Brest fortress
Settlement \ Area
Brest, Brest region
Build time
XIX c.
The distance from Minsk
up to 350 km

Brest Hero Fortress is one of the key monuments in Belarus. Memorial complex was created to immortalize the courage of Soviet soldiers during the World War II. But the history of the Fortress dates back to the late 18th century. Brest became part of the Russian Empire and a new government decided to build fortifications on the new border. Napoleonic war has shown the importance of the construction of the fortress on the site. One interesting fact is that the entire old town of Brest was partly damaged and relocated to the new position 2 km away. An island at the confluence of the Bug and Mukhaviets rivers was chosen to site the Citadel.

This island was circled by two-storied barracks of red brick thick walls. The citadel and three fortifications occupied more than 4 square km. During World War 1 the fortress was occupied by the German army. After Polish-Soviet war it became part of Poland. With the beginning of World War II Brest Fortress was returned to the Soviet Belarus. When the invasion of German troops started in 1941, Brest Fortress turned up to be the very first target, because of its geographical position. On 22nd of June the siege of the Fortress commenced and lasted for more than a month.

The defenders of the Fortress struggled bravely. The German troops used artillery mortars with 2 tons shells for bombardment. Therefore, deep pits were left all over the surface of the fortress. They were used as places to dump the dead corpses. After the war the memorial was created here to commemorate their act of bravery. Since 1965 The Brest Fortress bears the title of Hero Fortress. The complex includes the barracks, gunpowder bunkers, forts, monuments, an obelisk, the Museum of the Brest Fortress Defense and Ceremonial Square. The Eternal Flame of Glory has been created to the memory of the descendants of the brave defenders of the fortress.

Photo: Nastya Quende