SITES IN KAZAKHSTAN
Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve (South-Kazakhstan
was set up in 1927. For more than 70 years the mountain woods
here are safe from an axe, grass from scythe and rivers from industrial
pollution. Fresh greenery is all around. The Graig's Tulip is
selected as the symbol of the Reserve.
whole Tian-Shan has no other places of such juniper woods as in
the law-protected preservation of Aksu-Zhabagly.
remarkable is the canyon of the Aksu river: its banks
are almost vertical (up to 300-500 m), often fairly
inaccessible. This giant canyon is 15 km long and
500 meters deep. The nearest distance between the
walls of the canyon is 600-800 meters. Total area
makes up 85,300 ha. It embraces picturesque Alpine
landscapes of north-west ridges of the Talass Alatau
and the Ugam range. In the reserve one can find 1,404
species of plants while the fauna is represented by
47 and 239 species of animals and birds respectively.
inhabitants - Siberian ibex, roe, Caspian deer, boar, weasel,
vulture with rare species among them: snow leopard, Turkestan
lynx, red bear, golden eagle, short-toed eagle.
the altitude of more than 3000 m above the sea level there is
a palaeontological preserve with stone inscriptions referred by
scientists to the 7th-5th centuries BC.
reserve plays host to burial places of Karabastau and Akbastau
on the slopes of the Karatau mountain. One can witness here the
rarest ever imprints of all sorts of fish, molluscs, tortoises,
insects of Jurassic period which once inhabited the sea basin
that lapped here some 120 million years ago.
is situated at the altitude of 600-900 meters above the sea level.
Practically every city has its own symbol. For Almaty it is the
Zailiysky Alatau Mountains as well as the famous apples. The Zailiysky
Alatau is the northern part of the Tian-Shan mountains. It consists
of a mountain chain and valleys between the mountains. It is famous
for its eternal mountain glaciers, canyons, alpine meadows, and
fir forests. Endless and hot steppes border right on the mountains.
The highest point in the nearest Almaty area is peak Talgar (4973m).
means Father of Apples, a name derived from the apple trees that
were common to the area. Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan
and the former capital of the Republic. The city was set on the
place of the ancient settlement Almaty, which dates back from
the 3rd century BC. Almaty is on the site of a Silk
Road oasis of the same name, which was destroyed by the Mongols
in the 13th century. The Russians built a frontier
post called Verny here in 1854. In 1887 and 1911 the town was
flattened by earthquakes. At the time of the Russian Empire Verny
was a place of exile. In 1921 after Bolshevik's Revolution the
town was renamed Alma-Ata and became the capital of Soviet Kazakhstan
in 1928. The city was connected to Siberia by the Turkestan-Siberia
Railway in 1930. During the World War II, entire communities of
Koreans and Germans from elsewhere in the USSR were deported here.
In the 1950s and 1960s large numbers of Russians and Ukrainians
were brought to Kazakhstan to work in the huge industrial complexes.
Kazakhs have always been in a minority in their own capital. In
1997 the capital was transferred from Almaty to Astana (formerly
and Excursions in Almaty, Kazakhstan
Having been the capital of Kazakhstan from 1928 to 1997, Almaty
remains a big political, business and cultural centre.
City Tour 01-Half-day
Museum of Folk Music Instruments is a unique collection of
traditional musical instruments, each with a recording of its
sound. The exposition counts more than 40 types and variants of
musical instruments, mostly Kazakh ones.
park is the central park of Almaty, a pleasant place full
of greenery with such landmark as one of the eight most unique
wooden buildings in the world - the Zenkov Cathedral. Zenkov Cathedral
(1904) named after its architect was constructed without a single
nail. During the Soviet times for many years it was used as a
concert and exhibition hall. It was returned to the Russian Orthodox
Church in 1995 and is now a functioning place of worship.
Visit the bazaar
A. Kasteev State Museum of Fine Arts Funds of the museum
number over 20,000 storage units: paintings, graphics, sculptures,
folk arts and crafts, etc. Acquisition of museum exhibits started
in 1935-36 when The Russian Museum (St. Petersburg) and The A.S.
