Białowieża, is a village of around 2600 people (as of 2002) in Poland’s Podlasie Province (in the far east of Poland), in the middle of Białowieża Forest. It was officially established in 1699. Before 1426 a wooden hunting lodge was built for King Władysław Jagiełło on the river in the middle of the forest. The lodge was probably one of the area’s first permanent settlements, though the forest had already been penetrated by hunters from nearby areas and the King himself, who hunted there. The wooden lodge was painted white and became the namesake for both the future village and the forest (Białowieża means White Tower in Polish). by Wikipedia.com
We were both charmed with this speck of civilization in the middle of primeval forest. The river going right trough the middle of the village (together with a centrally located park) was a great focal point to this little community. This area is very popular among bicyclists (we saw many bicycle-travelers). We will never forget loud howling of wild animals at night from the nearby depths of Puszcza Białowieska (Primeval Forest of Białowieża).
Białowieża's first train station (Białowieża Palace Station) was opened in 1897. It was on September 9th that year when the Russian tsar arrived on the train to Białowieża Primeval Forest, one of his favorite hunting locations. The whole purpose of building this train line was to bring tsar and his guest to the forest for ceremonial hunts. In 1903 a second train station (Białowieża Towarowa, ang. Białowieża Freight Station) was opened to relieve the first, passenger type station. The train line was functional for almost a 100 years. Today it is not used anymore, but the remaining buildings of the Freight Station have been renovated and converted into a restaurant and a luxury apartment hotel.