Hajnówka is a town on the edge of the Białowieża Primeval Forest, which has developed in recent years as a thriving tourist center. It is also an important center of Belarusian culture. One of the most famous modern Orthodox churches is located in the village.
Since the Middle Ages, the Białowieża Primeval Forest was a hunting ground for Polish kings. At that time, one of the royal watchtowers was located in the area of today's Hajnówka. The town was founded in the mid-nineteenth century as a place of residence for foresters and their families. In 1888, the Białowieża Primeval Forest was incorporated into the tsarist estates and a railway was brought here shortly after. The settlement developed at that time primarily as a forest work center. Lumberjacks and workers employed in the forest lived here. Logging also continued in the interwar period, when sawmills operated here and a narrow-gauge railway transporting wood was opened.
Today's Hajnówka has mostly modern buildings, largely made up of blocks of flats. Among them, the unusual shape of the contemporary Holy Trinity Cathedral stands out. Near the town, in the Krynoczka wilderness, there is also the 19th century wooden St. Maccabees. Several factory buildings from the interwar period and the modernist building of the Forester's House have also been preserved.
The biggest attraction of Hajnówka is the narrow-gauge Hajnówka-Topiło railway. Formerly used to transport wood, it now carries tourists to the forest wilderness in the Białowieża Primeval Forest. In the city there is also the Park of Miniatures of Podlasie Monuments and the Museum of Blacksmithing and Locksmiths. There is also a Belarusian Culture Center with a museum devoted to the history of Belarusians in the Hajnowka region.