Almaty is the biggest commercial center of Kazakhstan and the  most populated city of the nation with its 1.34 million population according to information of 2008. Despite losing the status of Capital in 1997 Almaty remains one of economical centers and the ethnicly, culturally diverce in the country.

From time to time the name of the city changed several times and once it was “Verny” meaning faithfull if translated from Russian. The word Alma Ata consist of two separate words the first meaning apple and the next father. But together they do not make any sense. There is great genetic diversity among the wild apples in the area surrounding Almaty: the region is thought to be the ancestral home for the apple, and the wild Malus sieversii is considered a likely candidate for the ancestor of the modern domestic apple. The region is often visited by the researchers and scientists from all around the world in order to learn more about the complex systems of genetics, and also to discover the true beginnings of the domestic apple.


Silver dirham minted in Almaty (Almaty), in 684 Hijri year (1285-1286). On Antiquities, discovered by archaeologists in what is now Alma-Ata, it is possible to judge that this area has long been inhabited by nomadic tribes. The most characteristic monuments of this region are burial mounds of Saks VI-III centuries BC. e., the largest of which up to 20 m and a base diameter of 100 m located on the banks of the rivers Bolshaya and Malaya Almatinka, Esentaya (Vesnovka), Aksai. Currently, most mounds buried under of residential buildings of the city.
Usuns tribes who replaced Saks, were very familiar with agriculture and had permanent settlements. This can be judged by the archaeological findings such assickles, graters, simple irrigation systems and others.
Later the area was part of West Turkic, and Karluk Turgesh kaganates and State Karakhanids. While Karluks in Trans-Ili Alatau foothills began to appear sedentary agricultural settlements in the field of permanent hibernation (kystau) and the city as a rate nomadic elite.
In the VIII-X centuries on the territory of modern Alma-Ata were several small settlements, one of which allegedly called Almaty and was on the Silk Road.
In the beginning of the XIII century, the region of Almaty, as well as all the Seven Rivers, was subjected to the Mongol conquest. Events of that time were described by the famous statesman, Zahir al-Din Muhammad Babur in his memoirs, Alma-Ata named among the ruined cities. The sources that describe the events of the XIV century, the city is Almalik. Thus, Seref-Addin Yazdi, describing the campaign of Timur in Moghulistan in 1390, writes that Timurid army moved from Tashkent to the Issyk-Kul, and then on the Kok-Tobe, passed Almalik continue through Karatal on Irtysh. By the end of the XVI century Almaty remains only a small portion, which is home to Kazakhs kind of Dulat Zhuz.

Inception of the modern city was laid February 4, 1854, when the Russian government decided to build on the left bank of the Little Almatinka fortification. Beginning from 1854 to 1921 the region was called Verny.

Sights of Almaty

Panfilov Park, Zenkov Wooden constructed Cathedral, St.Nicholas Cathedral, National Musical Instruments Museum, Central State Museum, Almaty's Green Bazaar, Panoramic view at observatory.


Panfilov Park

Named after Major General Ivan Panfilov a famous hero, the park is one of best places in Almaty. The park also honors those who gave their lives in the "great" wars, WWI and WWII.  The park is also known for the 28 Heroes Park for 28 men who died while defending their country in the battle of Moscow in at the beginning of WWII.

There are several things to see in the park and it can easily take most of a day to see all the sights.  Throughout the park there are several war monuments but the largest one is at the site of the eternal flame.  The huge bronze statue contains fighting soldiers who look fierce erupting from the stone slab beneath them.  The center figure's outstretched arms are massive and give a sense of the force used to protect his beloved country.  They look out on a flat slap of black marble that contains at the other end an eternal flame in the center of a bronze star surround by a wreath. 

National Musical Instruments Museum
National Musical Instruments Museum is located not far from Panfilov Park.  It was built by the famed architect Z.A. Zenkov and the outside of the building has unique carvings.  Inside is housed the best collection of native instruments of the Kazakh culture.  If you are fortunate to visit when there is a trained curator, he will even play the instruments for you.  The price of admission to the museum is around 200 tenge.  The museum is open every day except Mondays or when they decide not to be open.  Few of the exhibits have English captions but if you like folk instruments this is a good place to see dombras the national folk instrument of Kazakhstan.  A dombra is sort of like a lute. In the past this building was used for military officers gatherings.

Zenkov Cathedral
Zenkov Cathedral, also known as the Voznesenski Orthodox Cathedral.  It was built in 1904 by Z.A. Zenkov the church stands 164 feet, entirely made of Tian Shan fir tree wood without nail.  Zenkov Cathedral is one of  eight unique buildings in the world that are entirely made of wood without a single nail.  Almaty quake in 1911  that supposedly registered a 10 on the Richter scale couldn’t hit Zenkov Cathedral.  Zenkov Cathedral is like a Russian fairy-tale looking construction that you would look forward to see somewhere in Russia.  During soviet time Zenkov Cathedral was used as a museum  but in May 1995 it was returned to the Orthodox Church and since 1997 daily services have been held.

While it is a currently working church no camera are allowed in, however there are books that can be purchased with photos, or you can purchase a three CD set that has the history of the building, a choir program and a service.  The set is nice but the only problemis it's  in Russian and Kazakh.  

There are many icons and other relics of the Orthodox faith inside of the Cathedral houses.  The icons are amazing and ornante as is the alter area of the church.  When visiting inside it is adviced that you not talk and of course no photography is permitted even the photo you want to sneak with your mobile phone will get you escorted out.

There is no fee to visit the Cathedral.  In case you want to light a candle or purchase an icon there's a little church store just inside the lobby. 


The Central State Museum

The Central State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan was established  in 1930 in Almaty. The current building dates back 1985 and hosts 4 large exhibition halls covering hundreds of unique Kazakh exposures including spiritual and cultural material describing the 1000-year history of the nation. The Central State Museum in Almaty is primarily a history museum, with exposures describing the development of Kazakhstan and its people from the Bronze Age to the Soviet Union, and the present day. There are also displays of Kazakh handicrafts and souvenir store which sell rugs and jewellery.   Museum is open:Wed-Mon 9am-6pm.