Today the "Gomel Palace & Park Ensemble" State Historical Cultural Institution is one of the oldest and one of the most reputable museum institutions in the Republic of Belarus. It comprises six museum sites and a park.
The buildings of the sites, which are part of the Gomel Palace & Park Ensemble, are architecture monuments of the 18th-19th centuries. They are historical-cultural values of the Republic of Belarus and they are included in the State List of Historical Cultural Values protected by the state.
The Palace & Park Ensemble comprises: the Palace of the Rumyantsevs and the Paskeviches, which is an architectural monument of the Russian classicism of the late 18th - mid 19th century, the Chapel, which is an architectural monument of the new Russian style of the late 19th century and the Burial Vault (underground crypt) of the Paskevich Princes, and the Administrative Building, "The Winter Garden" and the Observation Tower, which are architectural monuments of the 19th century, an the old Park, which is a monument of nature and of garden art of the mid-19th century. The site of the State Historical Cultural Institution is also the Estate of the Khaletskis, which is an architectural monument of the mid-19th century located in the Khalch Village of Vetkovski District of the Gomel Region.
Major site of the historical-cultural institution is the Palace of the Rumyantsevs and the Paskeviches, which is a composition center of the Gomel Palace & Park Ensemble. It is a partial reproduction of the palace interior of the late 19th - early 20th century, and there are memorial and theme expositions; exhibitions are organized there, too.
8 exposition halls and 6 exhibition halls operate in the central part of the Palace of the Rumyantsevs and the Paskeviches. 7 exposition halls and 1 exhibition hall operate in the Tower. 2 exposition halls and 1 exhibition hall operate in the North Wing.
Main expositions are:
- historical-memorial exposition named "Owners of the Gomel Estate: the Rumyantsevs and the Paskeviches" located in the Palace Tower and devoted to the former landlords of the Palace;
- "Cultural items from the museum collections" located in the risalit of the Palace North Wing exhibiting the most valuable icons of the museum;
- an archeological exposition called "Ancient history of the Gomel Region";
- the memorial exposition devoted to A.A. Gromyko, former USSR Foreign Minister and the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR located in the first floor of the central part of the Palace;
- an exhibition called "Mysterious sea fantasies" portraying exotic sea organisms, amazing shells, corals, located in the grotto of the Palace;
- "Knights Hall" located in the basement of the central part of the Palace.
For the first time after establishment the museum located its expositions throughout all Palace of the Rumyantsevs and Paskeviches once its repair-reconstruction work was over in 2004.
The central part of the Palace and the Tower reconstruct environment of the former palace decoration. The Pillared Gala Hall delights in its architectural magnificence. The Red Sitting Room delights in its refinement, the Hall of State Receptions with its portraits of the historical characters of the Gomel Region delights in its memoriality. And the Palace galleries delight in their openness and grace.
The historical-memorial exposition "Owners of the Gomel Estate: the Rumyantsevs and the Paskeviches" located in the Palace Tower represent original pictures, sculptures, studio bronze, armory, personal things, documents, pictures of the former owners of the Gomel Palace. The complexes of the exhibits let partially reconstruct historical interiors of the Tower, show history of Gomel, of the Palace and of the Park, explain the role of the landlords in shaping of the new city in the late 18th - 19th century.
The Red Sitting Room is one of the finest halls of the Palace, which shows an attempt of interior reconstruction of the gala halls of the Russian estates of the 19th - early 20th century. The sitting room shows both original items from the museum holdings (furniture pieces, clocks, paintings, sculptures, ceramics), and copies of the portraits of the Tsar family members made by the Gomel artists.
Since Gomel is the main cultural and scientific center in the region, and the center of inter-regional connections between Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, the Hall of State Receptions hosts the most important bilateral and multilateral meetings, negotiations, signing of various agreements between the Government Chairmen and Heads of the States, etc. This hall exhibits parade portraits of the natives of the Gomel Region and of the honorary freemen of Grodno who famed that land far beyond its limits.
The core of the exposition called "Religious items from museum holdings" are the things kept in the House Church, Chapel and in the Burial Vault of the family of the Paskevich Princes in the late 19th - early 20th century: those are mostly oil-painted, carved and mosaic icons and church books as well as religious subjects (icons, books, ornaments, clothing of priests) from the collection established by the museum staff in the second half of the 20th century.
The North Gallery leading to the former House Church places an exposition devoted to the lost buildings, cathedrals of various religions in the Gomel Region: reconstructions of the temples (prototypes), photo pictures.
