Almaty (əlmäˈtē) [key], formerly Alma-Ata ălˌmə-ətäˈ, city (1993 pop. 1,176,000), capital of Almaty prov., Kazakhstan, in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau. A terminus of the Turkistan-Siberia RR, Almaty is the industrial, financial, and cultural center of Kazakhstan and was for many years its capital; in 1997 the capital of Kazakhstan was moved to Astana. Leading industries include fruit canning, meatpacking, tobacco processing, and the repair of railroad equipment. Most of the inhabitants are ethnic Russians, with Kazakhs the next largest group. The city was founded in 1854 as a Russian fort and trade center known as Verny. It has been repeatedly struck by earthquakes and mud slides during its long history. Almaty has a university and is the site of the National Academy of Sciences. To the east is Ile-Alatau National Park.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.