I was in Almaty from 3rd to 6th May 2017 and was definitely in love with this old Capital of Kazakhstan. It’s different from Astana, the new capital, which is a concrete jungle and filled with every kind of futuristic-looking architecture you can ever imagine!
Almaty is surrounded by mountains, and according to my beautiful guide Svetlana, its highly prone to earthquakes as well. We were blessed with good weather and no natural disasters when we visited this beautiful city.
Let me start with introducing Panfilov Park – a really large piece of greenery filled with lots of interesting treasures!
The Zenkov Cathedral (also known as Ascension Cathedral), is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located in Panfilov Park, made entirely of wood and without any nails! The cathedral is very lucky to survive the 1911 earthquake with minimal damage!
We were lucky to catch the bells of the tower ringing for a good 2.5 minutes while we were in the Park.
It’s always very tranquil to set foot into a church, and the decor was just so stunning! They are very different from the churches I visited in Italy, where there’s a lot of grand artpieces and sculptures.
There were a lot of school children in the park on the day we visited. One group of students were dressed in traditional Ukrainian costume and singing some War Songs for us!
Children with flowers followed their teachers to the memorial in the Park dedicated to the 28 soldiers of an Almaty infantry unit who died while fighting the Nazis outside Moscow during WWII. According to Svetlana, Victory Day is celebrated on 9 May, hence, a lot of people will come to the park to lay flowers on the memorial.
The Museum of National Musical Instruments is another typical Russian-style wooden building in Panfilov Park. The museum was named in honour of Ykylas Dukenov, the People’s Composer, and one of the founders of musical school of kobyz (an ancient Kazakh string instrument with two strings made of horsehair). There are thousands of musical instruments inside this museum dating back to the 17th century!
Next up, Charyn Canyon!