Gomel (gōˈmĕl, –məl, Rus. gôˈmĭl) [key], Belarusian Homyel, city (1990 est. pop. 507,000), capital of Gomel region, SE Belarus, on the Sozh River, a tributary of the Dnieper. A river port and a large railroad junction in an agricultural area, it is the country's second largest city. The city's industries produce machinery, textiles, building materials, food products, electrical equipment, and fertilizers. First mentioned as Gomiy in 1142, when it was included in Kievan Rus, it became part of Lithuania in 1537. It was much fought over and passed to Poland by the Treaty of Andrusov (1667) and to Russia in 1772. Until World War II and the German occupation about 40% of the population was Jewish. In a park in Gomel are a palace and the Petropavlovsk Cathedral (founded 1819).
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