jan Klemens Branicki, the Grand Chancellor of the Crown, who spent fifty years (1721-1771) expanding and enhancing the residence, and employed a number of outstanding architects, engineers and sculptors of the period, including Jan Zygmunt Deybel, Jan Henryk Klemm, Jakub Fontana, Pierre Ricaud de Tirregaille, and Jan Chryzostom Redler. The hetman's residence must have represented considerable artistic merits since it was described by his contemporaries as the Polish Versailles. In 1996 it was decided to restore the former Baroque design of the Branicki Garden. The initiators of this project were the Town Office of Bialystok, the Centre for Historical Landscape Protection in Warsaw (today: National Heritage Board of Poland), and the Podlasie Voivodeship Conservator of Historical Monuments. Supervision over the revalorisation was entrusted to the specially established International Council on the Branicki Park Revalorization in Bialystok and Choroszcz, with experts from Poland, Austria, Germany and The Netherlands. The Council functioned in 1998-2001. Studio work and projects conducted from 1996 were accompanied by a simultaneous survey carried out in Polish and foreign archives. The collected material was analysed and confronted with the state of the garden. Archaeological research was conducted in 1998-2001 by Prof. Andrzej Kola from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun jointly with archaeologists from the Regional Museum in Bialystok. General premises for a project of the Branicki Garden revalorisation were based on the outcomes of the analyses and investigations. Depending on financial and organisational conditions the Town Office of Bialystok completes the projects and realises particular fragments of the garden composition, together with a parallel conservation of the palace and its outbuildings.
mgr inż., architekt krajobrazu, absolwentka SGGW, autorka i współautorka opracowań studialnych i projektowych dotyczących ogrodów barokowych m.in. w Białymstoku, Wilanowie, Podhorcach czy ogrodu przy Wyższym Seminarium Duchownym w Warszawie. Jest pracownikiem Krajowego Ośrodka Badań i Dokumentacji Zabytków.
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