Apple orchard is to blossom in the fortress

An apple orchard of 70 trees is being laid out on Pogranichny Island of Brest Fortress, in honour of the 70th anniversary of Victory

An apple orchard of 70 trees is being laid out on Pogranichny Island of Brest Fortress, in honour of the 70th anniversary of Victory. Decided by the Department of Internal Affairs of Brest Regional Executive Committee, the site is now being studied.
An apple orchard of 70 trees is being laid out on Pogranichny Island of Brest Fortress, in honour of the 70th anniversary of Victory. Decided by the Department of Internal Affairs of Brest Regional Executive Committee, the site is now being studied.

On Pogranichny IslandThe Head of the Department of Information and Public Relations of Brest Regional Executive Committee, Sergey Duchenko, views the island as a good place for ecological and patriotic action. He tells us, “In the first days of the Great Patriotic War, the island was defended by border guards and police, as well as soldiers of the 132nd separate battalion of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs, and driving school cadets. At the heart of the island is a monument to the cadets, which is where we plan to lay out our orchard, using seedlings from a Pruzhany District nursery. The Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences, and Brest City Executive Committee are supporting our idea. Planting day will be April 22nd and it will open to the public in May.

Before the war, Terespol Fortification was located on the island (called Zapadny Island at the time). 19th-20th century fortifications remain: powder cellars, barracks, and an earth mound with casemates inside. The former barracks, constructed under the direction of Dmitry Karbyshev, also remain, as does the road used by Hitler and Mussolini to reach the Citadel in August 1941.

Covering about 46 hectares, Pogranichny Island is currently closed to the public; the state border between Belarus and Poland uses a parallel channel. Access is possible only through a signalling gate of Brest frontier post but excursions can be arranged.

President Alexander Lukashenko gave instructions to open the island to tourists in the summer of 2011, when renovated Brest Fortress opened. The site has been cleared of tall weeds and dense thickets, and information plaques established. By May, the garden should be in full bloom, for Victory Day.

By Valentina Kozlovich
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