Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest metropolis, is set in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains. It served as the country's capital until 1997 and remains Kazakhstan's trading and cultural hub, making it a great destination for businesses and entrepreneurs. One of Almaty’s top landmarks is the Central State Museum, displaying thousands of historic Kazakh artifacts. In the center is Panfilov Park, home to the bright-yellow towers of Zenkov Cathedral, a tsarist-era Russian Orthodox church.
In 1921 the city was renamed Alma-Ata, for its Kazakh name, Almaty (literally “Father of Apples”), alluding to the many apple trees in the locality. After Kazakhstan obtained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the city’s name was changed from its Russian form, Alma-Ata, to its Kazakh form, Almaty. Today, the city is a major industrial center, with the food industry accounting for about one-third of its industrial output. It is considered one of the most beautiful cities of Kazakhstan, with regular planning, wide tree-lined streets, numerous parks and orchards, and a backdrop of mountains.
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