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Historic background

Brest, born over one thousand years ago, survived numerous invasions, floods, several major fires. Its name changed in the course of 10 centuries. In the early 19th century, a spacious Fortress replaced the old city. A new city with pragmatic street layout was started by Russian developers from scratch 2 km east of the former location. The arrival of two railroads in 1870 assured Brest’s prosperity.

As late as 1911, there were 36 streets and lanes in Brest with the total length 30 km. Houses had no numbers. In the addresses house owner was written instead of house numbers. Paved streets made up 40 per cent. The city's land area, that was officially endorsed in 1911, was about 6 sq. km. The city's boundary line was made up by the railway lines, the river and the Brest Fortress.
In August 1915, when the city was seized by Kaiser Germany, it lay in ruins. There are many German postcards showing the ruins of Brest. Nevertheless after the end of the war the city was rebuilt and even expanded its land area up to 19,7 sq. km in the 1930s. Polish government provided the money to turn the town into the region’s major city. Most streets were paved.
During WW2 the Brest Fortress and the city were severely devastated. It took over 20 years to rebuild the city. The population of Brest has increased steadily throughout the late 20th century. In the 1970s, Brest and its suburbs entered a vigorous period of growth and development. Steady growth and housing development were eliminating the farmlands that once covered much of the area. New suburban and industrial areas were spreading out eastward toward Minsk, southward toward Ukraine.
Today's major building boom is boosting the population in new residential areas. The city is sprawling eastward along Moscow Street, that is the longest street in Brest (9,3 km) and its main traffic artery, that proceeds eastward to the transcontinental highway, running from Paris to Moscow, and westward to Masherov Avenue.
Today Brest covers a land area of 145 sq. km with its extensive network of 775 small and big streets. The city is known for its modern architecture and design, and for its beautiful blending of tree-lined streets, parks, gardens and neighborhoods. That's why we call Brest green. However, today Brest faces the challenges similar to all large urban areas, including pollution, overburdened transportation systems, and a changing economy. Brest has had some success in facing these problems, that is seen even during a stroll across the city. I suggest such a stroll with a cam.
It's impossible for one person to describe all streets of Brest. That's why, I have chosen some major streets, mostly in the Downtown, which were laid out in the mid-19th century.


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