Brest is a city with a great past, without which there would be no glorious present. Preserved architectural monuments, rich museums, houses of prominent people, parks, alleys and squares — all these are the sights of Brest, worthy of the attention of tourists.
Who and why should go to Brest
Those who are interested in military history should visit the Brest Fortress and local thematic museums. In the city, which was the first to take the fascist blow, the events of the Great Patriotic War are well remembered.
For admirers of fine art and local history there are art and ethnographic museums. And unusual street art objects are the best place to get new impressions and impressive shots.
Orthodox churches and Catholic churches are waiting for those who are inspired by religious painting, music and architecture.
This fortification appeared on the site of an ancient castle back in 1833. It consists of barracks, casemates and outbuildings surrounded by a 2‑meter massive wall. In 1913, an additional fortification of the citadel was carried out. During the First World War, the fortress was considered impregnable. On June 22, 1941, she was the first to take the firestorm of the fascist invaders.
Now on the territory of the fortress there are several memorials, the Eternal Flame, thematic expositions and a well-groomed park.
Museum of the Defense of the Brest Fortress
The museum is housed in a barracks that has partially survived and then restored. More than 400 unique exhibits are stored in its funds. The main place is occupied by things related to the Great Patriotic War and the defense of the fortress: personal belongings of soldiers, documents, photographs, weapons, diaries.
Artifacts from the history of the Brest-Litovsk fortress and fortifications preceding it are also presented here. The entire exhibition occupies 10 halls.
Museum “5th Fort”
One of the main attractions of the Brest Fortress is a pentagon with an area of approximately 800 thousand square meters. m. Inside it is a caponier (a structure for firing in two directions), from where an underground passage was laid to the barracks with 11 casemates.
In the early 2000s, the barracks was turned into a museum with an interesting exposition that tells about the soldiers of the tsarist and Soviet armies who served here. Outside there is an exhibition of artillery pieces from the Second World War.
One of the most visited museums in Brest occupies more than 1 km of tracks, on which there is a variety of railway equipment. Railcars, wagons and locomotives are the main exhibits. It is also worth lingering at the colorful clock and the station bell, which once announced the arrival of trains.
Here, anyone can feel like a driver of an old steam locomotive — go inside the cabin, pull the horn and throw a couple of real logs into the stylized firebox.
Museum “Saved Artistic Values”
The museum with a telling name exhibits art objects confiscated by Belarusian border guards in an attempt to illegally export them abroad.
Smuggling impresses with the price, size and cultural significance of the exhibits. These are canvases by Aivazovsky, Vrubel, Eismond, Leger, products of the Faberge house, icons and ancient porcelain vases from China, several thousand years old, as well as antique furniture and other objects of decorative and applied art.
A small museum in a colorful white building under a clay red roof opened at the end of the 20th century. It tells about the history of the city in chronological order: from ancient times to the present.
The exposition occupies 4 halls on two floors. It presents archaeological finds, clothing, household items, jewelry, documents and photographs.
Archaeological Museum Berestye
On the territory of the Brest Fortress there is another unusual museum. This is an excavation of a well-preserved ancient settlement of the 13th century. Tourists can see wooden pavements, foundations, earthenware, stoves, weapons, jewelry and household items of that time in their original form. Archaeological finds are protected by a huge glass dome.
Separately, there is a wooden frame. This is a remake, built according to ancient Slavic technologies. Inside it, you can completely immerse yourself in the peasant life of bygone times.
Regional Museum of Local Lore
One of the largest museums in the country with many branches. More than 170 thousand items and 20 collections are stored in its storerooms. The main building has two permanent exhibitions: “Native Nature”, which tells about the flora and fauna of Belarus, and “Historical” — with artifacts and documents from different eras from ancient times.
Architectural monuments and monuments
Monument to the Millennium of Brest
In the very center of the city, at the intersection of the tourist streets of Gogol and Sovetskaya, there is a monument to the Millennium of Brest. It was installed in 2009 10 years before the anniversary date with donations from the townspeople. The harmonious composition quickly became a local landmark.
The monument is a 5‑meter column. At its top stands the guardian angel of Brest, and in his hands he holds a massive cross. Below are iconic figures — people who left a noticeable mark on the history and development of the city.
The architectural and park ensemble is located in the village of Skokie, about a 40-minute drive from the city. The baroque building was erected in 1777 by order of the statesman Nemtsevich. Today it houses a museum. Tourists are invited to see the authentic interiors of the 18th century, including ceremonial halls and a secular salon.
Part of the building is reserved for the exhibition. It exhibits paintings by local artists. The estate is surrounded by a beautiful park with lawns, alleys and a pond — photo shoots are often arranged here.
Approximately 40 km from Brest there is a defensive watchtower Belaya Vezha. Built at the end of the 13th century, it witnessed many historical events, withstood the attacks of the crusaders, Lithuanian princes and Polish gentry. The height of the building is about 35 m — the picturesque surroundings are clearly visible from the upper observation deck.
