My native town
Hi dear friends!
As I promised I'm going to tell you about my native town Zhezkazgan. I was quite surprised to meet here two people from there (Vadim and Askar). Anyway I'm sure they'll recognize some places I'm going to describe in this entry.
I never mentioned that people in Kazakhstan speak two languages - Kazakh and Russian (as Kazakhstan was the part of Russia for almost 260 years). They both are official in our country. There're three members of our family who speak both Kazakh and Russian languages - my father, sister and nephew. Neither my mother nor I speak Kazakh. Actually people who moved to Zhezkazgan in the 1950s (like my grandparents) don't speak that language either.
In a nutshell
As I've already mentioned in my first entry Zhezkazgan means "copper mine". The city is situated in the centre of Kazakhstan; to be accurate - in the territory of the Great Sary-Arka Steppe. It's known that almost three thousand years ago copper was found in that territory. In 1909 the English bought the Zhezkazgan deposit and in 1913 planned factory building. But they had to leave that idea because of the Great October Revolution in 1917 and the Civil War in the 1920s when Kazakhstan joined to Soviet Russia (later USSR). So after that in 1928 the factory started working.
In the same time the group of soviet geologists was studying the territory. Later Zhezkazgan copper deposit was recognized the biggest one in USSR. In 1940 the Kengir reservoir, which now supplies the whole city with water, was built.
The Kengir reservoir
After the World War II (1941-1945) my ancestors came to build the industrial settlement "Big Zhezkazgan". By the end of 1954 almost 30,000 people had been living there and later the settlement officially became the city.
My grandparents. The builders of Zhezkazgan
Now there are about 100,000 citizens in Zhezkazgan. The well-known "Kazakhmys Corporation" - the largest copper producer in Kazakhstan - is based there as well.
There are many historical places and monuments near my native town. In my opinion the most significant of them are the ancient mausoleums. My mother used to teach geography to students and she knows these places well. To my shame, I've visited only The Alasha Khan Mausoleum once.
The Dombaul Mausoleum, 8th-9th century AD, is situated 58 kilometers north-east from Zhezkazgan.
The Alasha Khan Mausoleum, 10th-11th century AD. Alasha Khan was well-known historical figure who merged the Turkic nomads and created first Kazakh state.
The Jochi Khan Mausoleum, 13th century AD.
One of the Zhezkazgan streets is named in an honor of my uncle Victor Taraday. He was killed at the age of 20 in Afghanistan war on May 26th, 1980. He was a sergeant of Soviet troops and posthumously awarded the Red Star Order.
"Died in Afghanistan paying his international duty"
The towm itself is quite small as you could understand. The most of houses are belong to Soviet architecture period that's why Zhezkazgan looks like the other small towns in Kazakhstan.
Dear Emat! Am I right saying that the first and the biggest cosmodrome - "Baykonur" - is situated near your native town Aralsk? There are two monuments in Zhezkazgan that dedicated to the first space flight of Yuri Gagarin on 12 April 1961. There's also the "Сosmonauts Alley" where the Kazakh and Russian spacemen planted the pine-trees. Actually "cosmonaut" is a soviet word and as far as I now the more convinient word to use is "astronaut".
We don't have any mountains here like in Almaty. There is only steppe around the town. But I love this view very much especially the smell of tarragon - a plant that is normally grown on the steppe. And honestly, there is only one place on the planet where the stars' shine is the brightest - home town.
That's all for now friends!