The Brest Fortress also known as Brest-Litowsk Fortress is a fortress built in the 19th century on the outskirts of Brest, Belarus.
The defense system is considered the largest fortress in the former Russian Empire and should make it impossible for attacking troops to advance inland.The construction of the fortress began in 1833 on the site of the fortified part of the old Russian Berestye (now Brest) and the Brest castle from the times of the Brest-Litovsk era. This location was chosen due to its successful military-strategic location. The stronghold was supposed to serve as a defensive fortification that would easily hold back the advancing enemies.
The fortress was located on 4 islands formed by the branches of the Mukhavets and Western Bug rivers, as well as by a system of canals. The main defensive center was the Citadel – an island with a two-story closed barracks, the walls of which are two meters wide and almost two kilometers long. The Citadel was connected with the other three islands by drawbridges. By the end of the 19th century, the complex was surrounded by a 32 km ring of forts. At the beginning of the 20th century, the expansion continued with the construction of a second ring of fortifications, which was not completed due to the outbreak of the First World War.
The territory of the complex includes several historical museums and open-air expositions,The total area of the Brest Fortress is about 4 sq. Km where numerous monuments to the heroes of the war are located.The sculptural and archaeological ensemble includes surviving structures, preserved ruins, ramparts and modern monuments.
This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List in the Cultural category on 30 January 2004.Today it is one of the most visited attractions in Belarus.
Access : Coordinates: 52.082, 23.658 / Location of the Brest Fortress , The complex is located at: Address: st. Heroes of Defense of the Brest Fortress 60, Brest 224018, Republic of Belarus./ By public transport : from the Brest bus station, you can take a minibus taxi # 5 to the stop “Museum of Railway Technology”.- From the National Airport “Minsk” to the complex there is an individual transfer.
- The Brest Fortress was awarded the honorary title “Hero Fortress”, an incredible number of books have been written and many feature films were shot, and the Belarusians themselves called it one of the seven wonders of Belarus.
- fortifications: Kobrin, or northern island (the largest), with four curtain walls supporting three ravelins and their gunners / Terespol, or the island of the west, with four points of view / Volinsk, or southern island, with two curtain walls and two ravelins./ In what was the redoubt-casemate, is currently the monastery of Our Lady. The fortress is surrounded by earthen ramparts ten meters thick, with integrated casemates. Five of the eight gates of the fortress are still preserved today:
Cholm Gate (south of the citadel) / the Terespol gate (to the south-west of the citadel)/ the Western or Alexander Gate (north of the Kobrin fortification),
The northwest gate (northwest of Kobrin fortification) / the southern gate (south of the fortification of Volinsk and the hospital island)./ The gates of Brigidsk (west of the citadel), Brest (north of the citadel) and east (eastern part of the Kobrin fortification) were destroyed.
- Kholm Gate:In 1913, the construction of a second ring of fortifications began. Karbychef, Dimitri Michelovitch took part in the work of establishing a project to have a circumference of 45 km but, at the start of the war, it was not finished.
- There are two forts built in the shape of horseshoes: the east and west fort. The western island of the fortress is also called the Terespoler Fortification. The military hospital and a monastery were located on the South Island, the so-called Volhyn Fortress. The remains of the ancient city of Brest were also discovered here, which can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum.
- The sculptural-architectural ensemble of the memorial includes the main monument “Courage”, a bayonet obelisk, a sculpture complex “Thirst”, the place of the ceremony, 3 rows of memorial plaques with burials of the dead on them.
- The “fortress of Brest-hero” memorial complex :In 1971, the Memorial of the sculptor Kibalnikov, Alexande Pavlovich was built on the place called “Ceremonies” and the building of the Brest Defense Museum is adjacent to the ruins of the “White Palace”. The monument, named “Courage! ».In the three-story necropolis, adjacent to the monument, the remains of the remains of 850 men are kept. In front of the ruins of the genius building shines the eternal flame of Remembrance. In the central square have also been preserved the ruins of barracks 333 of the infantry regiment and other defenders and residential barracks.
- In 1876, inside the fortress, following the project of architect David Grimm, the Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas was built./The Brest City Archaeological Museum is also located on the site of the Brest Fortress.
- It is one of the most important war monuments of the Second World War, famous for, first, the Polish resistance against the German invasion of September 1939.
- On February 23, 1992, the museum “Military honor to aviators” was opened./ Next to the ruins of the former engineering department, the Eternal Flame burns, on which the words: “We stood to death, glory to the heroes” are cast. Nearby there is a playground of “hero cities” with capsules filled with the earth of these cities.
Opening hours : The memorial complex “Brest Hero-Fortress” is open daily from 9.00 to 18.00, except for the last Tuesday of the month. Museum opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00. The day off is Monday. Some exhibitions of the complex are also closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Entrance fees: ($ 0.26) / In 2020, the entrance to the territory of the complex is free, and the last Friday of each month is the day of free admission to all expositions.
Ticket price and opening hours are subject to change, check on the official website.
Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / The Brest Fortress also conducts excursions / Good place to glance history!!
Go next : Brest is a border town in the south-west corner of Belarus, near Terespol in Poland.is located on the Via Jagiellonica cultural route.