The Winter Garden in Gomel
The building of the Winter Garden was constructed in Gomel in the first hath of the XIX century at the same time as the construction of the palace-park complex was started. Every owner of the estate tried to transform the building into something peculiar that, on their opinion, was in tune with the spirit of the times. Originally, it was used as a sugar-house but the historians’ opinions diverge. It is just one of the versions that the building was constructed to be a sugar-house. According to other versions, the building was used as a house for the duke’s servants or as his military office. After a while, the duke decided to transform it into an aristocratic school and to build on two more floors.
It was agreed to reconstruct the structure in 1887. The Winter Garden was an architectural monument and valuable part of the Gomel Palace-Park Ensemble of the Rumyantsev-Paskeviches. The last owner of the estate F. I. Paskevich liked rare species of plants and he had no suitable building. So it was decided to reconstruct the sugar-house into a hothouse where rare and unique species of plants were kept. Two Russian stoves were constructed in the cellar under the building. They served to control the required temperature for the plants. Inside the building, the walls were made of natural mineral that was not only incredibly beautiful but also made it possible to grow climbing plants that created a living carpet.
Duke Paskevich created a unique greenhouse. In 1888, he planted an exotic species of palm Chamaerops that still grows in the Winter Garden. Today the collection of the garden numbers about 18 species of subtropical plants. Every year, the collection of the garden is refilled with the presents of townsmen, tourists and different town companies. It is remarkable that the building of the Winter Garden and the plants almost were not affected during the Great Patriotic War.
Apart from plants, there is a collection of exotic fish, tortoises, rabbits and cavies in the Winter Garden.
There is a tower of the former sugar-house not far from the Winter Garden. A viewing platform and a spiral stairway are inside it. In the times of the Paskeviches ownership it was used for viewing. At the time, it was very popular among townsmen, and today it requires repairs.
The Winter Garden is located in the picturesque place of the park, near the swans’ lake.
The town’s guests and townsmen visit the Winter Garden, admire the rare species of plants. It has a special atmosphere of stillness and peace.
Visiting the Winter Garden is included into an excursion around the Palace-Park Ensemble of the Rumyantsev-Paskeviches in Gomel so enjoy one of the most beautiful sites of the estate!