Kazakhstan – Country Rating | Info.

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Flag of KazakhstanThe Republic of Kazakhstan is in Central Asia. It is the ninth largest country in the world with a total area of 2,717,300 sq km. Kazakhstan is bordered by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea. The capital city is Astana. Almaty was the capital until the end of 1998. Kazakhstan’s terrain consists of large areas of plains with some mountainous regions. The main river is the Irtysh.

Kazakhstan is arid and semi-arid with hot summers and cold winters.

Environment
The environment of Kazakhstan includes steppe, forest, desert and mountainous regions. The Karakum Desert and Kyzylkum Desert extend into Kazakhstan from neighbouring Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan respectively.

The Caspian Sea is to the west and south-west and the Aral Sea is shared with Uzbekistan. Lake Balkhash, in central Kazakhstan is one of the world’s largest lakes. Other lakes include the Kolsai mountain lakes.

Kazakhstan’s nature reserves are the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve, Almaty Reserve, Barsa-Kelmes Reserve, Bayan-Aul Natural Park, Kurgaldzhino Reserve, Markakol Natural Reserve, Naurzum One Reserve, Ustyurt Reserve and the West-Altai Reserve.

The Kurgaldzhino Reserve was established to protect the pink flamingo and each spring numbers of migrating birds visit the Tenghiz-Kurgaldzhino lakes. Other wildlife found in the protected areas include the saker falcon, golden eagle, brown bear, deer, lynx, wild boar and the endangered snow leopard.

Architecture
The ancient cities of Taraz and Yasy (Turkestan) and the towns of the Otrar Oasis were important commercial and trade centres on the Silk Road, the trade route between Europe and China.

Towns in Otrar have flourished since the first century AD. A four-year UNESCO project aimed to conserve the traditional mudbrick architecture including the fourteenth century Otrar Mosque and Palace.

The Hodja Ahmed Yasavi Mausoleum in Turkestan and the mausoleums of Taraz, including the Aulie-Ata of Karakhan and Aisha-Bibi, are among the examples of Kazakhstan’s best historical architecture.

Modern architecture can be seen in the new capital city of Astana, where buildings were newly constructed and specially renovated for the government’s move. A modern complex in the city’s main square serves as the headquarters for the government of Kazakhstan. The latest development is a “pyramid for peace”, a 253 ft high steel and stone structure, designed by Britain’s Norman Foster. The building is intended as a symbol of peace and cultural centre. (2005).

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