Gomel Palace

Homjel, Belarus

The two-storey Gomel palace of Field Marshal Pyotr Rumyantsev was built between 1777 and 1796 to a Neoclassical design attributed to Ivan Starov. The palace replaced the ruined castle of Gomel's previous owner, Michael Frederick Czartoryski. The central part is surmounted by a square belvedere with a wide flat dome. The six-columned Corinthian portico faces an extensive English park. The main portico is placed on a high platform and is supported by four Corinthian columns.

After Pyotr Rumyantsev's death in 1796, the grounds were slowly improved by his son Nicholas (1754-1826). His brother Sergei was the next owner. He was never interested in country housekeeping and promptly sold the palace to the crown (1834). Gomel was immediately purchased by another Field Marshal, Ivan Paskevich, who had both the palace and the park substantially renovated. He employed architect Adam Idźkowski to add a four-storey tower and a three-storey wing to the existing structure.

After the Russian Revolution the palace was nationalized to house a local museum. Paskevich's daughter-in-law Irina had to move from the palace into an ordinary flat. The buildings sustained heavy damage in the Russian Civil War and World War II. They were shared by the Gomel History Museum and the local pioneers' palace until the late 1990s. The current Neoclassical interiors result from a late 1990s restoration campaign.

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.

The bronze equestrian statue of Prince Joseph Poniatowski by Bertel Thorvaldsen, which Paskevich had brought from Warsaw as a trophy in 1842, was dismantled by the Poles during the Polish-Soviet War and transported back to Warsaw, only to be destroyed by the Germans in the 1940s. Its copy stands in front of the Presidential Palace, Warsaw.

Other buildings on the grounds are the Russian Revival chapel with the tombs of Ivan Paskevich and his family, a winter garden (which originated as Prince Paskevich's sugar-mill), several subsidiary outbuildings, and a set of cannons captured by Paskevich's soldiers in the course of the Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829).

By far the most conspicuous landmark in the park is the Neoclassical church of Sts. Peter and Paul. It was commissioned by Count Nikolay Rumyantsev from architect John Clark in 1809 but was not consecrated until 1824. The church is the seat of the local Orthodox bishopric.

An image of the residence is featured on the Belarusian 20,000-ruble bill.

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Details

Founded: 1777-1796
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Belarus

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Валентина Яновская (3 years ago)
The palace is worth visiting. Excursion was also fine. You can buy audio guide at the cashier and allowance for taking photos (1 rub each in july 2021) Administration: improve your pricing policy - include in 1 ticket all spots for sightseeing on the palace's territories. It's extremely tyring to pay by cash at every stop. In addition, at the tower consider enlarging storage facilities. You can even make them paid. It's tyring to take in 190 steps with back pack.
Jauhen Zadrucki (5 years ago)
Great authentic place in a Homel.
Bodhi Manish (5 years ago)
One of the great park in Gomel . Had very nice walk though it was getting wet due to slight rain and cold . Our friend Ivan explained the history of the Palace.
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