Definitions

Almaty

Almaty

[al-muh-tee]
Almaty, formerly Alma-Ata, city (1993 pop. 1,176,000), capital of Almaty prov., Kazakhstan, in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau. A terminus of the Turkistan-Siberia RR, Almaty is the industrial, financial, and cultural center of Kazakhstan and was for many years its capital; in 1997 the capital of Kazakhstan was moved to Astana. Leading industries include fruit canning, meatpacking, tobacco processing, and the repair of railroad equipment. Most of the inhabitants are ethnic Russians, with Kazakhs the next largest group. The city was founded in 1854 as a Russian fort and trade center known as Verny. It has been repeatedly struck by earthquakes and mud slides during its long history. Almaty has a university and is the site of the Kazakh Academy of Sciences. To the east is Ile-Alatau National Park.
formerly Alma-Ata

City (pop., 1999: 1,129,400), southeastern Kazakhstan. Formerly the capital of Kazakhstan, it lost its capital status in 1995 to Aqmola (now Astana). The modern city was founded in 1854, when the Russians established a military fortification on the site of the ancient city of Almaty, destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century. With the coming of the railroad in 1930, its population grew rapidly. In World War II (1939–45), heavy industry expanded widely as factories were evacuated to the site from European Russia. The city remains a major industrial centre.

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Almaty (Алматы; formerly known as Alma-Ata (Алма-Ата), also Verniy, (Верный)) is the largest city in Kazakhstan, with a population of 1,226,000 (as of 1 August 2005), which represents 8% of the population of the country. It was the capital of Kazakhstan (and its predecessor, the Kazakh SSR) from 1929 to 1998. Despite losing its status as the capital, Almaty remains the major commercial center of Kazakhstan.

Name

The name "Almaty" derives from the Kazakh word for "apple" (алма), and thus is often translated as a city "rich with apples". The older Soviet-era Russian version of its name, Alma-Ata, originates from a mistake (the name literally means "Grandfather of apples"). In the surrounding region, there is a great genetic diversity among the wild apples; the region is thought to be the ancestral home of the apple, and the wild Malus sieversii, is considered a likely candidate for the ancestor of the modern domestic apple.

Demographics

Ethnic groups (2003):

According to the USSR Census of 1989, population of Almaty was 1,071,900; Kazakhstan Census of 1999 reported 1,129,400.

History

Prehistoric Almaty

During 10-9 BCE in the Bronze Age the first farmers and cattle-breeders established settlements on the territory of Almaty.

During the Saka’s period (from 7 BCE to the beginning of the Common Era), Almaty was chosen for residence by Saka tribes and later Uisun tribes inhabiting the territory north of the Tian Shan mountain range. The evidences of these times are numerous burial tumuli and ancient settlements, especially giant burial mounds of Saka tsars. The most famous archaeological finds are the Golden man from the Issyk Kurgan, Zhalauly treasure, Kargaly diadem, Zhetysu arts bronze (boilers, lamps and alters). During the period of Saka and uisun governance, Almaty became the early education center.

Middle Ages

The next stage of Almaty evolution is attributed to the Middle Ages (8th – 10th centuries) and characterized by the city culture development, transfer to the settled way of living, farming and handicraft development, emerging a number of towns and cities on the territory of Zhetysu.

In 10th – 14th centuries, settlements situated on the territory of the so called "Big Almaty became the part of trade routes of the Silk Road. At that time, Almaty became one of the trade, craft and agricultural centers on the Silk Road and possessed an official mint. The city was first mentioned as Almatu in old books in the 13th century.

15th - 18th centuries

In 15th - 18th centuries, the city was on the way to degradation as trade activities were condensing on this part of the Silk Road. Notwithstanding, this period was saturated with very important political events that had significant impact on the history of Almaty and Kazakhstan as a whole. It was a period of crucial ethnic and political transformations. The Kazakh state and nation were founded here, close to Almaty.

These lands also witnessed the tragic developments related to the Dzungar intervention and rigorous efforts of the Kazakh to protect their land and preserve independence. In 1730 the Kazakh defeated the Dzungar in the Anyrakay mountains, 70 km to north-west from Almaty. It was a critical moment of the Patriotic War between Kazakhs and Dzungars.

Foundation of Verniy

On 4 February 1854 the modern history of the city began with the strengthening of the Russian piedmont Fort Verniy nearby the Zailiysky Alatau mountain range between Bolshaya and Malaya Almatinka rivers. The construction of the Verniy Fort was almost finished by autumn 1854. It was a fenced pentagon and one of its sides was built along the Malaya Almatinka. Later, wood fence was replaced with the wall of brick with embrasures. Main facilities were erected around the big square for training and parading.

In 1855 the first displaced Kazakh appeared in Verniy. Since 1856, Verniy started accepting Russian peasants. They founded the Bolshaya Almatinskaya Stanitsa (Cossack village) nearby the fortification. The inflow of migrants was increasing and led to construction of the Malaya Almatinskaya Stanitsa and Tatarskaya (Tashkentskaya) sloboda. It was the place of settlement for Tatar mechants and craftsmen.

In 1867 the Verniy Fort was transformed into the town and called Almatinsk. However, the population did not like the new name of the town and soon the town was re-named as Verniy.

According to the First City Plan, the city parameters were 2 km on the south along Almatinka river, and 3 km on the west. The new city area was divided into residential parts, and the latter – into districts. Three categories of the city buildings were distinguished. Buildings of the first and second categories were two-storied or, at least, one-storied constructions with the high semi-basement. Buildings of categories I and II were erected around and in the center of the city, others – on the outskirts.

