Theme Week Kazakhstan – Almaty

Saturday, 24 November 2018 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  9 minutes

Nurly Tau business center in Almaty from the City Hall Park © flickr.com - Alexandru Panoiu/cc-by-2.0

Nurly Tau business center in Almaty from the City Hall Park © flickr.com – Alexandru Panoiu/cc-by-2.0

Almaty (“City of Apples/Apple Trees”), formerly known as Alma-Ata and Verny, is the largest city in Kazakhstan, with a population of 1.8 million people, about 8% of the country’s total population. It served as capital of the Kazakh state in its various forms from 1929 to 1997, under the influence of the then Soviet Union and its appointees. Alma-Ata was the host city for a 1978 international conference on Primary Health Care where the Alma Ata Declaration was adopted, marking a paradigm shift in global public health. In 1997, the government relocated the capital to Astana in the north of the country, which is about 12 hours away by train.

Almaty continues as the major commercial and cultural centre of Kazakhstan, as well as its most populous and most cosmopolitan city. The city is located in the mountainous area of southern Kazakhstan in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau at an elevation of 700–900 m (2,300–3,000 feet), where the Large and Small Almatinka rivers run into the plain.

Kazakhstan declared its independence from the Soviet Union on 16 December 1991 (Kazakhstan Independence Day), and two years later the government renamed the city from the Russian Alma-Ata to the Kazakh name Almaty. In 1997 the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev approved the Decree to transfer the capital from Almaty to Astana in the north of the country. On 1 July 1998 a law was passed to establish the special status of Almaty as a scientific, cultural, historical, financial, and industrial centre. The new General Plan of Almaty for 2030 was developed in 1998. It is intended to create ecologically safe, secure, and socially comfortable living conditions in the city. The main objective is to promote Almaty’s image as a garden-city. It proposes continued multi-storied and single-housing development, reorganization of industrial districts or territories, improving transport infrastructure, and expanding the Almaty Metro. The first line of the Almaty metro was launched on 1 December 2011, two weeks ahead of schedule. The extension of the line to Kalkaman was opened in 2015. Nevertheless, Almaty has developed a major problem with air pollution. Already in 1995, particulate emissions, then mostly from the city’s thermal power station, exceeded Kazakh and EU standards by over 20 times. In 2008, Almaty was ranked the 9th most polluted city in the world. A 2013 study identified cars as a major source of pollution, and it was noted since 2003 and 2013 morbidity had increased by a factor of 1.5, and that the city takes the first place in the republic on respiratory, endocrine and blood diseases, cancer and bronchial asthma, even though there are no major industrial installations. An independent local air quality monitoring system with a mobile app was launched in 2017. The area of the city has been expanded during recent years with the annexation of the suburban settlements of Kalkaman, Kok Tube, Gorniy Gigant District (Mountain Giant). Numerous apartment blocks and office skyscrapers have transformed the face of the town, which has been built into the mountains.

Central State Museum of Kazakhstan © Tisoiso/cc-by-sa-3.0 Fountain in the park © Andrey Moisseyev/cc-by-sa-3.0 Typical architecture from around 1900 © Ds02006 Typical architecture from around 1900 © Ds02006 Horses in the poppy valley near Almaty © Togzhan Ibrayeva/cc-by-sa-4.0 Nurly Tau business center in Almaty from the City Hall Park © flickr.com - Alexandru Panoiu/cc-by-2.0 Panoramic night view of Almaty from Kok-Tobe © Edgarpo01/cc-by-sa-3.0 Panoramic view of Almaty from Kok-Tobe © ShadowNinja1080/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Nurly Tau business center in Almaty from the City Hall Park © flickr.com - Alexandru Panoiu/cc-by-2.0
An aerial tramway line connects downtown Almaty with a popular recreation area at the top of Kök Töbe (which means ‘Green Hill’), a mountain just to the southeast. The city television tower, Almaty Tower, is located on the hill. It has a variety of tourist attractions, such as a zoo, amusement-park-style rides and restaurants.

According to the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Resource Use Management, as of 2007 the city has 125 fountains. Among them is the “Oriental Calendar” Fountain, whose 12 sculptural figures represent the 12 animals of the Kazakh 12-year animal cycle (similar to its Chinese counterpart).

The Medeu is an outdoor speed skating and bandy rink. It is located in a mountain valley (Medeu Valley, or the valley of Malaya Alma-Atinka River) on the south-eastern outskirts of Almaty, Kazakhstan. Medeu sits 1,691 metres above sea level, making it one of the highest skating rinks in the world. It has 10,500 square meters of ice and utilizes a sophisticated freezing and watering system to ensure the quality of the ice.

Shymbulak is a ski resort near Almaty, located in the upper part of the Medeu Valley in the Zaiilisky Alatau mountain range, at the elevation of 2,200 metres (7,200 ft) above sea level. The resort area is about 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of Almaty city by the Medeu road. It is popular for its mild climate, a large quantity of sunny days and a great amount of snow through the winter (from November till May).

First President’s Park is an urban park located in Almaty at the intersection of Navoi Street and Al-Farabi Avenue in Bostandyk district. The park was opened in July 2010. Creation of the park began in 2001. The first were broken main elements of the park – the avenue, boulevard, dendrological areas. greenery were planted according to dendrological plan. In honor of the participation of the city of Almaty in the Olympic torch relay of the Beijing Olympic Games, about a hundred spruces and birches were planted. In 2011, a hundred Tien-Shan spruces were also planted. Plans include a set of water projects in the area of 9.5 ha and massif area on the area of 4.8 hectares.

Big Almaty Lake is a natural lake located in Trans-Ili Alatau mountains on 2511 above the sea level near Almaty (15 km South from Almaty). Like a majority of lakes in Trans-Ili Alatau, this lake formed as the result of an earthquake. The lake is a major source of drinking water for the region. People can access the lake by car (approximately 1 hour drive from the city center), bike, or hiking (approximately a half-day trip).

The Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen is a major park in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The park is located in east-central Almaty in the area surrounding Zenkov Cathedral. It is dedicated to and named after the Panfilov Heroes, 28 soldiers of an Almaty infantry unit who died fighting Nazi German invaders outside of Moscow in World War II. The group takes its name from Ivan Panfilov, the General commanding the 316th division which, in spite of heavy casualties, believed at that time managed to significantly delay the Germans’ advance on the capital, buying time for the defenders of the city. An eternal flame commemorating the fallen of the Russian Civil War and the Great Patriotic War burns in front of the giant black monument of soldiers from all 15 Soviet republics.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Almaty, LonelyPlanet.com – Almaty, Wikitravel Almaty, Wikivoyage Almaty and Wikipedia Almaty. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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