During the recent Gomel fair of tourist services nearly all tour operators were heavily advertising “The Golden Ring of Gomel Region” as if they had agreed to promote the new route. The tour includes Gomel, Vetka, Chechersk, Krasny Bereg, Turov, Mozyr, Yurovichi, Rechitsa and Loyev.
In the village of Yurovichi one can see the oldest site of the ancient man in Belarus. Large-scale excavations revealed five settlements that date back to various periods of ancient history and even a skeleton of a mammoth. Besides, visitors can see a Jesuit Collegium and a Catholic church that dates back to the 18th century. Yurovichi is located in a very picturesque place, on the highest hills in Belarus. They say you can see Mozyr, 20 kilometers away, from the top of a hill on a sunny day.
In the city of Mozyr there are two ancient cathedrals that are definitely worth seeing. As for Turov, the ancient city was called the second Jerusalem, as there were over 75 churches in it. It was in Turov that sanctifier Cyril lived and enlightened people. And it is in Turov that you may see the legendary stone crosses that seem to be growing from underneath.
Each city of the tour is unique in its own way, every stone is filled with the air of eternity, for instance, the Chechersk city hall with five wooden towers.
You may see features of classicism, gothic style and oriental motives in the same building depending on the way you look at it. The city of Vetka, founded in the 17th century by old believers who fled from Russia, is a very interesting spot. The local museum with its ancient icons, embroidered towels and accessories keeps the first Kiev printed book, “Anfologion”, published in 1619. A tourist will surely wish to pay a visit to Rechitsa, the site that remembers the squadron that took the remains of St. Evfrosinia of Polotsk from Kiev to her native town. Loyev is another important location, a place that saw so many battles, where so much blood was shed…
Loyev is located on the ancient route from “Varangians to Greeks”, on the place that always was an apple of discord between the Moscow State and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The village of Krasny Bereg with an ancient estate and a marvelous park is a real pearl of the “Golden Ring” collection.
I have made up my mind — I’m going around the Gomel Region!
But there is one serious obstacle to my ambitious plans: although the ring seems nice and shining on the map, a lot needs to be done, and money is the key problems, as usual. According to Vadim Karmazin, the deputy chair of the sports and tourism department of the Gomel Region Administration, the monastery in Yurovichi alone needs 6 billion Belarusian rubles in investments, and the mansion in Krasny Bereg requires 4 billion rubles, around $2 million.
— So when will we see the upgrade of the ring?
— We will do our best to complete it by next autumn, Vadim Karmazin tells me.
It is so bad I did not manage to make this breakthrough come true. The wish was too strong. But I was smart enough to find a way out, and I would recommend the same thing to everyone: you can tour around the Gomel Region on the net: just log in http://www.goldring.gomel–region.by and you are just one click away from the beauty of Belarus.
by Valeria Smolskaya