The third largest city in Kazakhstan and its most important industrial center is Shymkent city. It has developed industrial enterprises and agriculture. The region is known for favorable climate and thermal springs. The name of the city is translated as “flourishing city”; we find it quite fitting.
Unlike many other Kazak cities that were established by the Russian Empire, Shymkent was inhabited much earlier. The first mentions date back 15th century, however, archaeological findings prove that the city is even older. Ceramics and other things used in every-day life were made in 3rd-2nd centuries BC. It’s very likely that Shymkent is more than 2000 years old. It’s impossible to find any ancient monuments that would prove how old the city is because of countless wars and invasions that destroyed the city. Shymkent, justifying its name, was a prosperous city on intersection of paths of the Great Silk Road. In 13th century, the city was invaded by the Mongols. Later it was taken over by the Dzhungars and the Kokands. In the second half of 19th century, Shymkent was a major connecting point between Russia, Central Asia, and Western Siberia. During World War II the city produced millions of lead bullets for Soviet soldiers.
Alongside with rich history Shymkent city is full of sightseeing places. Domalak-Ana Mausoleum is a famous Muslim pilgrim destination and an architectural monument. The mausoleum was built in 11th century for khan’s wife who is honored by all tribes of Zhetysu. Arystan-Bab Mausoleum is dedicated to a famous figure in Islamic world. Arystan-Bab was mentor of the most famous spiritual mentor of the Muslims in Central Asia – Ahmad Yasawi. Famous Otrar city is located in Otrar oasis. It was founded in 2nd century and existed until 18th century. The city is known for witnessing death of famous Tamerlan. The ruler died near the gates of Otrar.