Theme Week Belarus – Homiel

Tuesday, 26 July 2022 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Regional Drama Theater © Alexander Sokolov/cc-by-sa-3.0

Regional Drama Theater © Alexander Sokolov/cc-by-sa-3.0

Homiel or Gomel is the administrative centre of Gomel Region and the second-most populous city of Belarus with 526,872 inhabitants (2015 census). Homiel is situated in the southeastern part of the country, on the right bank of the river Sozh, 302 km (188 mi) south-east of Minsk, 534 km (332 mi) east of Brest, 171 km (106 mi) south of Mogilev, 237 km (147 mi) west of Bryansk and 111 km (69 mi) north of Chernihiv. The terrain on which the city as a whole is built, is flat. On the right bank of the river, it is a gradually decreasing plain water-glacial and fluvial terrace of the Sozh river. The left bank is a low-lying alluvial plain. The highest elevation of 144 meters above sea level is found at the northern outskirts of Homiel, the lowest elevation of 115 m at the water boundary Sozh river. Novobelitskiy district, which is located on the left bank of the river (i.e., towards the south), has elevations averaging of 10–15 meters lower than the northern and central parts of the city. On the left bank of the Sozh many kilometers of beaches can be found.

After the annexation of Homiel by the Russian Empire and the creation of the Pale of Settlement, Homiel gradually became a centre of resettlement for the Jewish population of Russia. According to the 1897 census, 55% of the population of Homiel were Jews. In 1903, there was a violent pogrom against the Jewish population of the city. From that moment on, a gradual decrease of the number of Jews in the city began. 40,880 Jews lived in Homiel in 1939, when they comprised 29.4 percent of the total population. Most Jews had left the city in anticipation of German occupation, but still between 3,000 and 4,000 Homiel Jews fell victim to the Holocaust. The end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s saw mass emigration of Jews from Homiel, but at the same time restoration of Jewish institutions in the city by the remaining Jewish inhabitants.

Saint Nicholas monastery © flickr.com - Andrey Kukharenko/cc-by-2.0 Gomel Palace © Аляксей Мацеша/cc-by-sa-3.0 Orthodox church of Stt. Peter and Pavel © Alexander Sokolov Regional Drama Theater © Alexander Sokolov/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - Andrey Kukharenko/cc-by-2.0 Saint Nicholas monastery © flickr.com - Andrey Kukharenko/cc-by-2.0
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Saint Nicholas monastery © flickr.com - Andrey Kukharenko/cc-by-2.0
As a result of the catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on 26 April 1986, Homiel suffered radioactive contamination. This significantly worsened both the ecological situation and the socio-economic crisis that had struck the USSR in the late 1980s. It caused a sharp decline in living standards and a gradual depopulation that lasted until the early 21st century. At the beginning of the 21st century, a scientific centre and practice for radiation medicine and human ecology was built in Homiel to overcome and study the consequences of the catastrophe at Chernobyl. The development of radiological dose values varies between individual villages in severely contaminated regions, depending on the surroundings and the economic orientation. In general, life is possible in these areas today, even in formerly closed-off zones, if appropriate dietary rules are observed.

Throughout the eight hundred-year history of Homiel, only a few sights have been preserved. A small part of them belong to the 1700s and 1800s, the main part belongs to the 20th – 21st centuries. Most of the architectural monuments of the 20th century date back to the 1950s. Most of them are concentrated in the central part of the city. The Ferris Wheel and the Ferris Tower, located in a park a few hundred meters from the palace complex, are popular for exploring the city. Since the topography of Homiel is relatively flat, the height of the surrounding buildings means it is easy to view the city from the wheel and tower.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on YesBelarus.com – Gomel, Wikivoyage Homiel and Wikipedia Homiel. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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