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★ Brest Castle, Belarus - castle ..

Brest Castle (Belarus)

★ Brest Castle (Belarus)

The Brest fortress evolving over several centuries from the Slavonic settlement of Berestye, which appeared at the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries, at the confluence of the river Mukhavets to the river bug, on the background of the Islands formed by the rivers. It was rebuilt several times after numerous fires and sieges, was destroyed during the construction of the Brest fortress in the 19th century.


1. Early history. (Ранняя история)

There is only scarce textual data on the site of the castle until the 16th century. The entry in the Chronicle Thietmars 1017:" Caesar comperit, Ruszorum Regem. nilque IBI ad this possessam profecisse”, which is referred to as Berestye" garrison Urbs”. Caesar, i.e. Henry II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire studied in 1017, that the Russian Prince Yaroslav the Wise attacked the Prince of Poland Boleslaw and he gained nothing, but seized the bark. As there is more information in the record, the Word" garrison Urbs” in Latin can mean a fortified settlement or a fortress. The entry 1182 in Chronicle chronica regum SEU original Et principum Poloniae by famous Polish chronicler Vincent Kadlubko says that" Russia qui ingressus primam this aggreditur Brestensium, there viris, Quam Arte AC loci place munitissimam obsidionum arctat angustiis undique”. Here the chronicler says that Brest was the first to be attacked by Casimir II the just, who invaded the land of Rus, Brest offer peak when he was besieged. The chronicler describes Brest as the most protected place of people of the art of fortification and the location, meaning the protection of rivers and their several branches, however, the word" garrison Urbs” in Latin does not give an answer that laid siege to a fortified city or just a kind of fortress. In a document of 1099, written in old East Slavic, the bark is mentioned as the castle”, i.e. proud for the first time. There is an entry in the Russian chronicle dated 1276, which tells about the construction of" the city” and the tower of Vladimir Vasilkovich. The tower was similar to the tower of Kamyanyets on the record. Perhaps it was the save as the tower of Kamyanyets, towering over the castle, but there is little evidence and the tower could not stand, when the Brest fortress was built in the 19th century.


2. The citys castle. (Городской замок)

In 1390, the kings letter of Vladislav II Jagiello, as Grand Duke of Lithuania and king of Poland, granted Magdeburg rights to the city. In the Charter referred to the position of castellan. If there was a castellan before 1390, it is possible to admit that there was a castle in Brest before. However, after 1390, becoming the citys castle, he was not only the site, the fortified military buildings, but in the admin center, a symbol of power. It was an important center controlling the population and their various activities, movements along three major trade routes in Brest. In 1554 the town of Brest was granted the city a coat of arms showing a castle at the confluence of two rivers.


3. Layout. (Макет)

The first inventory of Brest and its castle appeared in 1566. It contains detailed text description and size of the castle allows you to explore its location and spatial arrangement. The first graphic images and plans of Brest and its castle was made in 1657 Erik Dahlberg. One of his cards and panoramic views was published in 1696, in a book written by Samuel von Pufendorf. Charles X Gustav of Sweden was aware of the key position in the Brest and he ordered E. Dahlberg to design an impregnable fortress.


4. Archaeological excavations. (Археологические раскопки)

The first excavations at the former site of the castle was Polish officer Marian Tomas beetle Rybicki in 1938. Some elements of fortification were found. It was necessary to continue the work, but WW2 broke out in 1939, and the results of the work was unknown until 1990-ies. Archaeological excavations in 1968-81, headed by P. F. Lysenko has presented numerous and various objects, remains of wooden structures, household utensils, weapons, which are kept today in the Archaeological Museum Berestye, but the remains of the castle structures was not detected. In 2013, excavations were resumed. There were some results that look promising.

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