Alma-Ata (Alma-Ata or Almaty, which literally means “the father of apples”) – this rapidly developing city was founded in 1854 on the site of the Kazakh settlement of Almaty, destroyed by the fierce raids and wars, as the Russian border fort Verny, and was the capital of Kazakhstan until the end of 1997. Alma-Ata is located in the south-eastern part of the republic, in the north of the mountain spurs of the Tien Shan, at the foot of the northern slope of the Zailiysky Alatau at an altitude of 600-900 m above sea level, in the valleys of the Bolshaya and Malaya Almatinka rivers. The city is quite clean (except for air, because of the location in the intermountain hollow there are frequent smogs) and is easy to perceive, with long straight streets and low architecture, bearing the unmistakable imprint of Russian influence. The mountains of Trans-Ili Alatau rise like a wall along the southern edge of the capital and create an excellent background when the weather was able to do it. Everyone who comes to Almaty admires its unique appearance, green dress, majesty, mountain tops, cascades of fountains, straight wide streets, unique buildings and structures. The city has a large number of parks, plenty of space and vegetation, and many of the buildings of the Soviet era are strikingly harmonious. There are a lot of theaters, museums, recreation parks, restaurants, nightclubs and casinos. Sights of Alma-Ata Among the main attractions is Panfilov Park – the regular rectangle of vegetation surrounding the bright Zenkovsky Cathedral – one of the few buildings of the Tsarist era that survived the earthquake in 1911 (especially if you pay attention to the fact that it was built entirely of wood and without the use of nails). In the western part of the park lie the excellent Arasan baths, where there are offices for Turkish, Russian and Finnish baths. The Central State Museum definitely deserves attention for the excellent expositions on the history of Kazakhstan and the miniature exact copy of the “Golden Man” – the main archeological treasure of the country. This is a warrior costume made of 4000 gold pieces adorned with animal motifs. Alma-Ata has repeatedly suffered from earthquakes (the last ones – in 1911 and 1921) and mudflows (powerful anti-mudflow structures have been created, which in themselves can serve as a landmark, as there are no such structures anywhere else in the world).