Saturday, April 7, 2012
Belarus - Brest
Sent by Elena, a postcrosser from Brest, Belarus.
This is from Wikipedia : Brest (Belarusian: Брэст Brest or traditionally Берасце Bieraście; Ukrainian: Берестя Berestia; Russian: Брест Brest; see also alternative names), formerly also Brest-on-the-Bug ("Brześć nad Bugiem" in Polish) and Brest-Litovsk ("Brześć Litewski" in Polish, literally "Lithuanian Brest"), is a city (population 310,800 in 2010) in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the city of Terespol, where the Bug River and Mukhavets rivers meet. It is the capital city of the Brest voblast.
Being situated on the main railway line connecting Berlin and Moscow, and an intercontinental highway (the European route E30), Brest became a principal border crossing since World War II in Soviet times. Today it links the European Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Because of the break-of-gauge at Brest, where the Russian broad gauge meets the European standard gauge, all passenger trains, coming from Poland, must have their bogies replaced here, to travel on across Belarus, and the freight must be transloaded from cars of one gauge to cars of another. Some of the land in the Brest rail yards remains contaminated as a result of the transshipment of radioactive materials here since Soviet days although cleanup operations have been taking place.
There are several theories of the city name origin. The most common are as follows,
* the name of the city comes from the Slavic root beresta meaning birch, bark,
* the name of the city comes from the Slavic root berest meaning elm,
* the name of the city comes from the Lithuanian word brasta meaning ford.
Once a center of Jewish scholarship, the city's name in Yiddish, is בריסק ("Brisk"), hence the term "Brisker" used to describe followers of the influential Soloveitchik family of rabbis.
The traditional Ukrainian name for the city is Берестя (transliterated Berestia).