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow) presented Kazakhstan with
nearly 200 works of Russian and West European artists. Museum
collections are a fine evidence of arts history of both the East
and the West from the ancient times to our day.
City Tour 02 - Half-day
State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan displays four exposition
halls, in which one can admire objects of material and spiritual
culture of Kazakhstan, can witness the age-long history of the
country. Natural history, ancient history, contemporary
history and ethnography are all here. Traditional Kazakh yurtas
and clothes, armoury, jewellery, archaeological finds are in the
neighbourhood with a miniature replica of the model of the unique
"Gold man" found in Issyk Burial Mound. At the moment
the funds of the museum harbour over 200,000 exhibits of permanent
storage of which only one tenth can be exhibited in main halls.
The biggest skating-rink located in the gorge 15 km from Almaty.
Medeo is on the altitude of 1961 meters above the sea level. An
unusual, immense, splendid structure opens to the eye from a dam,
which protects Almaty and Medeo from the landslides. The panorama
takes one's breath away - snow-capped peaks sparkling in the sun,
the tall Tian Shan fir-trees, and the coolness of the mountain
air. To the right of Medeo dam Mokhnatka (in English - shaggy)
mound (2278m) is situated. This name was given, because it looks
from the city as if covered with forest.
years ago Astana was a quiet provincial city with many old houses
and the Ishim river, looking like a swamp covered with cane jungles.
Nowadays after the capital was transferred from Almaty to Astana
the city has completely changed. Formerly it was named Akmola
and until the 1950s was a tiny mining town. Then Nikita Khrushchev
announced the Virgin Lands scheme to turn 250,000 square kilometres
of Kazakhstan steppe into wheat fields. Despite wind erosion,
which turned a lot of the new wheat fields back into steppe, this
project turned the Virgin lands into the grain-growing region.
Russians and others from different parts of the USSR came to work
here. Akmola became the project's capital and was renamed Tselinograd
(Virgin Lands City). After Kazakhstan's independence, it got back
its old name Akmola, which means White Tomb. In 1997 the city
was renamed Astana.
the entrance to Astana visitors see a large bridge shining with
bright lights. The gate to the capital city is guarded by two
snow leopards - one leopard has wings on its back and symbolises
Kazakhstan's power and huge area, the other leopard is a female
protecting her kittens - this sculpture shows that Kazakhstan's
future is with the younger generation.
has many old merchants' houses built under the Russian Empire.
One of these old buildings with carved windows and gates now accommodates
the Museum of writer Saken Seifulin. Not far from here is the
Russian Orthodox Church of Sergy Radonezhsky. During Soviet times
this Church served as Club of Railroad Workers, and nowadays the
altar stands right on the former stage. A mosque appeared in Astana
not long ago. Its red brick building has two high minarets on
The architecture of Astana reflects three epochs - the old city
of Akmola, the city of the 1950s - Tselinograd, and the modern
city of Astana where new tall buildings and the towers of hotels
and business centres grow among old wooden houses inherited from
Switzerland is the second name given to Burabai, Kokshetau region
that is in the Northern Kazakhstan.
yellow scorched unending steppe you just encounter the green wall
of forest. It harbours wonders: hillocks overgrown with trees,
stony ridges, heaps of rocks like fairy giants and ghosts as silent
as bewitched lakes.
" in Kazakh stands for camel. There is an old legend about
prophetic camel, which used to live in Burabai neighbourhood.
It was he who was the first to anticipate the people's awful lot
and then he turned to a tulpar (horse) and flew to the
peak of Kokshetau thus averting people from the coming misfortune.
ship timbers and quiet lakes, full of fish and animals, served
for many centuries as a refuge for people. On the territory of
Burabai archaeologists found the armoury of primeval bronze epoch.
Excavation of settlements and burial moulds belonging to bronze
epoch testify to the fact that Burabai was resided not only by
hunters, but also by the farmers and cattle breeders.
lacks any monuments of material culture. But its legends, nature
do impress as some grand castles and palaces.
