The Gomel region is famous for its historical past and cultural and spiritual heritage. The region administrative centre – Gomel– is one of the most beautiful Belarusian cities. Gomel Palace and Park Ensemble is a unique republican monument to Gomel architecture from the 18th to mid 19th century. The Palace of the Rumyantsevs-Paskevichs was built in neo-classic style and is the compositional focus of the ensemble. The park was laid out at the end of the 18th century and is the best preserved – with romantic elements extending for 800m along the right bank of the Sozh River. The park has over 9,000 local (and exotic) varieties of tree – including Siberian pine, Japanese larch and Austrian pine. The Palace is located next to the gorgeous Gomel Petropavlovsk Cathedral – built and financed by Earl Rumyantsev. An indispensable element of the palace and park ensemble is the Gomel Chapel which was built in pseudo-Russian style at the end of the 19th century.
The Pripyatsky National Park – with its almost untouched Polesie landscapes – is also located in the region. It is unique in having primeval floodplain oak forests. The park extends for 75,000 hectares and its reserve includes over 30 lakes and several small rivers. It is home to various animals and birds – including such rare species as the black stork and serpent eagle. Park visitors can learn about its natural history or take ecological excursions or romantic trips along the Pripyat. Ancient Slavonic settlements and archaeological monuments can be seen there along with the thousand-year old town of Turov (with its monument to Kirill Turovsky and early 19th century church).
Polessky Radiation Ecological Reserve operates in the region; it was established to preserve the natural environment’s unique landscape and geo-botanical structure which suffered after the radioactive contamination of the Chernobyl accident.