About Almaty

Almaty is a beautiful city at the foot of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains. Trans-Ili Alatau mountains are part of the Tien Shan mountain range.

In VIII-X centuries, before the founding of the city, the territory of modern Almaty was settled by several small colonies. One of them allegedly was called “Almaty”. During the sak’s period, Almaty was chosen for residence by Sak tribes and later Uisun tribes.

At the beginning of the XIII century this region arranged on the Silk Road, and was subjected to devastating Mongol raids. Only a small part of Almaty was saved after the raids and settled by Kazakh villages. In 1854 a military fortification called Trans-Ili (later Verniy) was built on the banks of the Malaya Almatinka river.

After a year Russian immigrants began to arrive there and Verniy started to develop rapidly. In 1921 Verniy was named as Alma-Ata. In Kazakh language it means “a father of apples”.

Six years later the capital of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic was transferred from Kzyl-Orda to Alma-Ata. The city became heavily built up and equipped with modern conveniences.

With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, due to the advantageous and safe location of Alma-Ata, the city became a place for evacuation of industrial enterprises from other regions of the USSR. This has led to the rapid growth of city economy.

This 150-year history is reflected in many attractions – Kok Tobe Mountain cable car, Charyn Canyon and National Park, Ascension Cathedral and Medeu Skating rink, the largest ice rink in the world – historical monuments of culture and history and contrasting city architecture – from ancient buildings in the feudal style to ultra-modern skyscrapers.

Now the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan is Astana, while Almaty remains the cultural and financial centre of the country.

Transport: Almaty has Metro, bus and taxi services, all of which are fairly priced. The Metro is easiest if you are close to a stop, while buses are the cheapest option but can be crowded at peak times.