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Photo - Gomel

The population: 535.6 thousand. Status: Regional center The year of foundation: 1142 Gomel region, Gomel district

Location - Gomel

Gomel is the administrative center of the Gomel Region and the Gomel distict, the second largest city in the country. It is located in the south-east of the republic on the Sozh River, 302 km south-east of Minsk. Today Gomel is a major transportation hub of the republic, as well as an important transit point on the state border with Ukraine and Russia. The city is located at the intersection of E95 roads (St. Petersburg - Pskov - Vitebsk - Mogilyov - Gomel - Chernihiv - Kiev - Odessa - Samsun - Merzifon) and M10 (Bryansk - Gomel - Kalinkovichi - Pinsk - Kobrin). The M5 highway (Minsk - Bobruisk - Gomel) also passes through the city. In Gomel, there is a functioning airport that sends planes to cities in Russia and Europe.

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History of the development - Gomel

The first chronicle mention of the city refers to 1142. At that time, Gomel constantly passed into possession from one knyaz to another. At one time it was owned by Igor Svyatoslavovich, who later became the main character of «The Tale of Igor's Campaign».

During the XII – XIII centuries, thanks to its advantageous geographical position, the city actively developed: new crafts appeared, along the Sozh river trade went on with the cities of northern and southern Russia. Gomel was subjected to numerous raids of the Tatar-Mongols. For a short time the city was the center of the Gomel principality, then the Gomel region became part of the Chernigov principality. In 1335, Gomel was annexed by Prince Olgerd to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. During the XV-XVI centuries, numerous wars for the lands of the Gomel region were fought between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Moscow principality. Finally, Gomel became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1535, when the troops headed by Y. Radzivil, J. Tarnovsky and A. Nemira captured Gomel. In 1560, the emblem of Gomel was approved in the city, and in 1670 the city received Magdeburg Law. As a result of significant destruction by the middle of the XVII century the number of inhabitants of Gomel was greatly reduced, many crafts disappeared and as a result the city fell into decay.

After the first partition of the Polish – Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772 Gomel became part of the Russian Empire. In 1775 Empress Catherine II gifted Gomel to the famous Rumyantsev family. Later, knyaz I. Paskevich-Erivansky became owner of the city, under whose leadership it reached its heyday: glass manufactory, a sugar factory, a tallow candle factory, a ground grabber and sawmills, and several colleges were opened. I.F. Paskevich also founded the theater and the Gomel Palace and Park Ensemble, which is considered to be a unique museum complex. In the middle of the XIXth century, merchants from all over the empire gathered at three Gomel fairs every year.

By 1913, Gomel became a major industrial and transport center, with a population of 104.5 thousand people. The St. Petersburg-Odessa highway, the St. Petersburg-Sevastopol telegraph line, the Libavo-Romenskaya railway and the Polesskaya railway passed through the city. The largest enterprises at that time were the mechanical workshops of the Libauvo-Romenskaya railway and match factorie «Vesuvius».

After 1917, the city survived the Civil War, the occupation by the German troops, being part of the Ukrainian People's Republic. In 1919, Gomel became the center of the Gomel province of the RSFSR, and in 1926 the Gomel and Rechitsa districts of the Gomel province were already incorporated into the BSSR.

In the period of industrialization factory «Komintern», the locomotive-car-repair plant, the Gomselmash plant and other enterprises were established in the city. During World War II, the city from August 19, 1941 to November 26, 1943 was occupied by the Wehrmacht. During the war years, nearly 80% of the city was destroyed, almost all industrial production was destroyed.

After the war, the rapid restoration of the city began. By 1950, almost all pre-war enterprises resumed their work. The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 caused significant environmental damage to the city.

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Tourism potential - Gomel

Gomel is a major regional center with a centuries-old history, which has a rich historical and cultural heritage, and many sights are of interest to travelers here.

The main attraction of the city is undoubtedly Gomel Palace and Park Ensemble Rumyantsev-Paskevich, created in the XVIII-XIX centuries. The complex occupies about 40 hectares. It combines together the magnificent natural landscape of the park with alleys on the banks of the river Sozh, rugged terrain with bridges and stairs that complement the enchanting atmosphere of the ensemble. On the territory of the ensemble there are also winter garden, Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the chapel and the family tomb of Paskevichi, a monument to N.P. Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky.

Near the palace and park Ensemble there is the legendary hunting lodge – a town house in Gomel, which used to be the summer residence of the Rumyantsevy. Today it houses the active museum of the history of Gomel.

A unique attraction is Boguslavsky farm (1849), which is a former estate of the Rumyantsev family. Of all the numerous buildings of Boguslavsky farm, only a stable with a riding school, a kitchen and a ice-house, a winery building, a cellar, a basement of a former workers' home, a stable and a cattle-house have survived to our time.

Among the religious attractions of Gomel are worth noting. Vylevskaya church of sv. Michael the Archangel (XIX), Gomel Ilinsky Church (XVIII), Nicholas Church on Volotov (XIX), Gomel Nicholas Church (1904), Gomel Transfiguration Church (1905).

About 20 festivals are held annually, including international: choreographic art festival «Sozh dance», theater festival «Slavic theatrical meetings», youth music - «Art session», «Renaissance guitar», rock music festival «Go -Fest», open international sport dance tournaments, the annual «GOFF Theater of Fire Theater» is held on the City Day every year.

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GPS Google: 52.4421997′ N, 30.9869995′ E