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Gomel

Country
Belarus
State
Gomel Oblast
City
Gomel
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Gomel is the administrative center of Gomel Voblast and the second-largest city in Belarus.It has a population of 482,652 (2009 census).Gomel is situated in the southeastern part of the country, on the right bank of Sozh river, 302 km (188 mi) to the South-East from Minsk, 534 km (332 mi) to the East from Brest, 171 km (106 mi) to the South from Mogilev, 237 km (147 mi) to the West from Bryansk and 111 km (69 mi) to the North from Chernihiv. The city's area is 121 km2.

Public transportation is represented by over 1,000 city buses and trolleybuses.Public transportation is generally inexpensive ($14 monthly).Over 210 million passenger rides were registered in 2006. Taxi services ($10 for a one-way intra-city ride) are available 24 hours a day.The city is an important railroad hub in the southeastern part of Belarus being positioned midway on the Minsk-Kiev railroad link.Strategic location of Gomel near the border with Russia and Ukraine provides a direct connection to the vast railroad network.Gomel Airport is located 8 kilometers north-east from the city.

Gomel was founded at the end of the 1st millennium AD on the lands of the Eastern Slavic tribal union of Radimichs.It laid on the banks of the Sozh river and the Gomeyuk stream.Sozh's high left bank cut with canyons made a natural fortification.Some time Gomel was the capital of the Gomel Principality, then it went to the Principality of Chernigov.Gomel is first mentioned in the Hypatian Codex under the year of 1142 as the territory of Chernigov princes.For some time Gomel was captured by Smolensk prince Rostislav Mstislavich but then was re-captured by Iziaslav III Davidovich after whose death it belonged to Sviatoslav Olgovich and then to Sviatoslav's son Oleg.Under Oleg Gomel went to the Principality of Novhorod-Siverskyi.The next owner of Gomel was Igor Svyatoslavich — the hero of "The Tale of Igor's Campaign".During this period the town was a fortificated point and the centre of volost.In 12th-13th centuries the city's area was not less that 40 ha, it had various crafts developed and was connected by trading ways with the cities of Northern and Southern Rus'.From archeological data the city was badly damaged during the Mongol-Tatar assault in the first half of the 13th century.

There are at least six versions of the city's name origin.One of the most famous is that the name is derived from the name of Gomeyuk stream, which flowed into the Sozh river near the foot of the hill where the first settlement was founded.Other Belarusian cities' names say towards this version: for example, Minsk's name is derived from the river Menka, Polotsk's from the Palata river, Vitebsk's from the Vitba river.In historical sources from 1142 to the 16th century Gomel is named as Gom', Gomye, Gomey, Gomyi.Scientist think, that those forms of the city's name derive from ancient Slavic word "gom" which means "hill".In the historical note from 1142 Gomel is called "Gomiy".The modern form of the city's name has been used only since 16th-17th centuries.



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How to Reach

By Air

Gomel Airport (IATA: GME, ICAO: UMGG) is an airport located 3 km north-east from Gomel, the second-largest city in Belarus.It was opened in 1968.Gomel airport is now mainly used for charter flights to Italy, Belgium, Spain and some other Western European countries, those flights are most often organised by Western European organisations that take children from Gomel and its region to West Europe with an eye to tourism.

By Train

The city is an important railroad hub in the southeastern part of Belarus being positioned midway on the Minsk-Kiev railroad link. Strategic location of Gomel near the border with Russia and Ukraine provides a direct connection to the vast railroad network.

By Trolleybus

Public transportation is represented by over 1,000 city buses and trolleybuses.Public transportation is generally inexpensive ($14 monthly).Over 210 million passenger rides were registered in 2006.

Key places to visit
Gomel Palace, Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park, Marc Chagall Museum, Lida Castle


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Places to Visit

Gomel Palace

The Rumyantsev-Paskevich Residence is the main place of historical importance in the city of Gomel, Belarus.The grounds of the residence stretch for 800 meters along the steep right bank of the Sozh River.An image of the residence is featured on the Belarusian 20,000-ruble bill.The park contains a modern statue of Count Nikolay Rumyantsev.The original marble statues of Euripides, Venus, Athena, Ares, Bacchus, and the Nymph were lost.It was only in 2006 that the replacement statues were put in place.The Paskevich art collection also boasted several paintings by Ivan Kramskoi, Marcin Zaleski, and January Suchodolski, as well as a marble bust of Count Rumyantsev by Antonio Canova.

Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park

Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park was inscribed on the World Heritage List.It is an ancient woodland with unique wildlife and it has more species of animals and plants than any European woodland.The symbol of Belovezhy is a mighty wisent.The biggest population in the World dwells here. You can meet these animals during an excursion.One of unique and most visited museums in Belarus. Numerous exhibits (more than a thousand) are a vivid example of flora and fauna that you can not meet in the wild.

Marc Chagall Museum

One of the most famous people to come from Belarus is surrealist artist Marc Chagall.Today, the Marc Chagall Museum in Vitebsk, is one of the most visited museums in Belarus.The Marc Chagall Museum opened in 1992 and is one of the most interesting museums in Belarus with more than 300 original works of art including.It is about a 10-minute walk from Vitebsk railway station.Marc Chagall house the house where Chagall spent his childhood, now displaying documents and works of art detailing the artist’s life in the city.

Lida Castle

Was built in the early 14th century by Grand Duke Gediminas of Lithuania.Famously built on sand, Lida Castle has withstood 7 centuries of battles and occupations of the surrounding land. Lida Castle is similar in layout to another famous place in Belarus, Mir Castle. Boulder walls constructed in the early 14th century were later faced with red brick.The castle dominates the town of Lida, which was badly damaged in a fire in 1891. Stones from the south-western tower and parts of the western wall of the castle were used to repair fire-damaged houses.

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