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What You Need To Know about Gomel

Gomel is the administrative centre of Gomel Region and with 526,872 inhabitants (2015 census) the second-most populous city of Belarus.

Population: 526,872 (2015)

Languages

The language situation in Belarus is characterized by a co-existence of several linguistic codes. At present the most widespread codes are Belarusian, Russian and the so-called trasianka, a form of mixed speech in which Belarusian and Russian elements and structures alternate in rapid succession.

Currency

Belarusian ruble‎ (‎BYN‎)

New Russian banknotes also circulated in Belarus, but they were replaced by notes issued by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus in May 1992. The first post-Soviet Belarusian ruble was assigned the ISO code BYB and replaced the Soviet currency at the rate of 1 Belarusian ruble = 10 Soviet rubles.

Geography

Gomel 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 Gomel, 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.

Climate

The climate of Gomel is moderate and continental. Warm summers and cold winters are caused by frequent arrival of warm sea air masses from the Atlantic and the dominating western transfer.

Transportation

The public transportation system consists of over 1,000 buses and trolleybuses. Public transportation is generally inexpensive ($14 monthly). Over 210 million passenger rides were registered in 2006. Taxi services ($10 for a one-way intra-city ride) are available 24 hours a day. The city is an important railroad hub in the southeastern part of Belarus, as it is situated midway on the Minsk-Kiev rail link. The strategic location of Gomel near the border with Russia and Ukraine provides a direct connection to the vast railroad networks of those countries.

A trolleybus network opened on 20 May 1962 and consists of 23 routes (not counting variations). On 15 December 2010, after constructing an overhead wire network in the streets of Egorenko, Sviridov and Chechersk, a new trolley line opened to the terminus “Neighborhood Klinkowski” that resulted in a change of trolleybus routes 9, 16, 17. The length of the network is about 74 km (46 mi) and the total length of trolleybus routes is 475 km (295 mi). Rolling stock consist of types ACSM-201, ACSM-321, ACSM-213, ACSM-101, ZIU-682. There are more than 60 bus routes totaling 670 kilometers, and a number of express routes. Rolling stock consists mainly of buses MAZ-105, MAZ-107, MAZ-103 and Ikarus 280, and to a lesser extent MAZ-104, MAZ-203, MAZ-206, and since 2014, the extra-large-capacity, low-MAZ-215. Express routes use Rodemich-A type buses. The 24 minibus lines use Ford Transit, GAZelle, Mercedes-Benz, and Peugeot vans.

Gomel Airport is located 8 km (5 mi) north-east of the city.