Facts about Kazakhstan

We found 32 facts about Kazakhstan

Land of the free people

Kazakhstan is associated with vast expanses of space, with steppes, yurts, rural huts and gloomy apartment blocks that remember the Soviet era. The country, which for centuries lay on the Silk Road, has a wealth of unusual experiences to offer, in the form of natural wonders, places where time has stopped, and the modern capital, Nur-Sultan, with its futuristic buildings of symbolic significance and golden domes of mosques. It is an unusual, exotic place, which has not yet been reached by mass tourism.

The Republic of Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia and partly in Eastern Europe.

The vast majority of the country, 88%, lies in Asia and only 12% in Europe.

The country borders China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and the Russian Federation, with which it has the longest border at 6467 km.

The total length of Kazakhstan's borders is 12.187 km.

Kazakhstan has access to the Caspian Sea (the largest lake in the world) at a length of 2340 km.

The Caspian Sea is a drainless saline relic lake. It has an area of about 370.000 square kilometers and a maximum depth of 1025 meters.

The total area of the country is 2.724.900 square kilometers.

In terms of area, it ranks 9th in the world (after Russia, Canada, China, the United States, Brazil, Australia, India and Argentina).

Kazakhstan's population is more than 18, 7 million, with a population density of 6.8 per square kilometer.
Kazakhstan was one of the last countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States to introduce its monetary unit. Kazakhstan's national currency is the tenge.

The currency was introduced in 1993. In 2006, the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan held a competition for the best symbol of the national currency. After the winning design was chosen, a scandal broke out, as it turned out that the chosen design was a plagiarism of the symbol of the Japanese postal service, which has been using this symbol for 120 years. The first batch of tenge was printed in England, and the first coins were pressed in Germany. Since 1995, Kazakhstan has had its own Banknote Factory.

On December 16, 1991, Kazakhstan was the last of the republics of the USSR to proclaim independence.

Kazakhstan was conquered by Russia and incorporated into that country in 1868. After the creation of the Soviet Union, Kazakh autonomy was established within the country, which in 1936, as the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, became directly part of the USSR.

The history and culture of Kazakhstan dates back to the 1st century BC.

Initially, these territories were inhabited by the tribal unions of the Saks and Issydons. From the 2nd to 3rd centuries, they were occupied by the Xiongnu nomadic people of Asia and later became part of the Turkic kaganate (the first Turkic state constituting a power in the areas of present-day Mongolia, southern Siberia, and Central Asia). From the 8th to the 10th century, Kazakhstan was ruled by the Karachanid dynasty. In the first half of the 13th century, conquered by the Mongols, it belonged to the Golden Horde (the historic Mongol state), and after its disintegration was divided into the Uzbek Khanate (in the east) and the Nogai Horde (in the west). In the mid-15th century, the Kazakhs (i.e., free people) were separated in the Uzbek Khanate. In the rest of the territory, 3 ords (Zouzas) were formed - the Middle, Small and Great.

During the Stalin era, Kazakhstan was known for its gulags (labor camps) and deportation sites for Poles and Chechens, among others.

The gulags (gulags) were a system of forced labor camps in the USSR in which prisoners included both criminal offenders and people considered socially undesirable or politically suspect. The gulags were dissolved by a decision of the USSR Interior Ministry in 1960 but the last prisoners did not leave the camps until 1987.

Kazakhstan was the site of ambitious Soviet projects such as the Semey nuclear laboratories, nuclear weapons testing, the Baikonur cosmodrome, and the development of uninhabited territories.

The Baikonur Cosmodrome was established in 1955 as a spacecraft launch site. The cosmodrome is the oldest and largest of its kind in the world.

The capital of Kazakhstan is Nur-Sultan, the country's second most populous city (after Almaty).

It is located in the Kazakh Foothills, in the northern part of the country on the Ish River. The capital has had many names: Akomolinsk, Celinograd, Akmola, and Astana. As of 2019, it is named Nur-Sultan. It is an architecturally modern city, with many impressive buildings, such as the Ak Orda (presidential palace), the Pyramid of Peace and Reconciliation, the Byterek (a monumental observation tower that is a symbol of the city, which emphasizes its new status), the Kazakh National Philharmonic, the Astana Arena - a football stadium, and the Transport Tower - a skyscraper with a distinctive lighter-like appearance.

In Nur-Sultan there is a facility, a transparent tent called Khan Shatir (Khan's Tent) - the largest entertainment and shopping center in Central Asia.

It is described as "the largest tent in the world." Under the tent, which is larger than 10 football stadiums, is an urban entertainment and shopping center with plazas and cobblestone streets, stores, a mini golf course, a flowing river, and a beach. The roof is made of transparent ETFE plastic, providing access to the sun's rays, which, combined with an air heating and air conditioning system, allows the indoor temperature to be maintained between 15-30 degrees C in the main space and 19-24 degrees C in the shopping mall. Outdoor temperatures throughout the year range from -35 to +35 degrees C.

