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  • Holodomor, repression, murder and love. 25 more monuments that preserve the history of Almaty

Holodomor, repression, murder and love. 25 more monuments that preserve the history of Almaty

06 January 2021

The monument is not just a sculpture that reminds us of historical events and people who contributed to the development of our country. It is also the physical embodiment in stone of the events of the past: fear, murder and hope. Every time we look at the monuments of the past, we can mentally travel back to these distant epochs and rethink our lives anew. In this article, we will tell you how to turn an ordinary walk around the city into a real journey through the pages of history.

Last time we walked from Almaty-1 railway station to Tulebayev Street, covering more than 20 interesting monuments in the city. Now our route will be much wider. In order not to return to Dostyk Avenue, we will start our story with the southernmost monument to Abai Kunanbayev in Almaty.
The bust of Abay is located on Mitin Street at the entrance to the Republican Boarding School for Gifted Children named after Abay. It was installed in 2015 in honor of the 170th anniversary of the birth of Abai. The height of the monument together with the pedestal is 4.5 meters.

We go down to Al-Farabi – Mendikulova. There is a bust of the Honored architect of the Kazakh SSR Malbagar Mendikulov. Mendikulov is one of the authors of the reconstruction and development of public centers in Tashkent, Almaty, Nukus – the capitals of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Karakalpakstan. They were provided with practical assistance in the planning of Shymkent, Zhezkazgan, Guryev and others. He is the author of a number of interesting objects built in Kazakhstan. Among them: the Wedding Palace, the administrative building of the winery, monuments-busts to Zhambyl Zhabayev and Mukhtar Auezov, cafes “Karlygash” and “Aina-Bulak” and others in Almaty. He is also the author of the reconstruction of the Abai Museum in Semipalatinsk, one of the authors of the draft version of the Kazakh Pavilion at the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition in Moscow.

The next point on our route will be the Independence Monument, located on the Republic Square. It was opened on December 16, 1996. The head of the author’s group was the Honored architect of the republic, a descendant of Shokan Ualikhanov Shota Ualikhanov. The author’s group includes sculptors Adilet Zhumabayev, Nurlan Dalbayev and architect Kazybek Zharylgapov. The monument was also designed and erected with the co-authorship of Kaldybai Montakhayev, Murat Mansurov, Azat Bayarlin and Kazybek Satybaldin.

The idea of creating the Independence monument came to the President of the Republic Nursultan Nazarbayev during a trip to the Egyptian city of Luxor in 1993, where there is a monument in honor of the independence of Egypt.

40 blocks of stone and gold leaf. Secrets of the Independence Monument in Almaty revealed

The center of the composition is a stele with a height of 28 meters. It ends with a” Golden Man ” six meters high-a ruler who, standing, controls a winged leopard and symbolizes the firm state power on the Kazakh land. At the foot of the stele, on a stylobate, there is a sculptural group consisting of allegorical figures of the “Sage-sky”, “Mother-earth” and two children on foals. The figures are placed on the four sides of the world, from where the life-giving moisture comes, making the earth bear fruit. Children-riders symbolize the youth and great future of our republic.

On the other hand, the father, mother and children make up the family – the basis of the state. These figures fit into a square that represents stability and strength. On both sides of the stele, 10 bas-reliefs are placed in a horseshoe-shaped circle, which reveal the history of Kazakhstan from ancient times to the present day. The number 10 is not accidental: it is, according to Pythagoras, the number of prosperity, well-being, strength and power. Of course, here there is not a chronological order of events, but an artistic and plastic expression of its individual bright stages.

Just one block away at the intersection of Zheltoksan and Satpayev Streets is another monument dedicated to the independence of Kazakhstan. The composition ” Tauelsizdik tany “(Dawn of Freedom) was established in 2006 in honor of the 20th anniversary of the December events in Alma-Ata in 1986. The monument consists of three parts: pylons of complex shape symbolize the gap, the conflict of the past and the future, the explosion of self-consciousness of the people and the fall of ideological canons, the triumph of freedom and independence of the state.

Фото©Марат Рысбеков

To give more expressiveness, the composition includes a sculpture of a woman in the dynamics of a rush, take-off. In her right hand she holds a removed handkerchief-a call to reconciliation, in her left hand – a fluttering symbolic bird, also a symbol of freedom, a harbinger of spring and positive changes, a new life. The third part of the composition is an artistic relief panel.

Фото©Марат Рысбеков

We continue to go down. Once again, we find ourselves in the center of the city, rich in monuments dedicated to both heroic and tragic events. Below the intersection of Baiseitova and Kurmangazy is a memorial to the deceased Kazakh figure skater, bronze medalist of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi Denis Tenu. The sculptor is Matvey Makushkin from St. Petersburg. He is also the author of the sculpture of Viktor Tsoi on Tulebayev Street in Almaty. On the granite pedestal – lines of a poem by Denis and his main sporting achievements.

