Palace Park

Białowieża National Park

Palace Park was laid out in the 19th century around a splendid residence built for the Russian tsar, on the site of an ancient royal hunting lodge once used by Polish kings. The southern entrance to the park, beside the PTTK office, leads across a pond past a stone obelisk, which commemorates a bison hunt led by King August III Saxon in 1752. The royal bag that day was 42 bison, 13 elk and two roe deer.

From the eastern entrance, just past the national park's tourist information centre, the main path leads uphill past a red-brick gate, which is all that remains of the tsar's palace – it was burned to the ground by retreating Germans in 1944. Note the ornate wooden 1845 Manor House by the lake, which hints at the lost grandeur.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Białowieża National Park attractions

1. Nature and Forest Museum

0.09 MILES

Located in the modern visitors centre and hotel, this museum features exhibitions relating to the park's flora and fauna (mostly forest scenes with…

2. Białowieźa National Park

0.57 MILES

Once a centre for hunting and timber-felling, Białowieża (Byah-wo-vyeh-zhah) is now Poland's oldest national park. Its significance is underlined by…

3. European Bison Show Reserve


This modern and large enclosed animal park around 4km west of Palace Park is your best chance to see an actual bison. Though the bison died out in the…

4. Strict Nature Preserve

3.58 MILES

This is the oldest section of the Białowieża National Park and covers an area of around 47.5 sq km, bordered to the north and west by the marshy Hwożna…

5. Nature Museum

9.17 MILES

This museum near the entrance to Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park gives a great introduction to the myriad plant and animal species living in the park.

6. Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park

9.37 MILES

Unesco World Heritage Site Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park is the oldest wildlife refuge in Europe and the pride of Belarus. At the National Park…