Khan Shatir was the second building designed by British architect Norman Foster after the Pyramid of Peace and Reconciliation.

The Turkish company Sembol was responsible for the construction of the tent.

Kazakhstan's population is very diverse.

The largest ethnic groups are Kazakhs (about 68.5%) and Russians (over 18.8%).

Islam is the dominant religion.

Muslims account for more than 70% of the total number of believers, followed by Christians at 26% and Orthodox Christians at 24%.

Kazakhstan is a presidential republic with a dominant party system.

The state is headed by a president elected by popular vote for a five-year term. Executive power rests with a bicameral parliament.

Kazakhstan is considered the country that is making the most progress in implementing democratic reforms compared to other Central Asian countries.

However, it falls far short of Western standards. International and non-governmental human rights organizations point to frequent violations of these rights by the authorities.

Kazakhstan has quite rich deposits of energy resources (coal, oil, natural gas).

It also has deposits of iron ore, copper, zinc, lead, phosphorite, chromium, manganese, silver, and gold.

Kazakhstan has ranked first in the world in uranium ore mining for several years, overtaking the long-time leader, Canada.

Crops range from industrial crops (cotton, tobacco, sugar beets) to cereals, as well as potatoes. A sizable percentage of crops are grown on artificially irrigated fields.

Two major environmental disasters have been recorded within Kazakhstan's borders: the drying up of the Aral Sea and high radioactive contamination in areas of former nuclear testing.

These experiments, combined with a lack of pollution control, have contributed to alarmingly high disease rates in many rural regions.

After World War II, a decision by the Soviet authorities plowed 250.000 square kilometers of the Kazakh steppe and turned it into farmland.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the Kolkhozes, most of this land became uncultivated farmland. It is comforting to note the recent resurgence of the steppe's grassland ecosystem.

Kazakhstan is home to the Central Asian Regional Environmental Center, which develops cooperation among local states in the field of environmental protection.

Kazakhstan is a signatory to the so-called Washington Convention. This is the International Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Kazakhs are a people classified as Turkic peoples, living mainly in Kazakhstan, but also in China, Uzbekistan, Russia, and Mongolia.

Depending on their former area of residence, tribal affiliation, kinship, and alliances formed, the Kazakhs are divided into the Zhuza: the Elder, Middle, and Younger Zuz. These, in turn, are divided into tribes and clans.

They are descendants of early Turkic peoples, and their culture has been influenced mainly by Mongolian, Persian, Russian, and Arabic cultures.

Their language (Kazakh) has characteristics of other Turkic languages, and the similarity is so great that Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Tatars, and Uighurs can communicate among themselves without hindrance.

Kazakhs only adopted Islam in the 16th century.

For a long time, it competed with Shamanism.

Kazakhs were once famous for hunting with falcons and for their extraordinary agility when riding horses.

Their ancestors were warriors, and their enormous barrows are scattered across the Kazakh steppes. The most famous necropolises are Begazy and Dandybay in the Sary-Arki steppes and Tegisken in the Aral Sea region.

From warriors, the Kazakhs evolved into a nation of freedom-loving nomads and farmers.

They had huge herds of fattening animals, abundant pastures, and fertile lands in the foothills and river valleys.

To the world's culture, the Kazakhs brought their achievements in economy and culture: the art of warfare, the mobile home yurt, saddle and stirrups for horses, carpet design, silver ornaments, melodious songs, and music reminiscent of the running of steppe horses.
The main component of the Kazakh diet is meat.

An old custom dictates that meat with bones, or meat and bones, be served to the table. In front of the feasting guests, it is divided by the host or the most distinguished guest. Delicacies are usually prepared from horse meat.

Kazakhs are very fond of dairy products, especially milk in various forms.

Favorite dairy drinks include kumys (a drink made from fermented mare's milk), shubat (fermented camel milk), and ayran (a fermented milk drink).

Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country.

This lack is compensated for by other bodies of water, such as the Caspian Lake, and the Aral Sea (unfortunately, as a result of the Soviet program to use the waters of Syr-Daria and Amu-Daria to irrigate huge cotton plantations, the body of water began to dry up and lost about 90% of its original surface area), the outletless Lake Balchash, which is half salty and half freshwater, Lake Kaindy created by an earthquake, hiding an underwater forest at the bottom, and others.

In the southeastern region of Kazakhstan, close to the Tenshan mountains, there is a canyon of the Shinar River, reminiscent of the Grand Canyon of Colorado.

The length of the canyon is about 150 km, and the height of the walls reaches 200 m.

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