Brest on the border of Poland
Brest is situated in the western part of Belarussian Polessye. The first mention about it belongs to 1017. During many years it was famous as Berestye, Berestei. The town arose in a little island, in a crossing through the Bug River. In 1340 Brest was included into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and after that into Rzechpospolita (the Polish - Lithuanian Commonwealth). In 1490 the town got the right for its self-government and later it became the centre of the region. The unification of Catholic and Orthodox was proclaimed in Brest at the end of the 16th century in the territory of Rzechpospolita under supremacy of Catholic. We know this event as "The Brest Uniya". In 1795 Brest was returned to Russia, the town was transformed into a fortress for defence of the western boards of Russia in 1836 and it was transferred from the banks of the Bug to the Muhavets River. At the middle of the 19th century Brest was famous as a trade town.
The Brest Fortress was founded on the 1st of June in 1836. The territory of the old town was given for its construction. The Citadel is the main fortification of the fortress. It was placed in the central island and the Volyn, the Cobrin and the Terespol fortifications surrounded it. The fortress isn't merely a remarkable military construction; it is also an interesting architectural complex. The Brest fortress got universal fame during the Great Patriotic war, because it took the first blow for itself. The courage of the soldiers of the fortress will always be in the memory of their descendants.
Troyetskiy Catholic Church is one of the oldest monuments of the Belarussian wooden architecture. It was founded at the end of the 15th century. And the prince Radzivill finished the church only at the end of the 16-th century.
An interesting historical monument was kept in Kamenets. It is a sentry tower - "Belaya Vezha " ("the White Tower'). It was built in 1276. Its height is 30 meters. There are underground passages and narrow staircases in the tower. Now there is a museum in it.
Perhaps, that is why neighbouring forests are called 'Belovezhskaya Pushcha " Its area is more than 130 thousand hectares. Flora and fauna of Belovezhskaya Pushcha strike by their variety. There are about 300 types of animals and about 200 types of birds in the natural reserve. Aurochs (European bison) are the pride of the Pushcha. Hunting is allowed for some types of the animals in the natural reserve, but only with licences.
The ancient Byelorussian town of Kobrin is situated at a distance of 50 km from Brest. In 1795 Ekaterina (Katherine) II gave as a present the town to the great general Suvorov. Now there is a museum in the house, where Suvorov lived. A historical monument of the Patriotic war of 1812 was kept in Kobrin. Here on the 15th of July the first victory over the Napoleon's Army was won in the town. That is why the monument was erected.
Today Brest is a large transport and industrial centre. Kitchen-ranges, carpets, decorative fabrics for upholstered furniture are produced in the town. Networks of the railway and waterway are developed in Brest.