Gomel is the administrative centre of Gomel Voblast and the second-largest city in Belarus. It has a population of 515,325 (2013 census) and its area is 135.3 km².
There are at least six versions of the origin of the city's name. One of the best known is that the name is derived from the name of the Homeyuk stream, which flowed into the Sozh river near the foot of the hill where the first settlement was founded. The modern form of the city's name has been used only since the 16th-17th centuries.