Introduction of Almaty
City and former capital of Kazakhstan, in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Ala-Tau Mts, 430 mi ENE of Tashkent. Founded in 1854 as a Russian military post, it was built on the site of a settlement destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century. It became the capital of the Kazakh SSR in 1929 and capital of the independent state of Kazakhstan in 1991. In 1997, the capital was moved from Almaty to the more centrally located Astana.