Kazakhstan celebrates the 550th anniversary of Kazakh statehood

Kazakhstan celebrates the 550th anniversary of Kazakh statehood
By Seamus Kearney
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The rich history and culture of Kazakhstan is under the spotlight this year as the country celebrates the 550th anniversary of Kazakh statehood.

Numerous events are being held to mark the occasion, including exhibitions, historical performances and the filming of documentaries.

The year of independence from the Soviet Union, 1991, is an important date for the population, but so too is the year 1465: this is when Kerey and Zhanibek Khan founded the Kazakh Khanate.

The descendents of Genghis Khan are depicted in an impressive 12-metre-high bronze monument that was inaugurated in Astana in 2010.

The pair set off from the state of nomadic Uzbeks ruled by Abulkhair Khan in the 1450s to establish a new state in the valley between the Chu and Talas rivers.

The first Khan of the new state became Kerey, depicted in the sitting position.

The designer of the statue was Rinat Abenov, from Astana, and the project was part of a push to promote the importance of history.

There are numerous attractions for visitors keen to learn about the history of Kazakhstan.

The National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan is just one place to go.

For the 550th anniversary of statehood, the Museum of the First President has also put on a special exhibition. The Kerey and Zhanibek monument is just in front of the museum.

The ancient Silk Road city of Taraz is the capital of the region that includes the valleys of the Talas and Chu rivers, where the Kazakh khanate was declared.

The city will be the venue for many of the major events taking place to commemorate the 550th anniversary of statehood in September.

Events are also taking place in the capital, Astana, and in other locations around the country. A total of about 100 different events are planned.


For visitors to the former capital, Almaty, there is a wide range of museums to choose from.

Among the most popular are the Central State Museum and the Archaeological Museum of the Kazakhstan National Academy of Sciences.

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