Gomel is the regional center, one of the largest cities in Belarus. Founded in 1142. The city is situated in the south-east of the republic, 302 km from the capital. Gomel is located in the picturesque territory of Belarusian Polesye. River Sozh, one of the biggest Belarusian rivers, flows through the city. The population is 527 691 as of April 1, 2105 (the second largest city after Minsk).
Gomel is a large industrial center with its 126 food, manufacturing, chemi- cal, construction material enterprises. Among them are the following: Production Enterprise «Gomselmash», Republican Unitary enterprise «Gomel enterprise of castings and normal», «Gomel enterprise of self-propelled combines», Closed Joint-Stock company «Gomel wagon building enterprise», Open Joint-Stock com- pany «Gomel machine-tool unit enterprise», Open Joint-Stock company «Stanko- Gomel», Open Joint-Stock company «Gomel enterprise of measuring devices», Open Joint-Stock company «Gomel castings enterprise «Centolit»,etc.
Public transport in Gomel: trolleybuses, autobuses, route taxi.
Surburb and intercity transport network communication is also available (starting pouint – Gomel bus station). Autobus routes are connected with all Gomel regional center and other regional centers of Belarus, as well as Russian and Ukrainian centers.
Long-distance railway routes are also connected with many Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian cities.
Long-distance railway routes are also connected with many Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian cities. There are also regular inter- national flights (International air- port «Gomel»). At present air com- pany «Belavia» organizes regular flights Kaliningrad-Gomel-Kalinin- grad, charter round flights from Gomel to Noyabrsk, Nyagan, Khanty-Mansyisk, Hannover and some Italian cities.
There are 7 higher education institutions in Gomel. About 35 thousand of students study here. Francisk Skorina Gomel State University is the leading University in Gomel. Founded in 1969 on the basis of Gomel pedagogic Institute named after V.P. Chkalov. Turns out specialists for scientific, pedagogic and manufacturing spheres of activities.
Other higher education institutions are Belarusian State University of Transport, Belarusian Trade and Economic University of Consumer Cooperatives, Pavel Sukhoi State Technical University of Gomel, Gomel State Medical Univer- sity, Gomel affiliation of International Institution of labour and social relations, Gomel engineering institute of Emergency Situations Ministry of the Republic of Belarus.
There are 77 secondary schools, 1 city lyceum, 1 regional lyceum, 18 institutions of vocational education, 6 colleges, 7 technical schools, Belarusian-slavic gymnasium named after I. Melezh.
There are 5 scientific research institutes (3 of them have radiation studies di- rection): forest institute, institute of metal polymer systems mechanics, institute of radiology, institute of radiobiology, institute radiation medicine and human ecology.
As for the cultural life, there are such institutions as College of Arts, painting gallery, cultural training institutions, city symphonic and wind bands, 7 children musical schools and schools of arts, one choreographic school, a number of centers and palaces of culture, libraries. 4 artistic unions, 3 theatres (Regional drama thea- tre, puppet theatre, Gomel city youth theatre), three cinema halls, philharmonic halls, circus, 3 exhibition halls, affiliation of Vetka museum of Old Belief and Belarusian traditions named after F.G. Shklyarov, other museums, architectural mon- uments of XVIII-XIX centuries, Rumyantsev and Paskevich`s palace and park.
Cultural festivals, such as festival of choreo- graphic skills «Sozhsky khorovod», theatrical festival «Slavic theatrical meetings», youth festivals «Art-Session», «Renaissance guitars», rocj music festival «Go-Fest», open international tournaments in sport dancing, as well as numerous exhibitions, are organized in Gomel.