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The Palace of the Rumyantsevs and the Paskeviches in Gomel is one of the most beautiful examples of architecture in Belarus.

Nowadays the unique museum complex in central Gomel unites the palace of the Rumyantsevs and the Paskeviches, a chapel and a burial vault, a winter garden, a watchtower and a picturesque old park. 

The history of the place  started in the late 18th century  when the Belarusian lands were part of the Russian Empire. Empress Catherine the Great gave Gomel to her favorite, General Field Marshal Piotr Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky, for his outstanding victories in the war against Turkey.

At that time  there was a wooden castle on the bank of the River Sozh , which had earlier belonged to Michal Fryderyk Czartoryski, the Grand Chancellor of Lithuania. Piotr Rumyantsev demolished  the old castle  and ordered to build  new one.The construction of the castle in the style of early Classism began in 1777,The correct architect's name is unclear. Historians believe it could be Ivan Starov, a talented architect who designed many famous buildings in St. Petersburg.

The palace was inherited by Piotr Rumyantsev’s elder son, Nikolai Rumyantsev, Chancellor of the Russian Empire, a patron of sciences and arts.

In 1834 the Gomel residence was purchased by another Field Marshall Ivan Paskevich who had both the palace and the park substantially renovated.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries the palace witnessed lavish receptions, balls and official events. The residence hosted many members of the Romanov imperial family.

The last owner of the Gomel estate was Duchess Irina Paskevich, a patron, a philanthropist and a translator. She made the first translation of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace into French.

Later the residence, its rich library and collections became part of the Museum of Art and History which was opened in 1919.

The palace was destroyed and restored several times. It suffered the most severe damage during an uprising in 1919 and the Great Patriotic War.

Throughout its history the palace was used for various purposes. It housed a telephone station, a library, a puppet theater, a youth center and a museum.

Today the former residence of the aristocrats in Gomel is one of the most interesting and frequently visited Belarusian museums and a major historical, cultural and educational center.

The collection of the Gomel palace is one of the richest in Belarus. It comprises archeological, ethnographic and numismatic collections, pictures, handwritten books and books printed before the 18th century, icons and religious items, marine organisms and memorial complexes commemorating outstanding persons

The Palace of the Rumyantsevs and the Paskeviches is located in the city center on the bank of the River Sozh, at 4 Lenin Square. 

 

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