Cities and towns, like people, have their own unique characters and their own unique fate. It refers to Brest – one of the most ancient Belarusian towns. It treasures a history of one thousand years and connects the past and the present like a strong bridge.
Having been founded at the place of confluence of two rivers, Brest acquired the status of a border town with its advantageous location at the crossroads of routes in the early Middle Ages. This fact determined the fate of the town for many centuries ahead. Brest combined remarkable events of different eras and sociopolitical paradigms in its past. It became a key point of history on more than one occasion and appeared in many European Annals.
The town on the Bug River drew attention of many conquerors, which often turned it into a scene of furious fighting, predetermined the heroic and tragic pages of its history. The town repeatedly changed the rulers, combined religions, customs and cultural traditions of the Belarusian, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Jewish people.
As one of the main towns of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later an important centre of the United Commonwealth of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Brest put its glorious name into the Chronicles of various European countries and nations.
At the close of the XIV century, Brest was the first Belarusian town to receive the Magdeburg Rights – the privilege of self-government. It was the place where the large-scale Battle of Grunwald was planned, the one that led to the defeat of the powerful Teutonic Knights.
In 1553, the first Belarusian printing house was established, the place where the Brest Bible or the Radziwill Bible, a monument of book printing, came into existence. In 1918, in the White Palace of the Brest Fortress, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed; the Peace Treaty greatly influenced the course of World War I and the post-war settlement in Europe.
In June 1941, the town appeared to be on the line of the main attack of Hitler’s troops. The heroic defence of the Brest Fortress has been written in golden letters in the history of the Great Patriotic War and has become a symbol of unprecedented heroism, strength and commitment to military duty. Within a short period of time, Brest recovered from the effects of war, continued to grow and progress. In the latter half of the XX century, it turned into a city with well-developed industrial capacities and became a home town for more than 340 thousand people.
WELCOME TO BREST!
These days, Brest is a large administrative, industrial and cultural centre of Belarus; it is located on the border of two powerful economic associations – the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Economic Union. Present-day Brest is a large industrial and transportation cluster significantly contributing to the regional economy. It has broad international ties and maintains its high investment potential.
The city with a history of one hundred years is a cultural tourist attraction, an interesting and cosy place for travelers. The Argophilia European Tourist Web Portal included Brest in the Top-6 cities to visit with children. Today citizens of dozens of countries of the world have several opportunities to visit Belarus in the simplified order. Such travel can be organized thanks to the visa-free regimes existing in Belarus. On the territory of Brest and Grodno regions there is the tourist and recreational joint area "Brest — Grodno" where it is possible to be without visas in the tourist purposes up to 15 days for citizens of more than 70 countries. The 30-day visa-free regime is also available to foreign citizens. Since October 17, 2021, the visa-free entry procedure to Belarus for a period of no more than 30 days and departure from the country has been extended, in addition to the Minsk National Airport, to the checkpoints «Brest Airport», «Vitebsk Airport», «Gomel Airport», «Grodno Airport», «Mogilev Airport».
The “Brest Hero-Fortress” Memorial Complex is a landmark of the city. The guests of the regional centre will also be interested in the “Berestye” Archeological Museum, the Museum of the Saved Artistic Values, the City History Museum and the unique Railway Museum.
Four Orthodox churches, St. Simeon Cathedral, St. Nicholas Garrison Cathedral, St. Nicholas Church, Holy Resurrection Cathedral, and Catholic Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross are registered in the State List of Historical and Cultural Values of Belarus.
In the city, you can find a Recreation and Leisure Park, two theatres and several cinemas. Traditionally, the International Theatre Festival, “Belaya Vezha”, is held in Brest in September, and the Classical Music Festival, “January Music Nights”, is held in January.
Besides, Brest is a perfect place where you can start your trip to the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park with its relic forest, bison, as well as the Residence of Belarusian Father Frost.
The city can offer all necessary facilities for those who prefer a healthy lifestyle. International sporting competitions are held at the Ice Arena, Rowing Canal, Athletics Arena and other sports facilities which meet the highest international standards.
More than ten hotels, numerous bars and restaurants, casinos and nightclubs are at visitors’ disposal.
All of these things make Brest not only an advantageous business site, but also a convenient place for comfortable living, culture-oriented recreation and enjoyable entertainment.