The museum exposition

Nowadays the existing exposition is placed in 10 halls of the second floor, in foyer, in the anteroom of 1st floor, and also in exhibition hall by area of 146.7 м2, by Kholm gate of the Citadel.


The first hall:

1zal«The history pages of the Brest-Lithuanian fortresses of 19th – beginning of 20th centuries» also briefly discloses the history of ancient «Berestje»

During its thousand-year history the name of the town and the location varied, but the interest to a place where the construction of a world famous fortress was to take place always has stayed the same.

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk signed on March, 3 1918 in the White palace of Brest fortress, connected it with the major events of World War I.

The copies of paintings by the Polish artist Martin Zalessky «The Brest-Litovsk Fortress of 1840», the inset board of 1836, the symbolical key of the fortress, the breadboard model, mascarons and the fragments of military armature, the silver Cross of St. George of the 4th degree, a cross worn next to the skin of military men of the Brest-Lithuanian garrison of the beginning of the 20th century are the symbol of the hall and the epoch about which it narrates.

Virtual tour of the hall № 1

The second hall:

2zal«Brest and Brest fortress in 1918-1941»

The hall exposition is devoted to the history of the fortress and the city during the interwar period (1918-1941).

The international agreements the Peace of Riga of 1921 and the treaty on non-aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union of August, 23 1939 determined the history and the life of the Western Belarus, the Brest-on-the-Bug and the Brest fortress of that period.

The basic idea of the hall is a narration about local inhabitants, united by spiritual roots with Byelorussians of the eastern areas, but legal citizens of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Among the materials about fates of officers and sub-officers of the Polish army, the participants of the defense of September, 1939: General of the brigade K.Plisovskij, Lieutenant colonels J.Sosabovskij and A.Horak, Captain V.Radzishevskij, we can see the fates of Private soldiers D.Ivanchuk, G.Ignatovich, M.Chizh and others.

Virtual tour of the hall № 2

The third hall:

3zal«Rise, Great Country!»

The hall exposition reveals prewar conditions in Brest Garrison and the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.

Visitors learn about prewar conditions, service, the family lives of command and commanding structure, peering into a photo, reading prewar issues of newspapers, letters, getting acquainted with interior of the reconstructed living room, studying samples of arms of Red Army.

Replacing light tones of a prewar time in the hall registration, black and grey lead a visitor into the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. For more than fifty years the alarm clock with arrows stopped during the first hours of the war and the scorched tree from Volynsk Fortification has been the symbol of this tragedy. The exhibits presented here tell about the courage of frontier guards and soldiers of the 62nd Brest fortified areas, who were the first to encounter the enemy.

Virtual tour of the hall № 3

The fourth hall:

4zal«The warfare in Brest district during the first days of the war. The defence of the fortress. The battles on Terespol and Volyn fortifications»

The hall exposes the warfare of the units of the 4th army on the Brest-Baranovitchi direction, frontier battles which took place to the north and to the south from Brest and begins the account of the defence of the fortress. Both the documents of the participants of the events from the Soviet side and the photographs received from Germany during the last years help to reveal the objectivity of the portrayal of the events.

The dummy fortress of 1941, landscape and pictorial photographs, articles from excavations, manikins in the uniform of the Red Army private soldiers and the army of the Wehrmacht begin the narration about the defence of Brest Fortress and specifically reveal the course of the defence on Terespol and Volyn fortifications.

Virtual tour of the hall № 4

The fifth hall:

5zal«The battles on Kobrin fortification»

Such evidence of the tragedy of families as the objects found in the area of dwelling houses, where the families lived, a 45 mm gun of the model of 1937, pictures and household items of multinational garrison make it possible to trace by separate areas the course of defence of both Kobrin fortification and the whole fortress.

Eastern fort remained one of the last centres of resistance on this fortification. The banner of the 393rd separate anti-aircraft artillery battalion, saved by the defenders of the fort during the battle days, the Hero of the Soviet Union letter of commendation given to the head of the defence of East fort Major Peter Mikhajlovitch Gavrilov, who was awarded for the defence of Brest fortress, emphasize the role and the value of the battle for the fort.

Virtual tour of the hall № 5

The sixth hall:

«The defence of the Citadel»6zal

During the first hours of the war the assault group from the 45th German infantry battalion stormed into the Citadel through Terespol Gate and occupied the club of the 84th rifle regiment. One of the bright exhibits about the first fightings is the woodcarving «The First Hour of the War» by the Brest artist Yurij Chernev, 1985.

After numerous attempts to establish contact with higher command, on June, 24 1941 the meeting of the commanders (and politic workers) took place in the casemate near Brest Gate. The Headquarters were created under the command of Captain I.N.Zubatchev and Regimental Commissioner Y.M.Fomin. The documental confirmation of this fact is the remains of a battalion radio station, which transmitted plain text preliminary calls «I am fortress, I am fortress. We are fighting!» and the pages of Order Nr 1, found in the ruins of the fortress casemate.

