Białystok byälĭs´tôk [key], city (1994 est. pop. 274,700), capital of Podlaskie prov., NE Poland. It is a leading regional manufacturing center and a railway transportation point. Noted especially for its linens, the city also has factories producing a variety of manufactured goods. Founded in 1310, Białystok was taken by Prussia in 1795 and by Russia in 1807; it was returned to Poland in 1921. The city was devastated during World War II; about half of the city's population, mainly Jews, were killed by German occupation forces. Białystok has an academy of medicine and a technical college. Historical landmarks include a 16th-century church and an 18th-century palace.
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