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| Home | Travel | Belarus Tour Guide: Ideas for Your Trip!

Belarus Tour Guide: Ideas for Your Trip!

Brest’s Millennium: Guide to 1,000-year-old Brest and its vicinity

Brest’s Millennium: Guide to 1,000-year-old Brest and its vicinity

Ancient Berestye, imperial Brest-Litovsk, interwar Brest-on-the-Bug, the heroic city of Brest… The city which celebrates its millennium in 2019 and was named the CIS Capital of Culture 2019 has always attracted people with its unique atmosphere. This place is a combination of original architecture from various epochs, fascinating city legends and unusual characters. Just remember the famous Lamplighter who has become a living story of Brest. We would also recommend adding to your tour such places in Brest vicinity as the Brest Hero Fortress and the natural wonder from the UNESCO World Heritage List, Belovezhskaya Pushcha. So different in emotions, experiences and senses, but equally worth visiting, these three sites are true must-see places of Brest Oblast. This small tour is easily accomplished within a ten-day visa-free stay.

THINGS TO SEE IN BREST

Railway Station

The large word "БРЭСТ" (“BREST”) and a spire with a star mark the place of arrivals and departures, the city’s starting point. Brest Railway Station was once the largest and the most beautiful railway station in the Russian Empire, but it was badly damaged during World War II and restored later. From the outside it now looks like Stalin’s skyscrapers of Moscow, while the inside amazes with its rich marble and granite decor.

Soviet Street and Famous Lamplighter

A character who has already become a brand of the city can be seen on pedestrian Sovetskaya Street in the center of Brest. The Lamplighter clad in a blue uniform coat and cap climbs a forged steel ladder and lights real gas street lanterns every evening. The ceremony always attracts crowds of tourists many of whom take a chance to participate in it. According to a city legend, those who rub the Lamplighter’s coat button will have their dearest wish fulfilled. The clock at the end of the alley of lanterns shows the Lamplighter’s “working hours”.

Brest Millennium Monument

The Brest Millennium Monument was erected ten years prior to the city’s actual millennium, in 2009. The monument is a sort of a city model: the 11-meter long high-relief which encircles the base of the monument depicts the most significant historic events from the history of Brest: from the legend of the city’s foundation to Brest-born cosmonaut Pyotr Klimuk. The monument is crowned with an angel of mercy who spreads his wings over the statues representing historical personalities as well as collective images of a chronicler, a mother, and a son.

Brest Academic Drama Theater

The building of the theater combines several architectural styles: functionalism, constructivism, and elements of classical decor. The theater hosts the Belaya Vezha international theater festival which is a must-see for theater lovers. The building is also home to a small museum hall. Although it is not a museum as such, it displays a lot of interesting exhibits: stage requisites, costumes, sketches of scenes, and models of stage decorations.

Alley and Square of Lanterns

Brest is a city of lanterns. These atmospheric street lamps illuminate several places of the city. Apart from Sovetskaya Street, they light Gogola Street which is also decorated with sculptures based on Gogol’s works, and wink at each other to the retro-music in the square of old lanterns on Fomina Street.

Place for Kisses

In short, this place is perfect to become a culmination of a romantic walk or a date. Brest was the first city in Belarus to install the sign “Place for Kisses”. Look out for 21, Dzerzhinskogo Street and you will not miss it.

PLACES TO VISIT IN BREST

Vysotsky Museum

Fans of Vladimir Vysotsky might want to visit luxury suite 209 of the Bug Hotel. The hotel, of course, offers to book a suite but one can simply visit the place where the famous musician stayed twice. Apart from the suite in the style of the 1970s, Vladimir Vysotsky’s fans may visit a museum which boasts the only genealogical tree of the Vysotsky family which proves the Brest-Litovsk ancestry of the great musician as his grandfather and great-grandfather lived there.

Brest Railway Equipment Museum

The Brest Railway Equipment Museum was renovated in the run-up to the city’s millennium and features over 60 real sized trains and a lot of models of railway transport and buildings: styled Belarusian railway stations, models of locomotives and old railway wagons. Some exhibits may seem familiar because functioning trains are featured in films, for example, in “Brest Fortress”.

Local History Museum

Brest Local History Museum has launched the 12 Artifacts project to mark the city’s millennium. Every month of 2019, the museum will for the first time put unique exhibits from its holdings on display. Every artifact is of historical and cultural importance for Brest Oblast and will be displayed only for a week. The first artifact presented to the public was a boxwood comb of the early 13th century with 13 Cyrillic letters carved on it.

Museum of Father Frost and Snowmaiden

Brest resident Anna Kovalyova opened an unusual museum in her house offering every visitor to feel New Year magic. The museum’s collection boasts 400 figures of Father Frost and his granddaughter Snowmaiden. Visitors also learn about the history and traditions of New Year celebrations. A museum tour must be booked in advance.

Municipal Park

Take a walk along alleys and numerous bridges, spend a minute by the lake, have a look over the city from a ferris wheel – Municipal Park is a perfect place to escape the city’s bustle without leaving Brest.

Rowing Canal

The Rowing Canal is a splendid place for sport, walks, and picnics. Locals advise to visit it at sunset and enjoy the gradient colors of the sky reflected in the water surface.

BREST FORTRESS

A huge five-pointed star cut into a concrete block is a portal to the most horrible times of Brest history, the times of heroic deeds and huge losses. The tour of the main island of the fortress, the Citadel, includes:
- the Courage and Thirst monuments, the Bayonet-Obelisk
- Ceremonial Square
- the ruins of the White Palace where the Brest Peace Treaty was signed in 1918,
- the ruins of the Engineering Administration, several rooms of which were designed as the emperor’s suite,
- the symbol of the fortress – the Kholmsky Gate,
- St. Nicholas Garrison Church.

Hospital Island of the fortress is home to the unique archaeological museum Berestye with the 13th century houses. The working St. Mary Nativity Orthodox Convent, and the Bernardine Monastery Ruins are also located there.

Northern Island is less popular but enchanting. The island is covered in plants which hide local places of interest: eastern and western forts, a round lake. The story goes that it appeared in the place where a bomb landed.

Bordering Island is open for visitors provided they come in organized groups and book a tour ten days prior to the visit.

Learn more about the Brest Fortress

BELOVEZHSKAYA PUSHCHA

Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is included into the UNESCO World Heritage List. Europe’s oldest relict forest boasts an incredible range of flora and fauna, developed infrastructure (a network of asphalted pathways gives an opportunity to make a bicycle tour of the forest), and two museums of nature and folk life. Belarusian Father Frost lives here, in his own residence that is among Belarus’ most popular tourist sites.

Learn more about Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Learn more about Father Frost’s Residence

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