St. Nicholas Garrison Cathedral
The current temple on the territory of the Brest Fortress was erected in the middle of the 19th century. Low and squat, it was built so as not to stand out from the background of the garrison buildings. The modest size of the temple is compensated by rich architecture.
The exterior is made in the Byzantine style — the three-aisled basilica is the center of the composition. Inside the cathedral are icons with relics of Nicholas the Wonderworker, Matrona of Moscow and other saints.
Trinity Church in Chernavchitsy
In the suburbs of Brest, in the village of Chernavchitsy, there is the Trinity Church. This bright monument of Belarusian architecture, built in the 16th century, is a mixture of two styles — Gothic and Renaissance. The construction was used not only for religious purposes, but also for defensive purposes.
This is evidenced by the belfry, similar to a tower with an observation deck, narrow loophole windows and thick walls. The Catholic Church is active, and services are still sent in it.
Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
This monument of architecture in the style of late classicism with a triangular pediment appeared in 1856. In Soviet times, it was closed, and then the building was given over to the exposition of the local history museum. It was at this time that the facade of the building was seriously damaged — all decorative elements were dismantled.
In the period of modern history, the temple was carefully restored according to old photographs and descriptions, and an organ was installed. And in 2002, divine services resumed in it. The main shrine of the church is the miraculous icon of the Mother of God. Organ music concerts are also regularly held here.
Holy Resurrection Cathedral
Built in 1995, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, the Holy Resurrection Cathedral is the largest in Belarus. The size of the building, designed in the canons of the Old Russian style, is about 40 meters.
The church consists of two temples: the upper one is the Resurrection of the Lord and the lower one is Our Lady of Kazan. The main interior decoration is multi-colored stained-glass windows. Also, believers come here to venerate the relics of St. John of Kormyansky and the icon of the Tikhvin Mother of God.
St. Nicholas brotherly church
The temple, built in 1906, is dedicated to the memory of the fallen in the Russo-Japanese War. It was built with the money of ordinary people, and Tsar Nicholas II allocated the missing amount from the state treasury.
The structure in a characteristic Byzantine style resembles a ship from a distance. Its bright decoration catches the eye. The inner walls and vaults are also generously painted, and the three-tiered iconostasis is skillfully executed.
St. Simeon Cathedral
One of the most visited cathedrals in Brest has an unusual green color of the facade. The temple was erected in honor of St. Simeon the Stylite, who is revered by this color in the Orthodox tradition. Inside there is an abundance of paintings with many small details. Saints are depicted on the vaults and columns, and graceful cyclical ornaments are depicted on the arches.
Interesting places in Brest
This pedestrian street in the city center has been rebuilt more than once. Natural disasters and political forces have repeatedly changed its appearance. Today it has become a visiting card of Brest. There are cafes, restaurants, bustling life. Almost every building is a monument of architecture. Numerous sculptural compositions are excellent decorations for original photos.
Alley of forged lanterns
In 2013 on the street. Gogol, an unusual attraction appeared — an alley of 30 forged lanterns. They occupy the entire pedestrian part of the street. The most extravagant of them are lanterns in the form of a clown, a loom, a horse and a ship. There is simply no better place for a selfie.
Brest Park of Culture and Leisure
The favorite place of rest for citizens and guests of Brest is the local park of culture and recreation. It was laid at the beginning of the 20th century, when several hundred trees and shrubs were planted, alleys with gazebos and benches were laid out.
Belarusians have carefully preserved and increased their heritage. The park is still neat and attractive. There are attractions, cafes, restaurants and a summer stage, cultural events are held here.
The bizarrely shaped glazed greenhouse is the educational and methodological complex of the local university. However, everyone who wants to enjoy the magnificence of nature and the riot of its colors is allowed here for a fee.
Citruses, exotic agave, yucca, pomegranates, spreading palms, several types of orchids and other plants of southern latitudes grow in abundance in the winter garden. Particularly touching are skillfully made figurines of animals lurking in wild thickets.
The most famous nature reserve of Belarus is located just 65 km from Brest. The territory of the park exceeds 150 thousand hectares of untouched forests, which are home to a variety of fauna, including rare species of animals listed in the Red Book. For lovers of hiking routes, ecological trails of varying complexity and length are laid here.
Visitors can observe roe deer, deer, bison in their natural habitat. If you didn’t manage to meet the inhabitants of Belovezhskaya Pushcha during the walk, you can always see them closely in the spacious paddocks at the entrance to the park.
Not far from Brest is the largest ostrich farm in Europe and the entire post-Soviet space. Here, not only exotic birds are bred to obtain eggs and meat, but they also provide an opportunity to get closer to the flightless birds: feed, ride, and observe their behavior.
The guides will show the enclosures, talk about the diet and habits of ostriches. There is also a shop with farm delicacies on site.