Podlasie, or the Land of the European Bison, is a land marked by multiculturalism, a gateway to the East, a place of unspoiled landscapes and silence providing a perfect reset. Orthodox churches, synagogues, wooden churches and cottages with painted shutters, barrows of the Yotvingians, mists strolling over the meadows of Nabuże, splashing fish in the Polish Amazon - Narew, wild backwoods of the Knyszyn forest, The majestic bison coming out of the Bialowieza forest, the roaring of the Augustów Primeval Forest, the Milky Way running with a million stars across the sky clear of smog, the whisperer waiting at the doorstep, the taste of pierekaczewnik, potato sausage and baked potato - such is the Podlasie region, magically diverse.
A visit to the Podlaskie region should begin at the mystical site of the Holy Mount Grabarka, where the heart of Polish Orthodoxy beats. A forest of nearly 10,000 crosses, erected over the centuries to the present day, each for a specific intention, surrounds the authentic pine forest. Grabarka, with its copy of the miracle-working Icon of the Mother of God from Mount Athos, is a place of perpetual pilgrimage. Poland's oldest, green wooden Tatar mosque is a landmark of the village of Kruszyniany in the Sokol district. King Jan III Sobieski gave it to the Tatars - Muslims, who live there to this day alongside Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Behind the mosque there is a mizar, a Muslim cemetery. Kruszyńska Tatarska Jurta restaurant serves Tatar pierogi - kibiny, pieremiacze, onionniki, kolduny Tatarskie or pierekaczewnik, a multi-layer cake with meat, cheese or apples. It is also worth visiting the village of Bohoniki, where there is a wooden mosque from the second half of the 19th century and a Muslim cemetery.
Located on the route to Bialowieza, the Land of Open Shutters in the southern part of the province consists of picturesque villages of Trzesanka, Soce and Puchły in the Narew Valley. The unique ornamentation of elaborately decorated houses with colorfully painted shutters is reminiscent of Russian folk architecture. There is an Orthodox church in each of the villages. The temple in Puchły is one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the Narew valley, famous for the revelations of the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Care and numerous healings.