The White Sitting Room of the Palace holds ceremonial events, musical evenings, miniature performances, meetings, concerts of the best national and international musicians. This stage successfully received the best vocalists and instrumentalists from France, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Iran, etc., popular and honored artists from Belarus and Russia.
The first floor of the Palace organizes temporary theme exhibitions of the museum collections and of other museums of the republic, and collections presented by the embassies of various countries to the Republic of Belarus, exhibitions of the artists from the Gomel Region, from near and far abroad.
Museum collection of the Gomel Palace & Park Ensemble is one of the richest in the Republic of Belarus. Its holdings keep over 229 thousand items, including 159 890 subjects of the core fund (as of January 01, 2009).
The most interesting collections are: memorial things of the Paskevich family; archeological collections; ethnography and numismatic collections; collections of hand-written and old published books; collections of religious items; collections of sea organisms. Materials on the outstanding statesmen, commanders, representatives of science, culture, education, whose life and activity was related to the history of the region, occupy respectable place in the expositions and collections of the museum.
Archeology collections representing materials of excavations in the territory of the region, findings characterizing material culture of our ancestors discovered near Berdyzh Village of Checherski District and close to Yurovichi Village of Kalinkovichi District of Gomel Region occupy an important place in the museum because those were the most ancient known settlements of the primitive man in Belarus. Among a big number of traditional exhibits there are very rare ones. Pride of the museum is many individual findings of the Kievan Russia period: an arrowhead and a loppy seal with the symbols of the princely dynasty of the Rurikoviches, a treasure of the neck grivnas, a fragment of the iron-clad armour.
The numismatic collection is substantial. It creates impression of development of the monetary system of the Old Russian State, of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Russia and Zhemait, of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, of the Russian Empire and of Belarus.
The ethnography collection includes the items of material culture of practically all regions of the Gomel Region.
There were many religious confessions in the Gomel Region for centuries, and the religious items, collections of icons, of old-published and hand-written books, of copper casting describe that eloquently. Icons and books of the Old Believers were widely spread in the territory of the region, and today they occupy an important place in this collection.
Pride of the book collection of the institution is the "Gospel" by Peter Mstislavets published in 1575. Many exhibits occupy a worthy place in the Museum Fund of the Republic of Belarus. Among them is the treasure of religious items of the 18th-19th century found nearby Gomel in the territory of the former Chenkovski Cloister. It has the status of the Historical-Cultural Value of the Republic of Belarus.
Collection of the photo pictures characterize historical events, which took place in the territory of the Gomel Region in different periods. Memorial complexes devoted to P.O. Sukhoi, General Aircraft Designer of the Soviet Army and to A.A. Gromyko, Foreign Minister of the USSR are of special value.
Modern Fine Arts are represented by the works of artists and sculptors from the Gomel Region and from Belarus in general. The museum visitors are constantly interested in the pieces of art by B.F. Zvinogrodski, V.K. Tsvirko, N.K. Kazakevich, R.E. Landarski, D.I. Aleinik. The things previously owned by the Gomel estate landlords are unique. Despite this collection is small, it is the most significant in the country because it allows to imagine decorations of the rich manorial estates in the late 19th century.
One of the objects of the Palace & Park Ensemble located in the territory of the old park is the Burial Vault Chapel of the Paskevich Princes built in 1870-1889 according to the project of E.I. Chervinski, Architecture Professor. This site is located in the territory of the old park. S.I. Sadikov was responsible for artistic and decorative work. The Burial Vault Chapel is an example of the so called "new Russian architecture style" with the features typical for this manner. Eight representatives of the Paskeviches family including I.F. Paskevich, General Field Marshal and his wife E.A. Paskevich (her maiden name was Griboedova) were buried here.
The museum of the Gomel Palace & Park Ensemble has 4 scientific departments and three sectors: the Scientific Fund Department, the Arts Department, the Exposition & Museum Material Collection Department, the Scientific-Awareness Education and PR Department, the Archeology Sector, the Scientific-Methodology and Historical-Cultural Protection Sector, Restoration-Designer Sector. They execute their duties in accordance with the Law "On museums and the Museum Fund of the Republic of Belarus", and according to the work plan of the Museum.
The employees of the museum are engaged in such activities as research-scientific, search and collecting, enlightenment, methodology and advertisement. Over 200 thousand visitors come to the museum annually. Every year the museum organizes over 100 new exhibitions, over 250 theme events, 3170 excursions, over 500 lectures in its facilities and outside. The museum holdings are enriched by the new exhibits annually.
The "Gomel Palace & Park Ensemble" State Historical Cultural Institution has been reputable among culture institutions of the country for almost 90 years. Its doors are always wide open to those who are interested in history, culture and art.