Фото©Марат Рысбеков

Denis Ten died as a result of a conflict with car thieves on July 19, 2018 at the intersection of Kurmangazy and Baiseitova streets. The athlete was stabbed in the femoral artery. On the dock was Arman Kudaibergenov, Nuraly of kiesow and Zhanar Tolybaeva. On January 17, 2019, they were sentenced – the men received 18 years, and their pregnant friend-four years in prison.

Denis Ten was fatally stabbed at the fence of the sports ground, which is located right behind the monument. And even two years after his death, flowers continue to appear at this place, letters from his fans, which are brought by caring people.

A memorial plaque to Denis Tenu was unveiled in Almaty

Фото ©Андрей Зайцев

Further down Baiseitova Street is the Abai State Academic Ballet and Opera Theatre. You can admire its building while relaxing near the fountain. Then we head to the square from the direction of Nazarbayev Avenue. In this place, in 2019, a monument called “Friend”was erected. The sculptor is Nurlan Bolatbekov. The art object was created with private funds by friends who gathered in the square near the cafe “Karlygash” since the late 1970s. The prototype of the monument was made known resident of Almaty, a history teacher, businessman Asker of Ispolatov.

Фото©Марат Рысбеков

We continue our walk. It is best to get to the next object on the Almaty Arbat-Panfilov Street. Before reaching Bogenbai Batyr Street, on the left side you will have the Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after Temirbek Zhurgenov. Here you can admire two monuments: Zhurgenov himself and Askar Tokpanov.

Temirbek Zhurgenov during his activity as People’s Commissar of Public Education in the 30s of the last century, his talent as an organizer contributed to the huge development of the Kazakh national opera (including the Kazakh Musical Theater), cinema, Kazakh drama. The monument to him was installed on December 6, 2001, the sculptor is Esken Sergebaev. By the way, in the park near the Academy, you can find up to 20 different sculptures depicting people and animals, reflecting the theme of antiquity and Kazakh traditions.

Фото с сайта

Askar Tokpanov is the first professional Kazakh theater director, the founder of the school of theater skills and Zhurgenovka, as the academy is popularly called. A monument to him was installed in 2015. The sculptor is also Esken Sergebaev.

In the neighborhood, closer to Abylai Khan Avenue, there is a complex of buildings of the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory. Here we can see the bust of the Kazakh akyn of the XIX century Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly. The monument was inaugurated on 18 April 2012, by the sculptor is Tleuberdy Binasi.

It’s time to move on. Across the street, below Bogenbai Batyr Street, there is a square where a monument to the girls – Heroes of the Soviet Union Aliya Moldagulova and Manshuk Mametova was erected in 1997. The pedestal depicts two Gold Stars of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the names of the girls in Kazakh: “Aliya” and”Manshuk”. The plot of the monument is conditional, since Aliya and Manshuk did not even know each other.

Фото©Марат Рысбеков

At this point, we can make a choice – go further down or explore the monuments along Zheltoksan Street. Let’s tell you about the first option of travel. To do this, you will need to cross the Republic Square. On the way, you can admire the former government building of the Kazakh SSR, which now houses the Kazakh-British Technical University. On December 16, 1991, the Constitutional Law “On State Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan”was adopted here. The historic document was signed by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in the round hall.

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Behind the KBTU building in the direction of Aiteke Bi Street is the memorial complex “Alley of Outstanding Figures”. It includes busts installed in 1987 to participants of the movement for the establishment of Soviet power in Semirechye. The authors of the sculptures were famous Kazakh sculptors: Tulegen Dosmagambetov, Alexander Isaev, Khakimzhan Nauryzbayev, Vagif Rakhmanov, Mikhail Rappoport, Alexander Tatarinov and Yuri Gummel; architects: Adambek Kapanov, Kaldybai Montakhayev, Shota Ualikhanov, Vladimir Kim, Shaimurat Otepbayev and Sairan Fazylov.

The busts are dedicated to Alibi Dzhangildin, one of the organizers and participants of the founding Congress of Soviets of Kazakhstan, Uraz Dzhandosov – head of the political department of the 3rd Turkestan Division and was a member of the Semirechensk regional committee, Mikhail Frunze-military commissar of the Eastern Front, Amangeldy Imanov – a participant in the Central Asian uprising of 1916, Turar Ryskulov – chairman of the Muslim Bureau of the Turkestan Communist Party, Magazy Masanchi – a member of the Communist Youth Union Turkestan, Abdulla Rozbakievu – Chairman of the Vernensky Section of the Muslim Communists-Bolsheviks of the RCP (b), Valerian Kuibyshev-member of the Revolutionary Military Council (RVS) of the Southern Group of the Eastern Front of the Red Army, Saken Seifullin-Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars (Head of Government) Kirghiz ASSR of the RSFSR and Dmitry Furmanov-participated in the suppression of the Vernensky uprising.

