Gomel was first mentioned in Ipatyev manuscript in 1142 as an estate of prince of Chernigov Rostislav Mstislavich. The town had stable trade contacts with Kiev, Chernigov, Smolensk, Volyn, North Russia, Byzantium. Near 1335 it became a part of the Great Duchy of Lithuania. It was mentioned as one of the towns of the principality of Kiev at the end of the XIV century, in the Register of far and near settlements. Gomel was of great importance in the middle of the XVI century when the South-Eastern regions of the Great Duchy of Lithuania were holding line against.
Crimean Tatars. In 1850 the road Petersburg—Kiev and the first in Russia telegraph circuit Petersburg—Sevastopol were constructed via Gomel. In January 16, 1856 a town emblem was approved.
At the end of the XIX century Gomel was among the leaders of the revolutionary movement in tsarist Russia. Since January 15, 1938 Gomel is a center of Gomel province, since October 27, 1938 it is a city.
New industrial enterprises were established in Gomel in the 1970_1980s. However the disaster of Chernobyl in 1986 greatly complicated solving of social and economic problems. Measures of radiation safety demanded for great material resources and manpower. Branches of the research institutes of agricultural radiology and radiological medicine were established. Plenty of measures are undertaking to recover and preserve health of those who suffer in consequence of the Chernobyl disaster.
Architectural objects from the XVIII—XIX centuries are preserved in the city, such as the Ilyinskaya church, a palace, a religious school, a detached house (so-called "Hunters" house"), a chapel, and a bridge across the river Sozh. The buildings of the town council, of the grammar schools for boys and girls and of the state bank were built there at the end of the XIX century — at the beginning of the XX century.
Guide to towns and district centers of Republic of Belarus. A.V. Varivonchik [etc.]