|• Total||3.68 km2 (1.42 sq mi)|
|• Density||770/km2 (2,000/sq mi)|
Knyszyn [ˈknɨʂɨn] is a town in north-eastern Poland, 16 miles (26 km) northwest of Białystok. It is situated in the Podlaskie Voivodeship (since 1999), and was formerly in the Białystok Voivodeship (1975-1998).
A part of Podlaskie, it belonged for many centuries to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was the property of Court Marshall of Lithuania Michael Glinski until confiscated and passed to the Grand Chancellor of Lithuania Mikołaj Radziwiłł in 1507. In 1569 it was annexed by the Polish crown. In 1795 it was annexed to Prussia; in 1806 it was annexed to Russia, and in 1919 it returned to Poland.
From 1939-1941 the Soviet Union controlled the area, and afterwards the German Nazis took control after expelling the Soviets from Poland, breaking the pact that the Germans and Soviets had signed.
Knyszyn had a Jewish population of nearly 2000 until the Nazis invaded the area, after which most of Knyszyn's Jews were killed.
The royal stud at Knyszyn
Knyszyn was the favorite residence of King Sigismund II of Poland, and was the Polish court's main base for hunting expeditions into the nearby virgin forests. In the 1560s the king maintained a royal stud of over 3000 horses in Knyszyn, including large numbers of Arabian horses, among the first to be bred in northern Europe. Sigismund II died in the town in 1572, after which the royal property rapidly fell into neglect.
Few signs of the former royal residence and extensive studs remain aside from foundations, which are poorly marked.
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