Kazakhstan - time


The Republic of Kazakhstan stretches over a vast expanse of northern and central Eurasia. Kazakhstan’s terrain extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altay Mountains in the east, and from the plains of Western Siberia in the north to the oases and deserts of Central Asia in the south.

The Kazakh steppe, with an area of around 804,500 square kilometres (310,600 sq. miles), occupies one-third of the country and is the world's largest dry steppe region, characterized by large areas of grasslands and sandy regions.

With an area of 2.7 million square kilometers (1.05 million sq. mi), Kazakhstan is the ninth-largest country in the world and the largest landlocked country in the world. It is equivalent to the size of Western Europe – five times the size of France and four times the size of Texas.

Major cities include Astana (the capital since December 1997), Almaty (the former capital), Karaganda, Shymkent (Chimkent), Semey (Semipalatinsk) and Turkestan.


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The capital - Astana

• Modern Kazakhstan is built on 3000 years of extraordinary history. The country has experienced epic moments and has been influenced by such legends as Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. For centuries, the Silk Road provided a route through Kazakhstan for international traders and merchants carrying exotic merchandise. All this has contributed to the richness of Kazakh culture and its capacity to adapt and develop.

• Political stability, religious tolerance and a unique location at the crossroads of China, Russia and Europe gives Kazakhstan a stabilising role for the whole region - as well as making it the perfect host for the Congress of World Religions (held in Astana every three years).

• Kazakhstan is a forward-thinking country – and President Nazarbayev is behind many ambitious projects – such as the Aral Sea dam, which will save the disappearance of the world’s fourth largest inland sea. The country has launched its own ambitious space programme at Baikonour, and plans for a pan-Asian canal to further open up trade routes between central Asia and Europe have been drawn up

• Astana - Kazakhstan’s capital (moved from Almaty in 1997), is situated at the very heart of the country. Internationally renowned architects like Norman Foster and Kisho Kurokawa have already left their mark on a city that looks set to outshine many of the world’s more established capitals.

• Eco-tourism is particularly strong in Kazakhstan - a land of vast unspoilt open spaces, majestic mountains (with world class ski stations), horseback adventure and increasingly vibrant modern cities.
kazakhstanlive.com is edited by :
Marston-Nicholson, International Business Consultants Group
on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kazakhstan


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Kazakhstan has been “terra incognita” for the rest of the world for a very long time. Over the last 23 years, the young Republic of Kazakhstan has managed to spark off the attention of the international community. For centuries, riders have strolled along this steppe linking Europe and Asia and mentioned a country where “rage, attractiveness and charm are mixed up”. The country now opens its vast cultural potential.

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Almaty (formerly - Alma Ata) enjoys a beautiful setting between mountains and plains. It is a city of modern architecture, wide streets, cool fountains, parks and squares and spectacular mountain views and, particularly in spring and autumn, is an attractive place despite the inevitable legacy of Soviet architecture. Attractions in the city include the Panfilov Park, which is dominated by one of the world's tallest wooden buildings, built at the turn of the 20th century without using a single nail and the Zenkov Cathedral. This served in Soviet times as a concert and exhibition hall, but is currently standing empty, whilst the Christians of Almaty worship at St. Nicholas Cathedral. Other sights include New Square, which is usually the location for national ceremonies and parades and is overlooked by the City Hall (the President's official residence) and the Obelisk of Independence. Almaty boasts number of museums including the Museum of Kazakh National Instruments, the Central State Museum and the State Art Museum which has amongst its exhibits traditional Kazakh rugs, jewellery and clothing. The Arasan Baths, in the western area of Panfilov Park, have Eastern, Finnish and Russian saunas.

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