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Brest is a regional city in the south-west of Belarus. The city is located on the border with Poland, therefore it is considered the most European in Belarus. The article will tell you about its history, population and top attractions.

Brief history of Brest

The history of the city begins in 1019, when it was first written about in the Tale of Bygone Years. The city itself is described there, as well as its name, which is most likely associated with the word "birch bark" (the outer layer of birch bark).

Brest was a significant city in ancient times, because here was the intersection of two old Russian trade routes. The city often became a battlefield in numerous wars, so it was often destroyed and rebuilt.

In the 13th century, there was a lively trade in Brest, as well as rich fairs. At the same time, the first Gostiny Dvor would be built here. Gradually, Brest dwellers started exporting such products as grain, leather, fur, hemp, timber.

In the 14th century, Brest was a trade, craft and cultural center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. But development could not continue because of the war of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania against the Teutonic Order. By the way, in the 15th century they signed a peace treaty.

The opening of the first printing house in Belarus was a landmark event for the history of Belarus. Since that time, the Belarusian language has become the official language on the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. All works of art and historically important documents were written on it.

Further, the city is going through the tragic events of the Russian-Polish-Swedish war, the Northern War and others. This led to a decline in population and a decline in handicraft production and trade.

In 1795, as a result of the third partition of the Rzecz Pospolita, Brest-Litovsk was annexed to Russia. The final decision on the construction of the Brest-Litovsk fortress appeared at the beginning of 1829, and after 6 years it was completely rebuilt.

On June 22, 1941, at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the city and the fortress were among the first to be attacked by German troops. Fortunately, in 1945 the Belarusians defeated the Nazi invaders and regained their freedom.

In 1947 city bus traffic was opened. In the 2000s, the city streets are being improved, and large housing projects are being built. Mass housing construction continues.

Population of Brest

According to the census data as of January 1, 2020, 1 million 347.0 thousand people live in the Brest region. Most of them are Belarusians, but among the residents you can see Russians and Ukrainians.

Tourists often come to the Brest region, because here a visa-free entry to the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is approved. If you get such a pass, you can view a guided tour of the Brest region for 10 days.

Districts of Brest

Brest is officially divided into 2 administrative sections: Leninsky in the north and Moskovsky in the south of the city. But the inhabitants of the city conditionally divide it into the following districts: Arcadia, Berezovka, Vostok, Gershons, Bagpipe, Dubrovka, Moshenka, Starye Zadvortsy.

The main attractions of Brest

Brest Fortress

The Brest Fortress is a significant landmark built in memory of those who died for freedom. This is one of the largest tourist attractions in the city of Brest.

Unfortunately, after the war, the fortress could not be restored, but a memorial complex was created on its territory.

Bialowieza Forest

The object, which attracts the attention of thousands of tourists, is one of the most important sights of Belarus. These are the remains of a primeval forest that once stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Bug River and from the Oder to the Dnieper.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the four national parks of Belarus and is the largest forest in Central Europe.

Palace of the Puslovskys in Kossovo

Despite the fact that the Palace has not preserved its original appearance, it continues to attract the attention of travelers. After many years of neglect, this "miniature castle" with 12 towers, symbolizing the months of the year, welcomes guests again. A major restoration is still underway, but everyone can appreciate the beauty of the palace and stroll through the halls that await the return of their former luxury.

Ruzhany castle

The Sapieha Palace in Ruzhany is famous for the uniqueness of its construction and architectural solutions. For centuries, the most beautiful ensemble, which is called the Belarusian Versailles, belonged to the powerful Sapieha dynasty.

In 2008, restoration work was completed in the Palace, so it again invites tourists on interesting excursions with an updated look.

Brest architecture

On the territory of the Brest region, tourists are presented with a large number of architectural monuments and attractions.

Unfortunately, most of the architectural objects were destroyed as a result of numerous wars and tragic events. But the part that we managed to save is actively demonstrated on excursion tours of the region. Among the most popular architectural ensembles: Kamenetskaya Vezha, Palaces in Kossovo and Ruzhany, Church in Ishkoldi, etc.

Official symbols of Brest

The official symbol of Brest is its coat of arms. Currently, the city has the original coat of arms, which adorns not only official documents, but also the streets of Brest.

The flag of Brest is a rectangular panel, which consists of three vertical stripes, two - blue, placed along the edges of the panel and a white stripe in the center, on which the coat of arms of the city of Brest is placed.

Culture and sports in Brest

Belarus can be proud of its athletes on the world stage, and the authorities always support novice athletes. Every year the number of major international tournaments is growing, which is facilitated by the variety of sports sections in schools, as well as facilities of physical culture and sports significance. The largest sports grounds in Brest include the Brest Regional Center of the Olympic Reserve, the Water Sports Palace, sports complexes and schools.

The cultural life of the Belarusian people also does not lag behind the sports one. Objects of art can be enjoyed in the Museum of the Saved Artistic Values or in the Brest Regional Museum of Local Lore.

Transport links in Brest

The Brest region is the largest railway junction in Belarus, because the most important railway lines pass through its territory.

The transit corridor Berlin - Warsaw - Brest - Minsk - Moscow passes through the Brest region, direct routes connect the region with Vilnius and Kiev.

Brest presents a large selection of public transport - anywhere in the city can be reached by bus, trolleybus or tram.