Brest is one of the largest and most beautiful cities in the Republic of Belarus. The city is located 348 km from Minsk, in the south-west of Belarus on the Mukhavets river at its confluence with the Western Bug. Today Brest is a major transportation hub of Belarus, as well as an important transit point on the state border with Poland.
1 – simplified checkpoint “Pererov” (“Bialowieza”)
2 – “Peschatka” (“Polovtsy”) (road)
3 – “Brest” (“Terespol”) (road)
4 – “Brest” (“Terespol”) ( railway)
5 – checkpoint “Brest Airport”
6 – “Domachevo” (“Slovatichi”) (road)
Brest is an ancient city whose history goes back about a thousand years. Berestye is the primar name of Brest was first mentioned in The Tale of Bygone Years in 1019 as a rather large fortified settlement. The city developed as a trade and handicraft center with a fortress. Berestye often became the object of internecine struggle and military clashes. For several centuries the city was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, then went to the princes of Volyn, then to the Polish, was conquered by the Tatars and suffered from the attacks of the Crusaders. To protect against enemies in the XIII-XIV centuries. a stone castle tower was built here. In 1390, the city received Magdeburg Law. It was the second city after Vilnius which received the right to self-government.
XV-XVII centuries became a rich period in the history of Brest. During this period the first printing house in Belarus was founded by Mikołaj “the Black” Radziwiłł and a unique Brest Bible was published. It was in Brest where the first mint and the first school theater was opened in Belarus. However, the most important event of this time was the signing of the Union of Brest in 1596. Which united the Catholic and Orthodox Church on the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
In 1795, as a result of the third division of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Brest became part of the Russian Empire and was named Brest-Litovsk. After the end of the war with Napoleon in 1836, the construction of the Brest-Litovsk fortress was begun in the city. The entire urban development was moved 2 km to the east, and boundary signs were installed between the lands of the city and the military fortress. The construction was carried out on the site of the ancient settlement of Berestye, as a result of which it was completely destroyed.
During World War I, Brest-Litovsk turned into ruins. On March 3, 1918, the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty was signed on the territory of the Brest Fortress. Under which these lands became owned by Germany. But in January 1919 Brest became a Polish city, in 1923 it was renamed Brest-upon-Bug, and only in 1939 the city became part of the USSR.
The period of the Second World War was the most tragic in the history of Brest. On June 22 1941, the Brest Fortress and the city of Brest were the first attacked by German troops. This was the beginning of World War II. Up to the end of July 1941, steadily and courageously, the defenders of the Brest Fortress held defenses. For more than three years Brest was under occupation. During which more than 40 thousand people died. Brest was liberated by the troops of the 1st Byelorussian Front on July 28, 1944. To keep this day in memory, July 28 is City Day. Today Brest is a modern European city with a rich historical past.
Brest is an incredibly attractive city for tourists, here the special atmosphere of cozy streets is combined with grand monuments of architecture and history. All over the world Brest is known primarily due to the memorial complex “Brest Fortress-Hero”. The fortress leaves an indelible impression on guests of the city.