Zhezqazghan, Kazakhstan

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Zhezqazghan, Kazakhstan

Region: Zhezqazghan is located in Karagandy Region


Geographic Coordinates: 47.783300, 67.700000
Climate: Data not available.
Population: 90661
Language: Kazakh

Zhezqazghan, Located in central Kazakhstan, Is a vibrant city that beautifully blends history, Natural beauty, And modern development. Nestled amidst the vast Kazakh steppe and surrounded by rolling hills, This city offers an intriguing glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. One of the main attractions in Zhezqazghan is its historical sites. The city boasts several ancient ruins dating back to the Bronze Age and Silk Road era. Visitors can explore the remains of ancient settlements like Saraishyk and Aktobe-Kent where artifacts from different periods have been discovered. These archaeological sites provide valuable insights into Kazakhstan’s past civilizations.

Nature enthusiasts will find themselves captivated by Zhezqazghan’s stunning landscapes. The nearby Karaganda Steppe Reserve offers breathtaking views of endless grasslands dotted with wildflowers during springtime. This protected area is home to diverse wildlife including saiga antelope, Wolves, Foxes, And numerous bird species, Making it a paradise for nature lovers. For those interested in modern development and infrastructure projects, Zhezqazghan has much to offer as well. The city has undergone significant growth due to its proximity to major mining operations in central Kazakhstan.

It serves as an important transportation hub for the region with well-connected roads and railways linking it to other parts of the country. Zhezqazghan also boasts a vibrant cultural scene with various museums showcasing Kazakh artistry and traditions. The Museum of Local History provides a comprehensive overview of the region’s history through exhibits featuring traditional clothing, Tools used by nomadic tribes, Musical instruments, And more. In terms of cuisine, Visitors can savor traditional Kazakh dishes such as beshbarmak (boiled meat served with noodles) or kuyrdak (fried liver with potatoes).

Additionally, Local markets offer an array of fresh produce including melons grown in nearby fields known for their sweetness. Zhezqazghan’s friendly and hospitable residents are known for their warmth and willingness to share their culture with visitors. Traditional festivals like Nauryz, Celebrating the arrival of spring, Are vibrant affairs filled with music, Dance performances, And delicious food. Zhezqazghan offers a unique blend of history, Natural beauty, Modern development, And cultural experiences. Whether exploring ancient ruins or immersing oneself in the city’s thriving arts scene, This Kazakh gem never fails to captivate visitors with its charm and diversity.



Important Landmarks

Zhezqazghan Attractions

  • 1. Karaganda-Balkhash Highway: This scenic highway passes through Zhezqazghan and offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes.
  • 2. Saryarka Karaganda State Regional Nature Park: Located near Zhezqazghan, this nature park is home to diverse wildlife and offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and enjoying the natural beauty of the region.
  • 3. Lenin Statue: A prominent landmark in the city, this statue of Vladimir Lenin stands tall in one of Zhezqazghan’s squares.
  • 4. Central Mosque: This grand mosque is an important religious site in the city and features impressive Islamic architecture.
  • 5. Museum of Local Lore: The museum showcases the history and culture of Zhezqazghan through exhibits that include artifacts, photographs, and documents.
  • 6. Kengir Gulag Memorial Museum: Located nearby in Dolinka village, this museum commemorates victims who suffered during Soviet-era political repression at Kengir labor camp.
  • 7. City Park (Park Pobedy): A popular recreational area with walking paths, green spaces for picnics or relaxation along with children’s playgrounds.

While these attractions may not be as famous on a global scale compared to landmarks found in larger cities like Almaty or Nur-Sultan (Astana), they offer visitors a chance to explore local history, culture, and natural beauty within Zhezqazghan itself or its surroundings.


