Berestye Archeological Site




Location: Brest, Belarus

Volynskoe ukreplenie of the Brest Fortress

Open: 9am- 6pm

Closed: Monday


Description of Berestye Archeological Site

Berestye Archeological Site is an abandoned medieval Slavic settlement that gave rise to a city of modern day Brest, Belarus. Berestye Archeological Site is one of the best preserved archeological sites that offers and an unique look into lives of common people. Berestye is a medieval settlement that dates back to the 13th century. Slavic tribes settled a promontory formed by the rivers of Western Bug and Mukhavets Rivers. This natural boundaries on one hand offered protection from attacks. At the same time rivers served as sources of fish and natural highways for trade with neighbors. The site of Berestye was largely abandoned in the 14- 15th century due to encroaching marshlands. Residents didn't completely left the area, they simply moved to a safer location thus keeping the city of Berestye and later Brest alive.
Berestye Archeological Site was excavated in 1968- 81 under supervision of Dr. P.F. Lysenko of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences. Archeologists discovered remains of 28 log cabins along with wooden log walkways. Berestye covered at least 1118 square meters. Additionally they discovered over 1400 artifacts of daily lives. Berestye Archaeological Museum was opened on March 2, 1982.


The Berestye museum is based on the unearthed remains of the old town of Brest, the construction of a handicraft settlement of the 13th century. On the territory of "Berestya" at a depth of 4 m, archaeologists excavated streets paved with wood, the remains of buildings for various purposes, located on an area of ​​1118 m². The exposition presents 28 residential and utility log buildings - one-storey log cabins from coniferous logs (including two of them survived for 12 crowns). Wooden buildings and pavement parts were preserved with specially developed synthetic substances.

Around the opened ancient settlement there is an exposition dedicated to the way of life of the Slavs who inhabited these places in ancient times; archaeological finds made during excavations are presented: products made of metals, glass, wood, clay, bones, fabrics, numerous decorations, dishes, parts of weaving machines. The entire exposition is housed in a covered pavilion of 2,400 m² of modern architecture, built of concrete, glass and aluminum. About 60 thousand people visit the museum annually.

At the highest state level, a decision was made on the reconstruction of the museum, which will last from 2017 to 2019 and which is dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of Brest. The reconstruction envisages updating the museum's exposition, replacing the roof, but without installing a system for maintaining an appropriate microclimate to ensure the preservation of unique exhibits made of wood from the 11th-13th centuries.