Brest Belarus
Belarus Cities - Brest Oblast

Brest, Belarus - Are you ready to dive into short Video Tour?

Brest was first mentioned in the chronicles in the year 1019 under the name of Biarestsie. Due to the efforts of experts, a fragment of wooden Biarestsie survived from the early centuries of its existence has been preserved, and it is currently on display in the museum pavilion.

Brest is situated in a very convenient position for trade at the junction of different countries and cultures. In 1390, Brest was the first among the contemporary Belarusian towns granted the Magdeburg Right for self-government. The town was in its prime in the period between the 16th and early 17th centuries. In 1553, a Calvinist printing house was launched; it printed one of the best Renaissance books in Belarus - the Brest Bible. In 1596, the unification of Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christianities (Union) was proclaimed by the majority of Orthodox bishops of Belarus and Ukraine at the Brest Church Assembly. It was really an epic-making event. That had marked the beginning of the Uniate Church that existed in Belarus for more than two centuries.

In the years of flourishing many stone temples, monasteries, palaces of the nobles and town-dwellers were constructed in Brest. Natural landscape added a special charm to the town: large and small islands twinned round with the arms of the interflowing rivers - the Zapadny (Western) Buh and the Mukhavets. After the partition of Rzeczpospolita, it was decided to transform the town into a fortress of the Russian Empire on its western boundaries. In 1830s the old buildings were pulled down for the construction of a fortress in the place. That gave rise to new Brest with a different fortune and different traditions. The fortress witnessed many important historical events of the 20th century. Thus, in the year 1918 the well-known Brest Pact was signed in the White Palace, while in 1939 and 1941 the fate of the town was decided in the battles for the fortress.

After World War II Brest became the "key gate" of the Soviet Union. Another sudden change of history occurred in the vicinity of Brest on December 8,1991, when the Heads of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement on dissolution of the USSR and establishment of the Common-wealth of Independent States in the government residence Viskuli.