[brest; for 2 also Russ. bryest]
Brest, city (1990 pop. 153,099), Finistère dept., NW France, on an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a commercial port, an important naval station, and the seat of the French Naval Academy. There is a national engineering school in Brest and nearby is the Oceanographic Center of Brittany. Electronics equipment, metals, paper, and clothing are the chief manufactures. The city dates from Gallo-Roman times. The spacious, landlocked harbor was created in 1631 by Cardinal Richelieu as a military base and arsenal. In 1683, during the reign of Louis XIV, Marshal Vauban built the ramparts and a castle. The French repulsed the English in 1694 off Brest; in 1794 the English, under Lord Howe, defeated the French fleet. During World War II the Germans had a huge submarine base at Brest. Their heavily fortified submarine pens showed few cracks under Allied air raids; but the city itself was almost completely destroyed. The German garrison capitulated to U.S. troops in 1944.
Brest, formerly Brest-Litovsk, Pol. Brześć nad Bugiem, city (1989 pop. 258,016), capital of Brest region, W Belarus, at the confluence of the Western Bug and Mukhavets rivers near the Polish border. As a point of entry into Belarus, it has industrial, commercial, and transportation concerns. Industries include food processing and the production of metals, textiles, and electrical machinery. Founded by Slavs in 1017 as Bereste, the city was conquered by the Mongols in 1241 and by Lithuania in 1319. During the 14th cent. it was renamed Brest-Litovsk. In 1569 it became capital of the newly merged Polish and Lithuanian state. Brest passed to Russia in the third partition of Poland (1795). German forces took the city in 1915 and three years later signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Soviet Russia there. Held by Poland between the world wars, Brest was regained by the USSR in 1939, occupied by Germany from 1941-44, and finally liberated by the Soviet army.
Brest may refer to:



  • Harold Brest, 20th century American prisoner
  • Martin Brest (born 1951), American filmmaker, producer, screenwriter, film editor, and actor

Other uses:

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