The Republic of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan, a country with unique nomadic culture, is located on the border between Asia and Europe. Today, Kazakhstan is associated with white yurts, felt carpets, and horses. The country is rich in oil, and its main reserves are concentrated in the western part of Kazakhstan. Its boundless steppes, majestic mountains, turquoise lakes and swift rivers are unique in their beauty and majesty.
In ancient times, the steppe territories of the country were inhabited by nomadic tribes. Horse, a measure of wealth and beauty, has always been an integral part of their life. Western Kazakhstan is famous for its excellent horses. Horse breeding has been rapidly developing till present days.
The Kazakh history is rich in traditions. Carpet weaving is one of them. Felted wool of sheep, camels and goats is used for its producing. Carpets were used to cover yurts, which were covered and decorated with them inside too. In former times, carpets demonstrated prosperity and cordiality of the family.
Feast customs and national cuisine are considered to be another tradition of the Kazakhs. For centuries, they have been created under influence of the Kazakh nomadic life. Beshbarmak is a masterpiece of the Kazakh cuisine. This dish is made of boiled noodles with lamb, camel, beef or horse meat. Kazakh main dishes – kazy, kara, sujuk and others – are made of horse meat. Before having a meal, the Kazakhs usually consume dairy products, such as kumis, shubat or ayran. Honey boortsogs with tea and milk are served for dessert.
Kazakhstan welcomes those who desire to learn its unknown ancient culture. Yurts, nomadic dwellings resembling a tent, used to be the first Kazakh buildings. In the centre of the yurt, one may see the hearth with a crown (cupola) over it. Later this architectural feature was used in stone structures.
It has been established that the northern branch of the Silk Road passed through the territory of Kazakhstan. Sayram, Yasi, Taraz, Almaty, Otrar are known as cities of merchants. The era of the Silk Road has been reflected in masterpieces of the local architecture. Urban ensembles, castles of lords and mausoleums built in the 10th-11th centuries, bring you back to the times when caravans of traders followed the Silk Road from the Far East to the West.
Ancient historical monuments are located on the territory of Kazakhstan. Mausoleums and mazars are of particular interest. The Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi, a Sufi philosopher, is the greatest monument of the Middle Ages. This masterpiece of the Kazakh architecture is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Mazar of Kozy-Korpesh and Bayan-Sulu, located not far from the village of Tarlauly, keeps numerous legends. You can see many similar structures throughout the country. These round stone monuments resemble yurts.
The country’s modern architecture is interesting as well. The Kazakhstan's capital – Astana – recognised by UNESCO as the City of Peace, will surprise you with its unusual structures. The unique monument – Bayterek – is one of them. It is a metal structure with a large ball on the top. It doesn’t look like any other monument throughout the world. Kazakhstan is home to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the first and the world's largest one. The first man-made satellite had once been lifted off from this once secret Soviet place. The first human spaceflight had been launched at this cosmodrome. It had been performed by Yuri Gagarin, a pilot-cosmonaut. You’ll have opportunity to see such launch systems as Proton and Zenit, to be on board of the Buran spacecraft, to see the launch pad of Yuri Gagarin and his house-museum, etc.
Kazakhstan is also known for its beautiful nature. Four natural zones – forest steppe, steppe, desert and semi-desert – stretch from the north to the south. The diversity of flora and fauna of this place is amazing. Ecotourism, along with mountain and ethnographic tourism, is quite popular here. You are advised to come here to learn the customs and culture of the Kazakh people. Here you can hunt and to see what is a real yurt inside.
Altyn-Emel, Ile-Alatau, Katon-Karagay and many others natural parks are the natural wealth of the country. In Kazakhstan, there are about 25 protected areas. Reserves in the mountains are mostly of paleontological value. Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve is the oldest and the most known one. Conservation areas of the desert and steppe Kazakhstan are picturesque as well – Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve, for instance. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was created to preserve the unique wetlands – home to pink flamingos, Dalmatian pelicans, cormorants and other birds.
The Trans-Ili Alatau Mountain Range is located near Almaty, the largest city of Kazakhstan. Almaty is surrounded by pine trees, rivers, waterfalls, gorges, and of course, ski resorts. Medeo Skating Rink, a ski complex, is a favourite tourist destination in the country. It is located at an altitude of 1,700 meters. The Asian Games were held here in 2011. Chymbulak ski resort is situated not far from the city at an altitude of 2,200 meters. The resort has gained fame due to its mild climate and a wide variety of entertainments. Ski season runs here from November to May.
The Kazakh steppe is covered with picturesque rivers and lakes. Shalkar Lake, Beloye Lake, the Emba River and the Syr Darya are popular. Balkhash, a semi-freshwater lake, is the most unique lake of the country. In the south-east of Kazakhstan, the largest lake of the country – Alakol – is located. Its mineral salts and black pebble on the banks have a therapeutic effect on the human body. You can have a rest on the shores of the Aral and Caspian seas as well.
Take a journey to this country, and you’ll get a lot of unforgettable, enjoyable impressions!
Administrative division — Kazakhstan
Astana Population: 773387
- Aktau Population: 178187
- Atyrau Population: 182885
- Ekibastuz Population: 128980
- Karaganda Population: 475267
- Kökshetaū Population: 136922
- Kyzylorda Population: 206719
- Oral Population: 301400
- Öskemen Population: 319067
- Pavlodar Population: 333412
- Petropavlovsk Population: 200920
- Semey Population: 309574
- Shymkent Population: 657100
- Taldykorgan Population: 130797
- Taraz Population: 358153
- Akmola Population: 731398
- Aktobe Population: 786349
- Almaty Population: 2021362
- Atyraū Population: 542987
- East Kazakhstan Population: 1395059
- Jambyl Population: 1055976
- Karagandy Population: 1358064
- Kostanay Population: 880326
- Kyzylorda Population: 712992
- Mangystau Population: 545724
- North Kazakhstan Population: 583598
- Pavlodar Population: 747584
- South Kazakhstan Population: 2621523
- West Kazakhstan Population: 614280
- Almaty Population: 1434755