The Red Army medallions, the copies of the leaflets of the enemy with the appeal to yield, riddled pots and flasks, handrails of the Bridge over the river Mukhavets with numerous breaches, inscriptions «We will die but we will not leave the Fortress», «Dying with no shame» symbolize the courage and persistence of the Citadel defenders.

Virtual tour of the hall № 6 

The seventh hall:

«The defence of the Citadel». «The last centres of resistance»7zal

The fragment of the bricks melted by flamethrowers, the sculpture «We are fighting to the bitter end» by Alexander Rybkin, the inscription «I am dying but not yielding! Farewell to Motherland. 20/ V11 – 41» are the logical ending of the narration about the defence of the Citadel, the last centres of the resistance of Brest fortress, the acceptance of the significance of the battles for the fortress by the enemy.

The image of the mother, whose son was killed in the battle for the fortress (the photo by P.Y.Ryabova) is the symbol of the Grief of the mothers who lost their sons in that war and in other wars, the symbol of our common losses and bereavements, of the eternal reproach to everyone who is responsible for wars.

Virtual tour of the hall № 7

The eighth hall:

«At the main stages of war. Liberation»8zal

Those defenders of the fortress, the participants of the frontier battles in Brest district, who were destined to survive in 1941, were going along the paths of the Great Patriotic War.

Numerous awards and publications in front-line and central newspapers tell about the fates of Brest garrison warriors, who became the participants of Leningrad, Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk defence actions.

Photographs, captives’ documents, name tags of Brest garrison warriors driven to Germany and shot civilians are the evidence of fascist’s atrocity in the occupied territory.

Great attention is paid to guerilla movement in Brest district.

The banners of some formations and units, awarded Brest honourable title, marshal and general tunics, arms, personal articles of private soldiers and generals reveal the image of the liberator of the motherland.

Virtual tour of the hall № 8

The ninth hall:

«Great Victory»9zal

A short inscription on the wall of the Reichstag «Brest – Berlin. Lieutenant Sidorov…» conveys the main idea of the hall and the whole long way of the Great Patriotic War.

A replica of the Banner of Victory, a soldier’s all-weather raincoat, a helmet and arms of the winners in the upper part of the hall symbolize the triumph of the salute in honour of the completion of fascism defeat and the memory of the dead.

The surrender document of fascist Germany, banners of the Wehrmacht units, which were thrown down and placed at the pedestal of the Mausoleum at Victory Parade present a figurative completion of the Great Patriotic War, many participants of which ended World War II with the defeat of Japan and taking part in the Nuremberg Trials of 1946.

Virtual tour of the hall № 9

The tenth hall:

«In memory and heart»10zal

The exhibits of the hall make it possible to learn, to feel and to understand the tragic events of 1941 and to confirm that the memory of them lives in the hearts of the post-war generations.

Books, shots of the documental and feature films, photographs of scenes of performances and paintings indicate that the deed of the defenders of the Citadel upon Bug inspired and has been inspiring composers, poets, artists and photojournalists.

In the centre of the hall there is Brest fortress banner and such blue ribbons as the medal Gold Star and the Order of Lenin, which the fortress was awarded in 1965. The civil deed of the writer S.S.Smirnov, who told the world about the deed of the defenders of Brest fortress, is covered in the exposition in detail.

Numerous presents and souvenirs in the show-cases of the hall were handed over by the representatives of the delegations, who have visited the fortress.

Documents, photos about the complete overhaul and restoration of the memorial are the confirmation of the succession of the Eternal Flame lit by the 1st secretary of CC CPB P.M.Masherov at the opening of the memorial on September, 25 1971 (flame is represented in the hall exposition).

Virtual tour of the hall № 10

The sites on the ground floor and on the 1st floor of the museum are used for temporal exhibitions. The themes of the exhibitions are connected with the main theme of the exposition. Apart from that, exhibitions are created on the new themes, with a prospect of including separateexhibition complexes into the permanent exhibition.

Express-exhibitions which make it possible to show the collection of the museum articles more particularly, to react promptly to the most important events in the life of museum and the country, are practised at anniversary and memorial dates.

Mobile exhibitions which enable wide public to get to know the main themes of the museum are of great value. 

The exhibition «Cold and small arms of 18-20 centuries»

gunThe exhibition «Cold and small arms of 18-20 centuries» was opened on the basis of the fund collection, which had been composed for more than 50 years. The exposition was renovated in 2005 and samples of the arms and ammunition from 13 countries formed its basis.

The portraits of its inventors of the epoch of Peter I, the Great Patriotic War of 1812, World War I and World War II, large-sized photos of the battles of XYIII-XX centuries make it possible to trace the evolution of the development of arms in chronological frames, to feel that people, creators of the cold metal and its users, are always at the bottom of it.

Virtual tour of the exhibition