The place of construction of the fortress was chosen because of the important military-strategic position of Brest-Litovsk on the Western edge of the Russian Empire. Construction of the Brest fortress began in 1833, on the site of the old center of Brest and Brest castle.
First of all, temporary fortifications were erected, which in 1842 were converted into long-term ones. The Foundation stone of the fortress was laid on June 1, 1836 by Marshal General, Prince I. F. Paskevich. The lands of the city were separated from the territory of the fortress by boundary pillars (one of them is preserved in modern Brest).
By the beginning of the First world war, construction works were carried out around the clock in the fortress, to which the civilian population was attracted. Every day, 70,000 people worked as builders, and 8,500 carts were used to transport goods. By the spring of 1915, the fortress had acquired a finished appearance. However, at the last moment it was decided not to defend the fortress, and valuable property-to take out. On the night of August 1, 1915, during the General retreat, the fortress was abandoned and partially blown up by Russian troops.
On March 3, 1918, Brest Peace was signed in the Citadel. The fortress was in the power of the Germans until the end of 1918, and then came under the control of the poles.
At the begining of WWII Brest was occupied by Germans and transferred to USSR on 22 September 1939.