This chandelier made by Greek artisans is a real beauty - please enlarge the picture to see it.
It's in the shape of a three-dimensional cross (or a cross in cross?). I took several pictures from various angles but this one shows its magnificent beauty best I think. How do you like it?
The church is absolutely stunning inside! The lush colours of the mosaics made by Greek artisans are a true feast for the eye.
We had one of the Orthodox priests show us around the church and explain what's what to the ignorant Catholics like us ;-) He told us photo taking is prohibited but we promised to make donations to the church and that apparently did the job :-) He was very nice and forgiving!
This is one of the most famous Orthodox churches in the area, probably because the yearly festival of Orthodox music and choirs takes place in it.
The church is big and fairly new but look at its modern expression of the Orthodox architecture! If you stand right in front of it and look at the rounded shapes and copulas against the sky, it seems that the copulas are moving along with the clouds... That's a funny feeling :-)
This is right in the forests, half way between Hajnowka and Bialowieza. Perfect to stop on your way to Bialowieza, to take some rest and have a beer when walking in the forests, or just to come down here for a meal from whichever direction.
They have a whole variety of grilled meats including game, as well as traditional Polish soups and, of course, beer! It's especially nice in spring and summer - you can have your meal outside looking at the forest around you. I went there each time I visited the Bialwieski National Park.
It tends to be crowded at times 'cause people come here in waves: in buses, minivans or several cars. Then the service tends to be slow 'cause they can't handle too many people at the same time. Better if you arrive before tourists in organised grops start flocking in!
Favorite Dish: Cold beer on a hot day, hehe! :-)))
And you must try their bison steak!
Although the bison is under protection, from time to time their population must be reduced as: 1) the bisons must have a sufficiently large area, and 2) if there are too many, the bison crowd starts to be damaging to the forest's eco-system.
So the bisons that end up as steaks are shot legally by the Park's rangers. There is no bison hunting in the Park.
This is a funny place to pop in for a beer, coffee or tea! I go there every time I am in the area, it's such a kick to sip your beer outside examining the Soviet propaganda paraphernalia!
The "beer garden" is surrounded by a wooden palisade (enlarge the picture for details) that separates this little weird world from its surroundings, and it really adds to the atmosphere. There are also lots of old items that take you on a journey in time, all entwined with roses which make your experience all the more pleasant...
It is a must! (see also my Must-See tips about it).
The bison monument stands in the park right in the centre of Hajnowka. The local custom joke is that if you want to return to Hajnowka and Bialowieza, you must grab the bison by the... you know what! ;-)
To tell you the truth, I have never "disturbed" the proud bison, and I've been to the Bialowieza region three times, hehe!
If you have enough time, take the little old choo-choo train that leaves from Hajnowka and goes into the Topilo lake, a beutiful site deep in the forests. There is a little pier, bonfire place and wooden tables for you to have a picnic. If you don't take food with you, there's a little bar that sells hot and cold drinks as well as some basic meals, including grilled meat.
We went only for a return trip that takes 4 hours in total, and that means you stop at the lake only for an hour. But I understand there is also some accommodation if you want to stay longer and do some fishing in the forest lake.
The narrow-track network in the forests was build during WWI by the German army which exploited the forest for timber. The choo-choo is slow and loud, but the 11km (almost 7miles) ride into the forests is well worth the ticket (can't remember how much, but not expensive).
It's very popular so if you're in a larger group, you'd better book your ticket the day before. The station is right behind the cemetery. To book your tickets:
call (085) 682 26 89
or e-mail email@example.com.