Semipalatinsk is the second largest town in the oblast. It is located on the both banks of Irtysh at the junction of the strategic railway, road, water and air transport arteries. The population constitutes 334 thousand people. The town was founded in 1718 as a fortress. Already at the beginning of the century, Semipalatinsk was very important as a commercial town. It was the point where the caravan ways from Mongolia to Russia and from Siberia to Central Asia would meet. At the end of XIX century due to the development of navigation the town became an important wharf of Irtysh.
Modern Semipalatinsk, unlike Ust-Kamenogorsk, is first of all the town of light and food industry.
Semipalatinsk is the town of historical sights. Houses with the age-old past pictorially fit in the architectural image of the modern buildings.
The town is the native land of many great men of literature, arts and science. This land is the land of the great poet and philosopher, the national pride of Kazakhstan, Abai Kunanbayev. The monument “Abai Shakarim” was dedicated in his honour.
The junction point of the lines at 50º of the northern latitude and 80º of the longitude towards the east from Greenwich, in 40 km to the west from Semipalatinsk, in Degelen Mountains, is determined as the geographical centre of the Eurasian Continent.
Basic sights of the town
Historical monuments in Semipalatinsk:
The house where Abai studied, the madrasah of Akhmet Risa – the local historical monument, 60-es, XIX century, location: 29, Internatsinalnaya Street;
Yamyshev Gates – the national historical monument, 1776, location: Abai Street;
The literary-memorial museum of Fyodor Dostoyevsky – the national historical monument, 1857, location: 118, Dostoyevsky St.;
The building of the historical and regional museum (Governor’s House) – the national historical monument, 90 Abai Street;
One-minaret mosque – the national architectural monument, first half of XIX century, 19 Zhumabayev Street;