On 28 May 1887, at 4 a.m., an earthquake almost totally destroyed Verniy in 11-12 minutes. Brick buildings were mostly damaged. As a result, people were inclined to build up one-storied construction made of wood or adobe.

20th century Almaty

Almaty from the Revolution of 1917 to World War II

In 1921, the joint solemn sitting was summoned for the participation of the representative of government regional and sub-regional institutions, professional trades, the Muslim people to make a decision to assign a new name to Verniy – Alma-Ata.

In 1926, the Council of Labour and Defence approved the construction of the Turkestan-Siberia Railway railway that was a crucial element of the republic reconstruction, specifically on the east and southeast of the republic. The Turkestan-Siberia Railway construction was also a decisive economic aspect that foreordained the destiny of Alma-Ata as a capital of Kazakh ASSR. In 1930 the construction of the highway and railway to the Alma-Ata station was completed.

On 2 March 1927, It was the initiative of the Central Executive Committee of the Kazakh Republic to transfer the capital from Kyzyl-Orda to Alma-Ata. The VI Kazakhstani Congress approved this initiative.

On 29 April 1927, it was officially decided on the sitting of the RSFSR Committee to transfer the capital of the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic from Kyzyl-Orda to Alma-Ata.

Besides, the Alma-Ata airport was opened in 1930 and people from the capital of Kazakhstan could fly now from Alma-Ata to Moscow. Alma-Ata became the air gate to Kazakhstan. Transformation of the small town into the capital of the Republic was supplied by the large-scaled construction of new administrative and government facilities and housing.

Given the transfer of the capital of Kazakhstan to Alma-Ata , in 1936 the Architecture and Planning Bureau elaborated the General Plan aimed at re-creating Alma-Ata as the new cultural and comfortable capital of Kazakhstan. The Plan was based on the existing rectangular system of districts that would further be strengthened and reconstructed.

Almaty in World War II

During the World War II the city territory was changed to a large extent. To organize the home front and concentrate industrial and material resources, the residential stock was compressed to arrange accommodation for 26,000 persons evacuated. Alma-Ata hosted over 30 industrial facilities from the front areas, 8 evacuated hospitals, 15 institutes, universities and technical schools, around 20 cultural institutions, etc. Motion picture production companies from Leningrad, Kiev and Moscow were also evacuated to Alma-Ata.

Owing to self-denying labour, over 52,000 Alma-Ata residents were awarded. 48 residents were granted with the title of the Soviet Union Hero. Three rifle divisions were raised in Alma-Ata , including the well-known 8th Panfilov’s division, along with 2 rifle battalions and 3 aviation regiments that were raised on the basis of the air club of Alma-Ata.

Almaty from 1945 to 2000

From 1966 to 1971, 1,400,000 square meters of public and cooperative housing were put into operation. Annually, around 300,000 square meters of dwellings were under construction. It was the period of constructing earthquake-proof multi-storied buildings. Construction unification and type-design practice diversified architectural forms. At that time were constructed lots of schools, hospitals, cultural and entertainment facilities, including the Lenin’s Palace, Kazakhstan Hotel, sport complex “Medeo”, etc.

The Medeu Dam, designed to protect the city of Almaty and the Medeo skating rink from catastrophic mudflows, was built in 1966 and reinforced a number of times in the 1960s and 1970s.

The supersonic transport Tupolev Tu-144 went into service on 26 December 1975, flying mail and freight between Moscow and Alma-Ata in preparation for passenger services, which commenced in November 1977. The Aeroflot flight on 1 June 1978 was the Tu-144's 55th and last scheduled passenger service.

Since 1981, the underground Almaty Metro construction project has been developed.

On 16 December 1986 Jeltoksan riot took place in response to General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev's dismissal of Dinmukhamed Kunayev.

In 1993 the government made a decision to rename Alma-Ata. The new name of the city is Almaty.

In 1997 the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev approved the Decree to transfer the capital from Almaty to Astana.

On 1 July 1998 was passed the Law concerning the special status of Almaty as a scientific, cultural, historical, financial and industrial center.

21st century Almaty

The new 2030 General Plan of Almaty was developed in 1998 and aims at forming ecologically safe, secure and socially comfortable living conditions. The main objective is to promote Almaty’s image as a garden-city. One of the components of the General Plan is to continue multi-storied and individual construction, reorganize industrial territories, improve transport infrastructure and launch Almaty Metro.

Almaty Financial Centre

Almaty is also developing as the regional financial and business centre - RFCA.

Sights

Kök Töbe

An aerial tramway line connects downtown Almaty with a popular recreation area the top of Kök Töbe (Көктөбе, which means 'Green Hill'), a mountain just to the southeast. The city television tower, Alma-Ata Tower, is located on the hill, as well as a variety of amusement-park type attractions and touristy restaurants.

Fountains

According to the city's Department of Natural Resources and Resource Use Management, as of 2007 the city has 125 fountain groups or isolated fountains. Among them is the "Oriental Calendar" Fountain, whose 12 sculpture figures represent the 12 animals of the Kazakh 12-year animal cycle (similar to its Chinese counterpart).

Universities of Almaty

for further details: List of universities in Kazakhstan

Olympic aspirations

Almaty was an official candidate to host the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014, but was eliminated from consideration after it failed to be included in the "short list" of candidate cities. Almaty won its bid to host the 2011 Winter Asian Games. The city is exploring possible future bids, such as the 2018 Winter Olympics.

See also

External links

Olympic-related

Travel-related

References

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