Wanderlust Wednesday: Brest, Belarus

Wanderlust Wednesday is a series where I revisit a past travel adventure and memory. In this edition, we take a look at my time in Brest, Belarus.

WW - 2012 - Minsk 003

Neither Brest nor Belarus was high-up on my travel bucket list. But, when I had the opportunity to pass through on my travels between Russia and Poland in 2012, I figured it was a good opportunity to see a country I wouldn’t otherwise explore.

Like many other times in my life when I thought “why not!” this turned out to be a fantastic experience.

Belarus was not at all what I was expecting; the capital city, while still very influenced by its communist past, was much more modern and beautiful than I could have imagined.

On our way out to the Polish border, we took a stop in Brest… I know, I had never heard of Brest either, but it turned out to be a very cool stop along the way.

Pictured above is the entrance to the Brest Fortress. This “19th-century Russian fortress is one of the most important Soviet World War II war monuments commemorating the Soviet resistance against the German invasion on June 22, 1941 (Operation Barbarossa). Following the war, in 1965 the title Hero-Fortress was given to the Fortress to commemorate the defence of the frontier stronghold during the first weeks of the German-Soviet War. It was then part of the Byelorussian SSR. The title Hero-Fortress corresponds to the title Hero City, that was awarded to an eventual total of twelve Soviet cities. Brest Fortress is situated at a height of 135 meters.” (Wikipedia).

Spending an hour or so wandering through this war memorial was like taking a step back in time; the citadel walls were littered with bullet holes, and as you walked through the entrance pictured above,  you were greeted by “the call signs of the Central radio station of the Soviet Union – the melody “the Song about the Native land” by composer I. Dunaevskiy, by J. Levitan’s voice which notifies of the treacherous attack of the fascist Germany on the USSR, by the song “Sacred war” by composer A. Aleksandrov, by bombardment, and shooting sounds.” (brest-fortress.by).

A bit eery, but cool all the same.

Have you been to Belarus? What did you see?

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