We return to Abylai Khan Avenue. On the left side, between the streets of Aiteke bi and Gogol, in the square there is a bust of the pilot, twice hero of the USSR Sergei Lugansky. It was installed in 1947.

We turn onto Zheltoksan Street. Here, in the square at the intersection with Makatayev Street, a monument to the poet Mukagali Makatayev was erected in 2002. The statue was installed in honor of the 70th anniversary of the poet, the sculptor is Nurlan Dalbay. Mukagali Makatayev became famous for his poem “Appasionata” (1962). His poetry collections “Hello, Friends” (1966),” My Swallow “(1968),” My Heart “(1972),” Swans do not Sleep “(1974),” Heat of Life “(1975),” Poem of Life “(1976),” River of Life “(1978),” Heartbeat “(1982),” Sholpan ” (1984) and others were included in the golden fund of the Kazakh national poetry. Many of the poet’s works are set to music.

A little lower in the square on Mametova Street there are two monuments nearby-Amangeldy Imanov and Gabit Musrepov. The monument to the revolutionary, participant of the national liberation movement of 1916 Amangeldy Imanov was installed in 1947. Interestingly, his colleague, political figure Alibi Dzhangildin, came to open the monument. The sculptor is Khasbulat Askar-Saryja, the height of the equestrian monument is six meters.

Across the street from it, near the building of the Gabit Musrepov Youth Theater, there is a monument to the writer Gabit Musrepov. He is the author of the novels ” Soldier from Kazakhstan “(1949),” Awakened Land “(1953),” Ulpan her Name ” (1974). The list of his dramaturgical works includes the musical drama “Kyz Zhibek” (1934) (on its basis, the libretto of the first Kazakh opera was created – the music of Yevgeny Brusilovsky), the play “Amangeldy” (1936, post. 1937 and 1952), the play “Kozy Korpesh-Bayan Sulu “(1939), the play” The Tragedy of the poet “(1958, 1st edition under the title” Ahan-Sere and Aktokty”, 1942) about the Kazakh singer and composer of the XIX century Ahan-Ser reveals the tragedy of the poet and thinker who opposed centuries-old prejudices. He is also the author of the screenplay of the film “Kyz-Zhibek” (1970). The monument was erected in 2002 to mark the writer’s centenary.

We go back up to Tole bi Street. Here, in the square between Zheltoksan and Nauryzbay Batyr Streets, on Tchaikovsky Street (this segment is called the Alley of Love), there is a monument to lovers. Now it consists of four columns supporting the vault with the sign of the heart. The monument was replaced this year-earlier on this place there was a sculpture of a heart, which the lovers painted with inscriptions.

There is an urban legend about the place itself. Allegedly, once a young man in love lost a talisman here, a symbol of his love. He was separated from the girl, he was madly saddened. But a wise man told him that love is not in a talisman, not in things, but in the heart. Therefore, a pedestal with a big heart was installed on the alley. The alley was conceived by residents of the city as a place for the pilgrimage of lovers, but the monument was quickly painted, and a large number of couples in love did not attract this place.

And we will continue on our way. Up the street Nauryzbay Batyr in the square at the intersection with Karasay Batyr is a monument to the Uyghur composer and teacher Kuddus Kuzhamyarov. He is considered the founder of the Uighur professional music, a large part of his work he has created in Alma-ATA. The monument was opened in 2008, the sculptor is Magamed Abdullayev.

There is also a monument to the victims of the Holodomor of 1931-1933 in the park. It was opened in 2017. The authors of the sculptures steel Dulat Usenbaev, Aydos Burkitbaev and rope Begaliev. The monument was opened on the direct order of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. In the period from 1918 to 1933, according to various sources, more than three million people died in Kazakhstan, including about one million 700 thousand people died from 1931 to 1933. More than 100 thousand Kazakhstanis became victims of repressions in 1937-1938. The sculpture ” Ana ” – the image of a mother holding a child exhausted from hunger to her chest, embodies all the grief of the Kazakh people. An empty cauldron lies upside down at the woman’s feet.


