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It is one of the last and largest remnants of immense primeval forests that once covered much of northeastern Europe. The Bialowieża Forest was designated a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage site in 1979. The Bialowieża Forest spans 141,885 hectares across the edge of Poland and Belarus. The entire Belarusian area is known as the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, while the Polish side and inner core of the forest is strictly protected as The Bialowieża National Park.