Zhezkazgan (Dzhezkazgan) – is a beautiful green city, a generally accepted «copper pearl of the country.» It is located in the heart of Kazakhstan, in the south-east from the mountains of Ulytau and the basin of the Kara-Kengir River.
The climate of the region is sharply continental and dry, characterized by hot, dry summers and cold winters. Territory is exposed to prolonged dust storms.
Zhezkazgan is situated on the territory, an area of which is 85.98 square kilometers and a population, numbering 92 thousand people. National composition of which is as follows: Kazakhs -62.32% Russian-26.12%, Ukrainian -3.80%, Germans-1.31%, Tatars -1.27%, Belarusians-0.85%, and more than a dozen other nationalities.
The city, which name translated from Kazakh language means «a place where copper was dug » has an ancient and very interesting history, and it is really, one way or another connected with the local copper mines.
It is widely known that Zhezkazgan copper is familiar to mankind for over 3,000 years, as evidenced by numerous sections of open work, piles of rocks, empty ore smelters. Scientists estimate that at one time the ancient miners selected from the depths of land more than two million tons of high quality copper ore.
Thus, centuries flew, and in 1771 year visited the land of Central Kazakhstan was visited by the Research Expedition of Baron Traubenberg. That raid was a very eventful and finds. Therefore, one of its members — Captain Nikolai Rychkov wrote in his diary the following: «… a great variety of copper ore was found in the mountains around Ulytau, that were dug by the ancient inhabitants of the land. At the same time, the indications of gold and silver were also found at this place. »
Reports of the Traubenberg’s expedition were so interesting that pilgrimage of researchers into the area of Zhezkazgan started rapidly. This has taken the first attempts to develop the deposit.
However, the government of Tsarist Russia did not find sufficient funds for full development of the richest copper deposits. Therefore, Zhezkazgan, like many other fields of the country at the beginning of last century, was in the hands of foreigners.
In the spring of 1913 year the British began preparations to build a large smelter and mill ore enrichment in Karsakpai.
But the plans of foreign capital did not come true. The October Revolution announced the people to become the monopoly owner of the copper resources of Zhezkazgan, as, indeed, and all other mineral resources of the country.
In June of 1925 year Atbasar trust of non-ferrous metals was organized, which has absorbed Karsakpai plant, and in November of 1928 year copper smelter in Karsakpai started its work.
In 1937 year, the first broad-gauge railway was paved into Zhezkazgan, which was stretching about 400 kilometers. At the same time preparations for the construction of Zhezkazgan copper melting plant were carried out with accelerated pace.
Plant grew and at the same time, the village of workers founded in 1938 year around this giant grew too. Thus, new housing for workers, cultural and everyday objects were quickly build, Zhezkazgan industrial area had now its own farmland.
In January of 1940 year, a large-scale construction of Kengir reservoir was begun, which was to provide a new city originating in the steppe with water.
After the victorious end of World War II development of the plant continued rapidly. In 1947 year the foundation of Zhezkazgan concentrator was laid and prior to 1955 year, six new mines were built and commissioned.
On December 20, 1954 year the workers’ village of Great Zhezkazgan, which was already home to more than 30 thousand people, got the status of grant city.
Since 1973 year, Zhezkazgan was considered to be the center of now defunct Dzhezkazgan area. Appearance of the city became noticeably nicer. It has been landscaped, new highways were built, as well as a modern airport was erected.
These days, after more than 30 years, Zhezkazgan – is one of the most beautiful cities in the Karaganda region.
As time before, the basis of its industry and the main source of income is the metallurgy of copper. Thus, one of the most powerful copper plant of the country operates here, near Zhezkazgan, in Ulytau foothills, the richest deposits of copper are developed, that have very rich alloy of precious and rare metals, such as gold, silver, zinc, bismuth, molybdenum and others.
Namely thanks to metallurgists the unique facilities, such as the Palace of Culture, History and Industrial Museum, the sanatorium — dispensary, a magnificent square, monuments and parks were built in Zhezkazgan. In Kengir reservoir, as if by magic, a modern business center and three-star hotel grew. The city became the largest host an important railway line and was presented with a new international airport.
The main attractions of Zhezkazgan are outside the city limits. However, there is something to watch in the city too. So, it is very interesting to see the building of the 40th and 50th years, Boulevard of S. Seifullin, stele «Space» and panels depicting Yuri Gagarin’s monument «Aviation and Space», a statue of I.K. Satpayev and much more.
Attractions of Zhezkazgan.
Mausoleum of Alasha — Khan.
Alasha Khan – was an epic personality, the legendary ancestor of the Kazakh people. Nobody knows for sure if this person really lived, and who owns the mausoleum that is attributed to him of XI — XII century.
Being built of colored brick on the right bank of the river Karakengir, the tomb is a complex architectural structure with a dome ceiling and beautiful thick pillars at the front of facade. The main facade is decorated with terracotta exterior walls, which are decorated with brickwork in the form of triangles, squares and rhombuses.
Juchi Khan Mausoleum.
That is an architectural monument of the XIII century, which is situated 50 kilometers to the north-east from Zhezkazgan. The mausoleum is the tomb of Genghis Khan’s eldest son — Juchi. The building is constructed of brick and has a portal-dome structure. Earlier, the mausoleum was covered with a double dome, which was based on a 17-sided star-shaped drum, and was decorated with colored tiles and turquoise enamel. Unfortunately, the outside dome has not been preserved up to this day.
«Zhetykonyr» – is a common so called name, that since ancient times the Kazakhs used to call fixed sand dunes, entirely covered with steppe vegetation. But Zhetykonyr Sands that are situated to the south-east of the town of Zhezkazgan, for unknown reasons exposed, threw off its floral dress, and now are quite unusual and not typical for the Kazakh steppe show. This corner of the desert always attracts curious tourists.