Bryansk (other spelling Briansk) is a capital and administrative center of Bryansk oblast of Russia standing on the banks of the Desna River about 380 km west of Moscow.
The city is a large industrial center (machine building and metal-working). Bryansk is an important railway junction (Moscow, Kiev, Smolensk, Oryol, Vyazma lines). Oil pipeline “Druzhba” is going through the city. There is also an international airport in the city.
The population of Bryansk is 413,000 (2012), land area - 230 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 4832; postal codes - 241000-241xxx.
Bryansk was first time mentioned in 1146. That time the settlement had name Debryansk. The origin of name is from Slavic language word “debri” meaning “dense woodland” (the territories of present Bryansk were known for their woods).
There are also some facts proving that Debryansk fortified settlement was founded on the bank of the Desna River in 985 or even earlier. Bryansk town lands were conquered by Moscow state in 1503 after Vedrosha Battle.
The town became a fortress that played significant role when Russian Time of Troubles came. In the 17th-18th centuries, Bryansk was known for having largest fair in western part of Russia (Svenskaya fair) which was the center of regional trade.
Bryansk economy became much more industrialized (metallurgy, textiles) in 1783 (various cannons and ammunition factories for the Russian Navy). The population of the town was about 30,000 in 1917.
German armies captured Bryansk in October 1941. The city was returned by the USSR forces in September 1943. The city structures were heavily damaged by numerous fights.
Bryansk and surrounding lands were known for a lot of Soviet partisans (about 60,000) fighting against German army. In 1944, the city became Bryansk region administrative center.
Bryansk is a large industrial city. Main industries are as follows: machine-building and metal-working. Also chemical, power engineering, electronic, wood-processing, textile and food industries are developed.
Over 1,200 plants produce diesel locomotives, train freight cars, road equipment, agricultural equipment, construction materials and other industrial output.
Bryansk places of interest
The Immortality Hill located in Sovetsky district, park “Solovyiy (Nightingales)”, is the monument to the soldiers perished in the World War II, it became one of the symbols of Bryansk. In the foot of the Hill there is a gun-tube containing a capsule with the appeal to the progeny of Bryansk of 2017.
A.K.Tolstoy Park-Museum opened on May 2, 1936, is the central park of Bryansk. The park is remarkable for the unique collection of wooden sculptures cut out of dead trees trunks.
Another interesting places are Gorno-Nikolskaya church built in 1751 and Merchant Avraamov’s private residence built in 1870 both located in Sovetsky district, Pokrovskaya hill.
Saint-Pokrovsky church built in 1626 is also worth seeing. The architecture of the church combines ancient traditions of the 17th century style. In 1918, the church was closed, in 1930s, the belfry and the central dome were destroyed.
In the early 1970s, the church was restored. In 1991, it was returned to believers and since May 24, 1991, regular worship services take place in the church.
Spaco-Grobovskaya church built in 1904. In 1929, the church was closed and its upper part was destroyed. Since January 7th, 1993, the church is open.
Svensky monastery located on the hill on the right bank of the Desna River. According to the legend, in 1288, Great Prince of Chernigov Roman Mikhailovich turned blind while he was in Bryansk and he was cured with the help of a miracle-doing icon.
To commemorate this fact he founded the Assumption monastery on the Desna bank, across from where the river Svin flows into the Desna. The monastery is surrounded by the wall up to 10 meters height, there are loop-holes in it. At present the annual Svensk fair takes place in its surroundings.