Primary Industries

  1. Mining: Zhezqazghan is primarily known for its mining industry, especially copper and other non-ferrous metals. The city is home to several large mining enterprises, including the Kazakhmys Corporation.
  2. Metallurgy: As a result of its rich mineral resources, Zhezqazghan has developed a significant metallurgical industry. Copper smelting and refining are important activities in the city.
  3. Chemical Industry: Zhezqazghan has chemical plants that produce various chemicals such as sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, fertilizers, and other chemical products.
  4. Machinery Manufacturing: The city has machinery manufacturing facilities that produce equipment for mining operations and metallurgical processes.
  5. Construction Materials: There are businesses involved in the production of construction materials like cement and concrete blocks to support infrastructure development in the region.
  6. Agriculture: While not as prominent as mining or metallurgy, agriculture plays a role in the local economy with farming activities focused on crops like wheat and barley.
  7. Retail Trade: As a regional center with a growing population, there are numerous retail businesses catering to consumer needs ranging from supermarkets to small shops.

It’s worth noting that while these industries form the backbone of Zhezqazghan’s economy, there may be other smaller-scale businesses operating within the city across various sectors such as services or transportation to cater to local needs.


Noteable History

  1. Mining Industry: Zhezqazghan became an important mining center during the Soviet era due to its rich copper deposits. The development of the mining industry significantly shaped the city’s growth and economy.
  2. Yuri Gagarin: On March 18, 1961, Yuri Gagarin, the first human to journey into outer space, made an emergency landing near Zhezqazghan after completing his historic spaceflight aboard Vostok 1. This event brought international attention to the city.
  3. Baikonur Cosmodrome: While not directly associated with Zhezqazghan itself, the Baikonur Cosmodrome is located approximately 200 kilometers southwest of the city. It has been a significant space launch facility since its establishment in 1955 and played a crucial role in Soviet and Russian space exploration history.
  4. Mukhtar Auezov: Mukhtar Auezov (1897-1961) was a prominent Kazakh writer and playwright born near Zhezqazghan. He is best known for his novel The Path of Abai, which depicts life in Kazakhstan during turbulent times and highlights cultural traditions.
  5. Nursultan Nazarbayev: Although not originally from Zhezqazghan itself but from another region within Kazakhstan (Shymkent), Nursultan Nazarbayev spent part of his childhood in this city during World War II when many families were evacuated there due to safety concerns.

These are just a few examples highlighting some notable historical events associated with Zhezqazghan and individuals connected to the city.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Zhezkazgan Museum of Local History: This museum showcases the history, culture, and traditions of Zhezqazghan and its surrounding region.
  2. Space Museum: As Zhezqazghan is closely associated with the space industry due to its proximity to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, this museum displays exhibits related to space exploration.
  3. Monument to Yuri Gagarin: Located near the city center, this monument honors Yuri Gagarin—the first human in space—and serves as a symbol of Zhezqazghan’s connection with space exploration.
  4. Central Mosque: A beautiful mosque located in the heart of the city that showcases Islamic architecture and serves as an important religious site for locals.
  5. Nurken Abdirov Art Center: This art center hosts various exhibitions featuring local artists’ works and provides a platform for cultural events like concerts and performances.
  6. Memorial Park Arlan: A peaceful park dedicated to fallen soldiers from Zhezqazghan who lost their lives defending their country.
  7. City Park named after Tole Bi: A popular recreational area where visitors can enjoy green spaces, walking trails, playgrounds, and various outdoor activities.
  8. Zhastar Palace of Culture: This cultural center hosts concerts, theater performances, exhibitions showcasing local talent and is an excellent place to experience Kazakh arts and culture firsthand.
  9. Sport Complex Kaspiy: If you’re interested in sports or want to witness local sporting events like football matches or ice hockey games then visiting this sports complex would be worthwhile.

These are just a few examples of places you should consider visiting while exploring Zhezqazghan.



Sports Teams

  1. FC Zhetysu – Zhetysu is a professional football club based in Zhezqazghan. Founded in 1969, the team currently competes in the Kazakhstan Premier League. While they have never won the top-flight league title, they have had several successful seasons and often finish in respectable positions.
  2. BC Barsy Atyrau – Although not based directly in Zhezqazghan but representing the region of Atyrau (which includes Zhezqazghan), BC Barsy Atyrau is a professional basketball club that competes in the Kazakhstan Basketball Championship. The team has had some success domestically and has participated in international competitions.
  3. VC Kaspiy – VC Kaspiy is a volleyball club from Zhezqazghan that competes at various levels of Kazakhstani volleyball leagues.

