Siemiatycze [ɕɛmʲaˈtɨt͡ʂɛ] (Podlachian: Simjatyčy, Ukrainian: Сім'ятичі Simiatychi, Belarusian: Сямятычы Siamiatyčy) is a town in eastern Poland, with 15,209 inhabitants (2004). It is situated in the Podlaskie Voivodeship (since 1999); previously it was in Białystok Voivodeship (1975–98). It is the capital of Siemiatycze County.

Ascension of the Virgin Mary Church
Ascension of the Virgin Mary Church
Flag of Siemiatycze
Coat of arms of Siemiatycze
Coat of arms
Siemiatycze is located in Poland
Coordinates: 52°25′38″N 22°51′45″E / 52.42722°N 22.86250°E / 52.42722; 22.86250
Country Poland
CountySiemiatycze County
GminaSiemiatycze (urban gmina)
Established15th century
Town rights1542
 • MayorPiotr Siniakowicz
 • Total36.25 km2 (14.00 sq mi)
 • Total15,169
 • Density420/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)+48 85
Car platesBSI

The history of Siemiatycze dates back to the mid-16th century, when the village was part of the Podlasie Voivodeship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1542, King Sigismund II Augustus granted town charter to Siemiatycze, and with the 1569 Union of Lublin, it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

For centuries Siemiatycze remained property of several Polish-Lithuanian magnate families. The town, conveniently located along the Bug River, and near local administrative centers at Drohiczyn and Mielnik, became a popular market place, where farmers sold their produce. Disastrous Swedish invasion of Poland (1655-60) did not bring widespread destruction to Siemiatycze. The town continued to prosper, at the expense of other municipalities of the region of Podlachia, all of which burned to the ground by the Swedish, Transilvanian and Russian invaders.

In the 18th century, Siemiatycze was among most developed towns of the region. At that time it belonged to the Sapieha family, which founded the town hall, hospital, synagogue, Christian monastery, palace with a museum and other buildings. In 1807 Siemiatycze was annexed by the Russian Empire, and during January Uprising, the Battle of Siemiatycze took place here, after which most of the town was destroyed, together with the Jabłonowski Palace, which has never been rebuilt.

Siemiatycze was to a large extent destroyed during World War II, and its significant Jewish community was almost completely exterminated by Germans in the Holocaust. After the war, the population of the town shrank to 4,000.

International relationsEdit

Twin towns — Sister citiesEdit

Siemiatycze is twinned with:

Coordinates: 52°27′N 22°53′E / 52.450°N 22.883°E / 52.450; 22.883