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“A necessary experience”

Memorial Complex Brest Hero-Fortress
Ranked #1 of 41 things to do in Brest
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Brest Fortress (the Brest-Litovsk Fortress) was one of the fortresses built in 1830-40s to strengthen the western borders of the Russian Empire. It was commissioned on April 26, 1842 and was considered as one of the strongest European fortresses of that period. However it wasn't tested in real battles for a long time. During the World War I the garrison was evacuated according to the order of the High Command and the Fortress was used as a Headquarters of Kaiser's Germany Eastern Front. After October Socialist Revolution Russia became Soviet. On the territory of the Brest Fortress the Soviet government signed the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty with Germany and its allies (March 3, 1918), declaring the end of the WWI between them. After the Soviet-Polish war the Fortress ceded to Poland and was used as a military cantonment of the Polish Army. When the World War II erupted the Polish garrison was defending the Fortress from German aggressors for 3 days, but had to leave it. In September 1939 the Brest Fortress became Soviet. Two military divisions of the Red Army were stationed here. The Western Bug river flowing through the Fortress became a new borderline between Germany and the Soviet Union. On June 22, 1941 Germany invaded the USSR all along its borders. Units of Wehrmacht attacked the Fortress at 4.15 in the morning and surrounded it by 9 a.m. About 4.000 Soviet soldiers and commanders had to engage in battle with the enemy, having no opportunity to leave the besieged Fortress. The Fortress' Defence was the defence of its separate centres without Headquarters. Only in Citadel (the Central island) the defenders managed to create the united command on June 24, 1941. By the end of June most of the Fortress' territory was controlled by the Wehrmacht, though some defence sectors fought on till July, 12 (the Eastern Redoubt). The last known defender of the Brest Fortress Major P.Gavrilov was taken prisoner of war on July 23, 1941 - on the 32nd day of the war. But there were also other defenders. One of them used his bayonet to the rifle to write his last words on the brick wall of the barracks: "I'm dying, but I'm not surrendering. Farewell to the Motherland. 20/07/41".The Brest Fortress abundantly poured with the blood of its defenders became a sacred place for the people of the USSR. It became a symbol of courage, fortitude and military valor of a Soviet soldier. For the mass heroism shown during the defence, it was awarded the title of the Hero-Fortress (May 8, 1965). To commemorate the perished defenders it was decided to build a Memorial Complex. It was designed and constructed by the group of Soviet architects and sculptors with A.Kibalnikov at the head. The opening ceremony was held on September 25, 1971. The Memorial Complex "Brest Hero-Fortress" is a national shrine of the Republic of Belarus. More than 21 mln people from 120 countries around the world have already visited it. So driving through Brest be sure to see it!
Reviewed April 17, 2013

Simply the most impressive Soviet War memorial of the lot. And the back-story of the defenders' ultimate fate is too awful to understand.

Thank davideast2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexei_M_15, Manager at Memorial Complex Brest Hero-Fortress, responded to this reviewResponded April 18, 2013

Dear visitor! We are grateful for your appreciation of our memorial.
Be sure to come back!

Regards,
Alexei Molochnikov

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 - 74 of 910 reviews

Reviewed March 15, 2013

OUr WWII was nothing like the WWII these guys had. It's like two different wars and I guess it was in some strange ways. Look around and listen (A guided tour is well recommended).

2  Thank Trevor J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexei_M_15, Manager at Memorial Complex Brest Hero-Fortress, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2013

Thank you for your review! The WWII was a tragedy for people all over the world, taking more than 50 mln lives. The losses of the Soviet Union in that war were 26.6 mln. An enormous number and price the USSR paid to survive. That's why the memory of those events is so carefully preserved in the countries of the post Soviet Union. But we don't forget our allies who helped us to withstand that war. And that is what we really appreciate.
Be sure to visit us again!

Regards,
Alexei Molochnikov

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Reviewed March 10, 2013

We visited Brest fortress in may, as part of our 2 month roundtrip in Eastern Europe. During this period we visited a lot of sites which have to do with WWII / Great Pratriotic War.

The entrance is an amazing concrete block, place on the walls of the fortress. When you walk under it, you hear militairy music through the speakers.

We walked around for about 3 hours. The statues of the thirsty soldier and the immense statue named "courage", with the encravings on the backside, made quite an impression. The Russians fought heroic fights against the Nazis.

The church is fully restored and is beautiful. The entire complex is very big and we loved to walk to the quit areas and get a good look at all the ruined walls of the complex.


It would be great if more translation to English would be made. I don't speak of read any (Bela)Russian.

But the total experience was very good.

1  Thank M4rtinB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexei_M_15, Manager at Memorial Complex Brest Hero-Fortress, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2013

Thank you for the detalied review! We're glad you liked the Brest Fortress. And for your future visits we want to inform you that there's also a Museum of the Brest Fortress Defence on the territory of the Memorial. It covers the history of the Fortress including its most dramatic war period. Though we have no opportunity to translate all the annotations to the exhibits into English, you can take an English guided tour (1 h 30 m) which includes the Museun and the territory of the Fortress as well!
Be sure to come to us again!

Regards,
Alexei Molochnikov

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

Impressive statues and architecture.

Rest stop before you head on to Poland border post.

We were not allowed to eat or picnic withing the fortress itself, and there are only limited snacks to buy from vendors.

http://www.belarus.by/en/travel/belarus-life/brest-fortress
http://www.belarusguide.com/cities/castles/Brest_Fortress.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brest_Fortress

Thank Kevin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

If you are in Brest you must come to visit the 'Hero Fortress' of the town. There is a museum inside the main complex which describes the struggles of the heroes who fought against the Nazi invaders but I do not recall there being any English descriptions, so if you do not have a good command of the Russian language I would recommend getting a local tour operator to give you a guided tour.

There entire fortress is a memorial to the brave souls who fought and perished here during World War 2, and there are many striking soviet statues and monuments to view including the 'Bayonet' next to the eternal flame (which is never extinguished to honour the heroes). There are also some tanks and examples of soviet artillery that you can touch and pose with.

The treaty of Brest-Litovsk was also signed in a building on the site of the fortress, which marked the exit of Russia from the First World War.

It is about a 15-20 minute walk from the town centre and well worth a visit.

Thank oh-noes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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