Alma-Ata

Article

January 26, 2022

Alma-Ata or Almaty (Kazakh: Алматы, Almaty; in the new Latin alphabet: Almatı) is a city of more than 1.8 million inhabitants in Kazakhstan. It is the largest city in the country.

Name and inhabitants

The city was called Verny (Верный) in tsarist Russia. From 1921 to 1994, the official name was Alma-Ata. Since then, the official name has been Almaty. Until 1997, Alma-Ata was the capital of Kazakhstan, after that it became Astana, the present Nur-Sultan. The Kazakh name Almaty means rich in apples or, according to less quoted sources, strong mountain. The city's previous name, Alma-Ata, was sometimes mistranslated as grandfather apple. There is a considerable diversity of apples in the vicinity of the city. Of the inhabitants, 51% are Kazakh, 33% Russian and 5.7% Uyghur. The city has been repeatedly ravaged by earthquakes and mudslides.

Universities

Alma-Ata has a number of universities, including: Ablai Khan University of Kazakhstan for International Relations and World Languages Kazakh American University National Al-Farabi University of Kazakhstan National Eurasian L. N. Gumilyov University National Pedagogical Abai University of Kazakhstan Satbayev UniversityThe Kazakh Academy of Sciences is also located there.

Records

It has one of the tallest television towers in the world, the Alma-Ata television tower. To the east is the Ile-Alatau National Park. The city is also known for the high-altitude Medeo ice rink. In the past, many world records were skated there. However, since the construction of indoor ice rinks in the 1980s, this open-air rink has become less important. In 2011, the Bandy tournament of the Asian Winter Games was held here.

Disaster

On March 11, 2010, two dams near Alma-Ata collapsed. 43 residents of the city lost their lives. The cause of the collapse was the pressure of melt water after heavy snowfall.

Partner cities

Daegu (South Korea) Istanbul (Turkey) Tel Aviv (Israel) Tucson (United States)

Born in Almaty

Vladimir Zhirinovsky (April 15, 1946), Russian politician Kassim-Zhomart Tokayev (17 May 1953), politician; President of Kazakhstan since 2019 Viktor Shasherin (July 23, 1962), long track speed skater Igor Potapovich (September 6, 1967), pole vaulter Olga Shishigina (December 23, 1968), track and field athlete Murat Nasyrov (13 December 1969), Russian singer Yuri Surkov (4 November 1970), cyclist Vadim Sayutin (December 31, 1970), Russian speed skater Dmitri Fofonov (August 15, 1976), racing cyclist Ruslana Korsjoenova (July 2, 1987 – June 28, 2008), model Zarina Diyas (October 18, 1993), tennis player Denis Ten (June 13, 1993 – July 19, 2018), figure skater Dmitri Balandin (April 4, 1995), swimmer

Climate

Alma-Ata has a humid continental climate, according to the Köppen Dfa climate classification, with hot summers and cold winters. The annual average temperature is 9 °C. The coldest month is January with an average of −6 °C and the warmest is July with an average of more than 23 °C. There is between 600 and 700 millimeters of precipitation per year. Most precipitation falls in the spring, in April and May. The city is surrounded by mountains, which hinders the circulation of the air.

Sights

It has one of the tallest television towers in the world, the Alma-Ata television tower. To the east is the Ile-Alatau National Park.

Sports

The city is known for the high-altitude Medeo ice rink. In the past, many world records were skated there. However, since the construction of indoor ice rinks in the 1980s, this open-air rink has become less important. In 2011, the Asian Winter Games were hosted in Alma-Ata and Astana. The Medeo ice rink hosted the Bandy tournament of these Asian Winter Games. Almaty was a candidate to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. It narrowly lost the IOC vote to Beijing.

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