My parents visited Almaty over the year-end holidays. Not exactly the best time for sightseeing. Yet we managed to take in a few sites around the city. Panfilov Park with the Ascension cathedral is always a hit with any visitor. Even on a bitter cold day of minus 18C it’s a beauty to behold. Also known as Zenkov Cathedral, it is a Russian Orthodox cathedral. Completed in 1907, it is the second tallest wooden building in the world.
When it is that cold outside not many people are around. Yet some caring souls do take the time to enjoy the quiet and the opportunity to feed the pigeons who’d otherwise have a hard time filling their stomachs.
Nearby, in the park, is the impressive War memorial monument, dating back to the Soviet times. It’s erected in remembrance of the war dead and the contributions and sacrifices of citizens of Kazakhstan in the war effort. It also features an eternal flame.
A visit to Almaty would be incomplete without going up the mountain to the Chimbulak ski resort where one can sit down on a terrace and take in the sights of the beautiful snow covered ski slopes against the backdrop of near 4’000 meter high mountains contrasting with the steel blue sky.
Another popular tourist destination in Almaty is Kok-tube. It’s a hill overlooking Almaty which can be reached by cable car and which also features Almaty’s television tower. Sadly, in winter, because of the very strong pollution, there is no clear view of the city. Only some of the higher altitude parts around Al-Farabi street and higher can bee seen piercing through the thick brown smog that vovers the city on a virtual permanent basis during winter.
Last Updated: 15-01-2012
Copyright © 2012 Hans Dewaele – All rights reserved