Biała Podlaska, is a city in eastern Poland with 58,047 inhabitants . It is situated in the Lublin Voivodeship, having previously been the capital of Biała Podlaska Voivodeship . It is the capital of Biała Podlaska County, although the city is not part of the county . The city lies on the Krzna river.HistoryThe first historical document mentioning Biała Podlaska dates to 1481. In the beginning Biała Podlaska belonged to the Illnicz family. The founder of the city may have been Piotr Janowicz nicknamed "Biały" (Polish for "white"), who was the hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Biała Podlaska was at the time a part of Brześć voivodeship in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (then in union with Poland).In 1569, Biała Podlaska changed hands. The new owners were the Radziwiłł family. Under their rule, Biała Podlaska had been growing for two and half centuries. In 1622, Aleksander Ludwik Radziwiłł has built the fortress and the castle. In 1628, Krzysztof Ciborowicz Wilski established Bialska Academy as a regional center of education (since 1633 it was a branch of the Jagiellonian University, then called Kraków Academy). During this time, many churches were erected, as was one hospital. The prosperity period had finished with Swedish invasion in 1655. Then Biała Podlaska was attacked by Cossacks and Rakoczy armies. The town was significantly destroyed; however, thanks to Michał Radziwiłł and his wife Katarzyna Sobieska, it was rebuilt. In 1670, Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł gives Biała Podlaska town rights and the coat of arms, which depicts archangel Michael standing on a dragon.