I'm sure that we were not the only people who were completely unaware of the significance that the city of Brest and the Brest Fortress played as World War II unravelled.
As we were researching our visit to Brest to visit family we happened across some mention of the Fortress and since there seemed to be little else in the area we decided to add it to our list of things to do. We spent 4 days in the southwest corner of Belarus in May of 2008 and visited the Fortress twice in that time. The fortress is massive and was occupied by 12,000 soldiers and their families when it was invaded by the German forces from June 22 to 30 in 1941 so it takes some time to wander around and soak it in. There are no guides or plaques describing anything in English so it's best to have a local who's familiar with the fortress tour it with you. It's free of charge and open 24 hours a day.
Behind the Fortress, right next to the fence separating Belarus from Poland, is a museum where a prehistoric village has been excavated. The village is several feet below ground level so you view it by circling it from above. There are a number of artifacts in display cases so you can inspect them at closer range. There is a small charge to enter this museum but you haven't missed much if you choose not to go in.
In 1965 the fortress received the title of Hero Fortress for the 1941 defence. In 2010, Belarusfilm released a film called Fortress of War that dramatically portrays the events of June 22, 1941 and is well worth viewing prior to your visit. The film is in Russian but with English subtitles.
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