It’s worth noting that while these teams have some history and presence, they might not be as prominent or successful as those from larger cities like Almaty or Nur-Sultan (Astana).



Cultural Events

  1. Nauryz Meyrami: Nauryz is the traditional Kazakh New Year celebration, marking the arrival of spring and renewal. It usually takes place on March 21st and includes various cultural activities such as music performances, traditional games, food stalls with Kazakh cuisine, and folk dances.
  2. City Day: Zhezqazghan celebrates its founding anniversary every year on June 9th with City Day festivities. The event often features parades showcasing local culture and history, concerts by local artists, fireworks displays, sports competitions, and exhibitions.
  3. Miner’s Day: Given the city’s historical association with mining activities (particularly copper), Miner’s Day is an important celebration in Zhezqazghan. It takes place on August 30th each year to honor miners’ contributions to the region’s economy. The event typically involves gatherings at mining sites or public spaces where miners are recognized for their work through ceremonies and entertainment programs.
  4. Independence Day: Like all of Kazakhstan, Zhezqazghan celebrates Independence Day on December 16th to commemorate the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Festivities include concerts featuring local musicians and dancers performing traditional Kazakh music and dances.

It’s worth noting that these events might vary from year to year or have different names depending on specific circumstances or changes in government policies regarding celebrations.


Cuisine

  1. Beshbarmak: This is one of Kazakhstan’s national dishes and can be found in various regions of the country, including Zhezqazghan. Beshbarmak consists of boiled meat (usually lamb or beef) served on top of flat noodles and accompanied by onions and broth.
  2. Shashlik: A popular dish throughout Central Asia, shashlik refers to skewered grilled meat (typically lamb) marinated with spices and served with bread or rice.
  3. Pilaf: Known locally as plov, pilaf is a rice dish cooked with meat (such as lamb or chicken), vegetables, and spices like cumin and turmeric.
  4. Manty: Similar to dumplings found in other cuisines, manty are steamed pockets of dough filled with minced meat (often beef or lamb), onions, and herbs.
  5. Cafe Shanyrak: Located in Zhezqazghan city center, this restaurant offers a variety of Kazakh dishes such as beshbarmak, shashlik, pilaf, soups, salads, and more.
  6. Cafe Dastarkhan: Another local eatery serving traditional Kazakh cuisine including beshbarmak along with other regional specialties like lagman (noodle soup) and manti.
  7. Restaurant Korona Grill House: This restaurant offers a mix of Kazakh cuisine along with European dishes like grilled meats (shashlik), steaks, pasta options, and salads.

It’s worth noting that while these restaurants offer local Kazakh cuisine options in Zhezqazghan, the city may not have as many specialized restaurants as larger cities in Kazakhstan.


Parks and Recreation

Recreational Activities in Zhezqazghan

  • Central Park: Located in the heart of Zhezqazghan, Central Park is a popular spot for locals to relax and unwind. It features walking paths, benches, and small gardens.
  • City Pond: This artificial pond is located near the center of Zhezqazghan and offers opportunities for fishing or simply enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.
  • Sports Complexes: The city has several sports complexes where you can engage in various activities like swimming, tennis, basketball, or football (soccer).
  • Bowling Alley: There is a bowling alley called Strike where you can enjoy some indoor recreational fun with friends or family.
  • Billiards Halls: If you’re interested in playing billiards (pool), there are a few establishments within the city that offer this activity.
  • Cultural Centers: Zhezqazghan has cultural centers that often host events such as concerts, exhibitions, or performances which can provide recreational entertainment options.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that Zhezqazghan is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes outside the city limits where hiking and camping opportunities may be available for those who enjoy outdoor activities.


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