The Almaty silhouette is unthinkable without the mountains that surround the city's residential areas.
Known as one of the loveliest cities of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Almaty has opera and ballet houses, a symphony orchestra, a state university, and an academy of sciences.
Largest city of Kazakhstan. Population (1990 estimate) 1,147,000.
Earthquakes in 1887 and 1911 and a flood in 1921 badly damaged the city.
As few as 50 kilometers away from the city lie the shifting sandhills of the Balkhash desert. In summer, the soil here is scorched by the sun and in winter fierce winds sweep over the area and the temperature drops below minus 30 degrees Centigrade.
The weather conditions in the city of Almaty are much milder: the average temperatures are +8°C in winter and +22°C in summer. The coldest month is January when it can be extremely cold, while in July and August the thermometer may read well above +30°C. On the whole, the mountains give the local climate a milder note, which has historically made it possible for apple orchards to grow along the banks of the Bolshaya (Greater) Almaatinka and Malaya (Lesser) Almaatinka rivers. That was how the city received its name: Almaty means literally "apple place."
The city is the processing center of a fertile fruit-producing region. Besides processed food, manufactures include mining machinery, electrical equipment, textiles, motion pictures, and tobacco products.
In the 1920s Almaty developed into a major economic center when it became a terminus on the newly built Turkistan-Siberian Railroad. 43° 15' 0" N - 76° 55' 0" E
Major cities near Almaty :
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