The native place of apples – here in the Trans-Ili mountains wild apples (Malus sieversii) grow, they gave life to all apples throughout the world. It is a cultural capital of the country, a city of jazz, toy (feast) and rock-n-roll. Being the largest city of Kazakhstan, Almaty is located at the place where the northern branch of Silk Way passed. Ancient people settled here. Based on the discovery of Middle Ages coins, a number of historians believe that the history of the city goes back to a millennium. The history of the modern city commenced in 1854, when the military fortress Zailiyskoye (named later as Vernoye, Vernyi and subsequently Alma-Ata (Almaty)) was founded. From 1927 through 1997 the city was the capital of Kazakhstan. Currently its population is about 2 million people. Almaty, the main financial and economic center of the country, has a developed accommodation infrastructure from hostels to five-star hotels. Business and cultural activities attract many guests. Here major festivals are convened, including “International Jazz Holiday” – Jazzistan, the festival of Turkic music – The Spirit of Tengri, the festival of apples, bauyrsaks, mountain extreme, the ecofest FourЭ, the festival of the author’s songs – “The Starry Sky” and many other events. Almaty appears to be the only metropolis in the world within the limits of which the highest ski resort is located. The proximity of the mountains creates unique conditions for rest and development of sports. Mountain excursions and walks can be started directly from the city. Mass alpine climbs take place here, some of the summits are four-thousanders. The world-famous high mountain skating rink Medeo and ski resort Chimbulak are located here. They were complemented with a complex of ski jumps and Almaty-Arena, which are the largest in Central Asia. In 2011, Almaty and Astana hosted the Winter Asiade (Asian Winter Games, and in 2017 the city became the capital of Winter Universiade. Both were the first events ever held in the CIS countries. Two ice arenas and the Olympic village turned Almaty into an international sport center. The city bid to host Winter Olympic Games and did not give up its ambitions. Marathons and cycle events were held here. Cycle tracks in Almaty rank first in Central Asia. Recently walking areas are designed and arranged within Panfilov Street and Zhibek Zholy Street; they became the center of significant city festivities such as Nauryz, and Day of Almaty. Kok-Tobe Mount, rising above the city, is the best observation point of Almaty, where the tallest by position TV tower is located, as well as the monument to The Beatles and a comfortable park with the zoo. The famous movie “The Needle” by Rashid Nugmanov was shot in Almaty, in Tulebayev Street, where one can see the lines from Victor Tsoi’s song on the pavement. The Big Almaty Lake located in Trans-Ili mountains adjoins the city limits. The satellite town Kapchagai accessed by the highway hosts tens of casinos. In the environ of Almaty unique natural landmarks are located, including Charyn Canyon, the younger brother of Grand Canyon, Kulsai and Kaindy mountain lakes striking by their beauty, and the largest national park “Altyn-Emel”, where one can see Besshatyr stone burial mounds and the Singing Dune producing the roar resembling the noise of an airplane. All the above together with the international airport makes Almaty both the principal business, financial, cultural and tourist center of Kazakhstan.

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