The nature kindly gifted Burabai with valuables from its mineral
Burabai pine forest is good at any time and in any weather.
winter the pine forest is covered with white snow, in summer -
a light wind blows up the aromatic resinous waves, in autumn -
the forest smells the peculiar air, a mixture of wet pine rind
with mushrooms and herbs.
is one of the largest tourist centres of Kazakhstan with population
of 310,000 people. The town's past as the 6th century
Silk Road settlement of Taraz was discovered by archaeologists
in 1938. In the 11th century it was a capital of the
Karakhanid State, which also ruled Bukhara for a while. In 1220
Taraz was conquered by the hordes of Genghis-Khan and was razed
to the ground. At the end of the 18th century near
the ruins of old city it rose again under the name Aulie-Ata ("holy
aged man") as a northern frontier fort of the Kokand khanate.
Its first settlers were Uzbeks, those who came from Namangan.
In 1864 the city was occupied by Russian forces.
1938 the town was renamed to Dzhambul after the name of the Kazakh
poet Dzhambul Dzhabayev. In 1997 the old name - Taraz was given
back to the town. On the territory of Dzhambul province there
are more than 450 archaeological monuments.
Here one can meet the sites of primitive man
of the period of paleolith and late Stone Age, monuments of the
Bronze Age (numerous burial mounds, rock paintings), dozens of
ruins of medieval towns and fortifications.
achieved its violent growth in the 10-12th centuries,
the testimony of which is the forked network of water pipes made
of clay, remains of architectural structures, pavements and paved
streets, numerous handmade items of skilful masters, which were
found during excavations. The town's bathhouse is referred to
that time. The bathhouse had inside fresco murals.
Two mausoleums reminding about ancient Taraz have been preserved
in the town, both reconstructed in 20th century.
Mausoleum was built in the 11th century above the
grave of one of the rulers of Karakhanids’ dynasty. It presents
portal-and-dome brick structure.
Mausoleum (13th century) - was built above the
grave of one of the viceroys of Mongol Khans who had been killed
in 1262. It is said to have been built lopsided in revenge for
the man's infamous cruelty.
There are two memorials located 18 km from Taraz which present
particular interest for the tourists. They are situated not far
from each other.
Mausoleum was built in the 11th century, and
it has the marquee dome of unique construction.
Mausoleum (12th century) is the only in Kazakhstan
memorial, entirely faced with carved terracotta with the richest
ornamentation with 60 kinds of patterns, cornices and styled inscriptions.
Capitals and columns from terracotta blocks are covered as the
entire wall with the thinnest paintings, which present the richest
composition of motives of folk ornament. On one of the corner
towers of mausoleum there preserved the inscriptions: “Autumn...
Clouds... The Earth is beautiful”.
perhaps as early as the 5th century AD, and known as
Yasy till the 16th, the town was by the 12th
century an important trade and religious centre, on a boundary
between nomadic and agricultural societies. Later it became a
northerly outpost of the Kokand khanate, falling to the Russian
push of 1864.
Turkestan there is found Kazakhstan's greatest building and an
important site of Muslim pilgrimage - Khodja Akhmed Yasaui
Mausoleum, which according to its size is equal to Bibi-Khanum
Mosque in Samarkand. Khodja Akhmed Yasaui, the revered 12th
century Sufi teacher and mystical poet, underwent ascetic Sufi
training in Bukhara, but spent the rest of his life in Turkestan.
He founded the Yasaui Sufi sect. The legend tells that at the
age of 63 he retired to an underground cell in mourning for the
Prophet Muhammad who had died at the same age.
Akhmed Yasaui died in 1166 and was buried with great honour in
a small mausoleum erected for him, which subsequently became a
place of mass pilgrimage and worship for Moslems.
present mausoleum was built 233 years after his death under the
order of Timur in the late 14th century. In numerous
bloody battles Timur destroyed the power of the Golden Horde and
in honour of this victory he decided to build a new, grandiose
memorial complex. Timur had died before it was completed and the
front face was left unfinished. In the main chamber there is a
vast bronze kazan (iron pot) for holy water. Kazan
is the symbol of unity and hospitality. That's why special significance
was attached to its size and exterior. It has diameter 2,45 m.,
weight - 2 tons and it is made of the alloys of 7 metals.