Brest And Around: 5 Great Ideas How To Spend 10 Visa-Free Days

We’ve already told you about the Belarusian cultural capital – Grodno. Another magnificent place where a visa is not required for ten days is Brest.

Brest is one of the five most ancient towns in the country. By the way, next year it celebrates its millennium.

Trust us, there is definitely something interesting for you to see there.

Brest Fortress

It is the undisputed number one in the list of Brest’s main attractions. This 19th century defensive complex is a key symbol of Soviet resistance in World War II.

This is exactly the place where on 22 June in 1941 fascist Germany attacked the USSR.

While the Germans planned to capture it in 8 hours, the defensive fortress fought for 22 days.

“I’m dying, but not giving up. Farewell, Motherland.”

This is the inscription made by one of the soldiers on the walls of the fortress during the last days of resistance.

More than 2,000 Soviet soldiers died here. It’s a significant place, sacred place for every Belarusian.

The main entrance to the fortress is a huge concrete five-pointed star.

Stay here for a few minutes to hear how the Second World War was announced in 1941

This is an unforgvable experince even for those who’ve visited the fortress many times.

Down the alley you can reach the square where the main attractions of the fortress are located.

One of them is the Monument of Courage. On its reverse side you will see the reliefs, which depict the real events of the fortress defense. Nearby there are – a 100-meter-high obelisk and eternal fire.

Another iconic sculpture is called “Thirst”.

It’s a poignant reminder of the first days of the war, when the water pipe was put out of order, and the approaches to the river were constantly under fire.

The Kholm Gates are the symbol of the fortress and Brest itself.

The beautiful gates with semi-towers and traces of bullets and shells survived both World Wars.

During the wars, the gates were called Hospital, as it led to the island where the hospital was located.

What is interesting is that no budgetary funds were allocated for the construction of this memorial complex.

It was erected exclusively with the help of the citizens who made voluntarily donations.

For locals the fortress is not only a military monument. In the 11th century there was a large, well-fortified ancient town.

At the moment this town is under a huge glass dome of the archaeological Berestie museum, which is open for visitors.

Railway Station

One may wonder what can be extraordinary in a railway station.

Well, this is probably one the most comprehensive places in the city that can tell you its history.

Built in the late 19th century, the station was one of the most beautiful in the Russian Empire.

However, the building changed seriously in Soviet times.

Brest Enters The List Of 44 Incredible And Undiscovered Destinations In Europe

During that period, a pointed spire and a Soviet star appeared over the facade.

Today you can see the result of the last reconstruction that took place in 2014.

Continue your tour of the railway sights of Brest by visiting the Museum of steam locomotives.

It is located near the main entrance to the Brest Fortress.

There are more than 60 trains from different periods collected in an open area of 29,000m2.

Almost all trains still operate and some of them are even used in the movies.

Sovetskaya Street

Sovetskaya Street is the most important and the most beautiful one in Brest.

No wonder why locals call it Belarusian Broadway.

Walk along it and you will find various cafes, souvenir shops, bars and cinemas.

Besides, it is one of the few places in the city where some historical buildings were preserved.

Just look at the facades, roofs and evening lights!

At the beginning of the street the St. Nicholas Church is located. Originally, it was made of wood and burned down during fire in 1895.

The construction of a new stone temple in the Russian-Byzantine architectural style was finished in 1904.

Many tourists note that the church looks especially beautiful with backlighting at night.

The monument to the 1000th anniversary of Brest is at the intersection of Sovetskaya and Gogol streets.

The 15-meter-high monument was installed 10 years before the actual date.

Important historical images and figures are placed under the veil of the guardian angel.

If you are a wildlife lover, you should drop in the Winter Garde, which is at the beginning of the street.

It’s greenhouse;like area with its own microclimate and diverse species of tropical birds and fish.

It includes three expositions – a zone of tropics, subtropics, and finally, a desert.

Unusual spots

Stay on the same Sovetskaya street till the evening and you’ll see the Brest lamplighter.

Wearing dark blue uniform he lights and extinguishes old kerosene lamps every day.

There are 17 of them on the street.

The time of the lamps lighting coincides with the time of sunset.

In order to make it easier for tourists to navigate, a special clock was installed at the beginning of the street.

Each tourist waits for his to turn to take a photo with the lamplighter straight out of the Andersen fairy tales.

The local legend says that by rubbing a button on his jacket you’ll attract luck and happiness .

Go ahead and you will see a number of surreal street sculptures.

Forged lanterns, cats, bats and a whole galaxy of other characters from the works of the famous writer Nikolai Gogol.

By the end of your walk you’ll come across an unusual forged boot.

Don’t forget not only to take pictures, but also to try it on. The boot is believed to bring you financial prosperity.

Around Brest

Located 100 kilometers from Brest, there is one of the oldest relict forests in Europe called Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The national park is one of the four objects of UNESCO’s cultural heritage in Belarus.

It spreads over 153,000 hectares on the border between Poland and Belarus.

This protected area is the homeland of Belarusian Santa Claus also known as Ded Moroz.

More than 1,000 plant species, including rare and endangered, grow in Pushcha.

There are 59 species of mammals, including the most famous – Belarusian zubrs.

Just 20 kilometers from Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a small town Kamenets.

The main historical attraction is the 13th century watchtower Belaya Vezha.

Althought Belaya Vezha literally means White Tower in Belarusian, it has been brick-red through the ages, never white.

Its name presumably derives from the tower’s proximity to the Belavezhskaya Pushcha Forest.

Read also: Brest and Grodno 10 Days Visa-Free Regime. All You Need To Know

Inside the tower there is a museum, where one can learn the history of a town and buy some souvenirs.

Have a great trip!

Sources: TUT.BY, tripadvisor.com, 34travel.me.