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Hajnówka is a town and a powiat seat in north-eastern Poland (Podlaskie Voivodeship) with 21,442 inhabitants (2014). It is the capital of Hajnówka County. The town is also notable for its proximity to the Białowieża Forest, the biggest primaeval forest in Europe. Through Hajnówka flows the river Leśna Prawa (be: Лясная Правая). It is one of the centres of Orthodox faith and a notable centre of Belarusian culture (26.41% in the town) in Poland.It is one of five Polish/Belarusian bilingual Gmina in Podlaskie Voivodeship regulated by the Act of 6 January 2005 on National and Ethnic Minorities and on the Regional Languages, which permits certain gminas with significant linguistic minorities to introduce a second, auxiliary language to be used in official contexts alongside Polish.HistoryFor a more detailed history of Białowieża and the area see: Białowieża ForestAs a village, it was founded some time in the 16th century as a single house of a forest ward, by a certain Hajno, who was one of the royal officers protecting the Białowieża Forest. In 1589 whole forest became a private property of the royal court and the number of forest workers settled in the area started to grow. However, the forest protection (it was most probably the first forest reserve in the world) prevented the area from economical growth and so the village was limited to a number of wooden huts at the western end of the forest. It mostly shared the history of other similar settlements in the area, including Białowieża itself.
Hajnowka is in Podlaskie Province. Plan your tour of Hajnowka and Poland travel itinerary using our Poland day trip planning site .
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