There is also a monument to the repressed akyn Turmagambet Iztleuov. It was installed in 2007 for the 125th anniversary of Akyn, who was shot by the NKVD in 1939. Akyn supported the national liberation uprising of 1916 in Kazakhstan, and also dedicated his works to the October Revolution. He was a translator of Ferdousi’s poem into Kazakh. Before his arrest on charges of espionage, he managed to bury thirty-five volumes of a manuscript written in Arabic script in his native village. By the way, earlier on the same place there was a monument to the revolutionary Mikhail Vasilyevich Frunze, which was moved.

We are in no hurry to leave this place. At the intersection of Karasai Batyr and Seifullin there is a monument-bust of the revolutionary and writer Sabyr Sharipov. It was installed in 1980, the sculptor is Pavel Shorokhov. Sabyr Sharipov was one of the fighters for the establishment of Soviet power in Kazakhstan, in his works he showed pre-revolutionary life, called for the transition to settlement, described the class struggle. He also worked in Iran on foreign trade issues, wrote about the life of Soviet emigrants in this country.

Now you can go further. To do this, you need to go up to Zhambyl Street. At the intersection with Baitursynov Street is a square named after Akhmet Baitursynov, an educator who is remembered as “Ult ustazy” (“Teacher of the Nation”). Akhmet Baitursynov made a great contribution to the development of Kazakh literature and writing, worked on the collection and publication of samples of Kazakh folk art, created textbooks for teaching Kazakh. In the square itself there is a memorial plaque to Akhmet Baitursynov, and in front of the square at the address Baitursynov, 60 is his house-museum and bust.

Also in the park of Akhmet Baitursynov there is a monument to the soldiers-liquidators of the Chernobyl disaster. The obelisk was opened in 2016 to mark the 30th anniversary of the nuclear disaster that occurred at the nuclear power plant. The monument is 4.5 meters high and 4 meters wide. The author is the architect Kazbek Zharylgapov.

A monument to the soldiers-liquidators of the Chernobyl disaster was opened in Almaty

And opposite the house-museum of Akhmet Baitursynov at the building of the Kazakh Research Institute of Energy named after Shafiq Chokin is a monument to Shafiq Chokin. It was installed in 2017 in honor of the 105th anniversary of the academician. Shafik Chokin is the author of 500 scientific works devoted to the development of energy in Kazakhstan: “Energy of Kazakhstan”, “Scientific bases of energy supply of agriculture of Kazakhstan”, “Fundamentals of energy development of Kazakhstan”, “Energy and water management of Kazakhstan”, “Fuel and energy balance of Kazakhstan” and others. With his participation, a comprehensive system of scientific and technical forecast of Kazakhstan’s energy sector, projects of the Irtysh – Karaganda canal, and the Kapchagai hydroelectric power station were developed.

From Abylai Khan to Viktor Tsoi. How to go on an adventure through the pages of history in Almaty

We will go higher to the intersection of Shevchenko and Masanchi. Here, in a small square near the Kazakh Academy of Transport and Communications named after Mukhamedzhan Tynyshbayev, a bust of this statesman was installed on September 13, 2000. He was the first Kazakh railway engineer, an active participant in the design and construction of the Turkestan-Siberian Railway. The author of the bust is the sculptor Gulfia Meldes.

And now we go down to Tole bi Street. This will be easier, since we will not have to return to the “lower” parts of the center of Almaty. Here, at the intersection with Adi Sharipov Street, there is a monument to the writer Adi Sharipov. It was installed in 2015. The sculptor is Bakhytzhan Abishev. Adi Sharipov was a writer, a participant in the Great Patriotic War. After the war, he worked in the field of education, is the author of the books “The Daughter of a partisan”, “The Confession of a Friend”,”The Story of a sheepskin coat”. According to the script written by Adi Sharipov, the film “Forest Ballad” was staged, which won awards at film festivals in Tashkent and Alma-Ata.

We go down on Tole bi. Here you need to walk to Mukanov Street and get to the square where the bust of Sabit Mukanov is installed. The monument was opened for the centenary of the writer in 2000. Sabit Mukanov was a writer and poet. He wrote such poetic works as “Konilim” (“Dumy”, 1917), “Bostandyk” (“Svoboda”, 1919), “Zhumashtyn olimi” (“Death of Zhumash”), “Album”, “Balbope”, ” Ak Ayu” (“White bear”), “Zhuparkhan”. The greatest popularity was gained by his poem “Sulushash” (1928). He also wrote the lyrics of the song “Kazakh Waltz” (1940). One of the first prose works was the novel “Lost”, dedicated to the class struggle. After the author’s processing, the novel was called “Light Love”.

He is also the author of the following novels and novellas: “Temirtas “(1935),”Syr Darya” (1948),” Botagoz “(1957), autobiographical novel-trilogy” School of Life “(1945-1962), novel about Shokan Ualikhanov” Flashed meteor ” (1972).

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