Białowieża Forest


Białowieża Forest lies partly in southwest Belarus and partly in eastern Poland and is situated on the watershed of the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. As early as the late 14th–early 15th centuries, under Jogaila, grand duke of Lithuania and king of Poland, Białowieża, which is still the largest primeval forest in Europe, became a protected natural territory. This book by Georgīĭ Kart︠s︡ov contains information about the location and size of the forest, its topography, vegetation, and the history of royal hunting from the 1500s to the late-19th century. Białowieża Forest is home to the European bison, and the author describes how desire to save the species prompted the Lithuanians, Poles, and Belarusians to preserve its habitat. Measures to control the wolf population and other administrative and preservation measures were taken under both Polish and Russian rule. The book also recounts how the forest was the setting for Polish uprisings in 1830–31 and in 1863 and other historical events. It includes many illustrations by famous artists. Published in Saint Petersburg in 1903, the book was popular among historians and naturalists. The Białowieża National Park in Poland was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979; the Bialowieza Forest National Park in Belarus achieved the same status in 1992.

Last updated: March 7, 2014