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Shymkent (Chimkent)

City tour around the city of Shymkentattractions

Shymkent is a city in Kazakhstan, a city of republican significance, the center of the Turkestan region until June 19, 2018. Compared to other cities of Kazakhstan, it ranks third in terms of population. In addition, Shymkent is one of the main industrial, commercial and cultural centers of Kazakhstan. The city of Shymkent received the status of the cultural capital of the CIS in 2020.

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The city of Shymkent is located in the Turkestan region (the former South Kazakhstan region).
GPS coordinates: 42°19′0″N 69°35′45″E


Citing various historical data about Shymkent, scientists explain the meaning of the city's name as "garden city", "green city", "city surrounded by grass". For example, the name of the city associated with grass is explained as follows: Shymkent is composed of the Turkic words "shym" and the Iranian "kent" - city, place. And in another interpretation, the name of the city means "chimin-chemen" from Sogdian (Iranian), i.e. green, blooming valley, and with the addition of the word "Kent" means "green (blooming) city."


Until now, most scientists have put forward a hypothesis that settlements on the territory of the modern city of Shymkent existed in the 11th-12th centuries. In addition, there is an assumption that Shymkent appeared even earlier. This is evidenced by the burial of graves found during archaeological excavations and construction, according to experts, they are typical of the 5th-6th centuries BC. The remains of a man and a woman were recently found at the site of the city's castle and found to have been buried in the Zoroastrian way, making the bodies over 1500 years old. According to a number of archaeologists, there was a large cemetery here, if this is confirmed, then the date of the city's foundation can be revised. For the first time, Shymkent as a settlement is mentioned in written sources that have survived to our time, written by the Persian historian Sharaf ad-Din Ali Yazdi (1425). In any case, the city has been a suitable place for people to live since ancient times. This is evidenced by the cultural heritage discovered during archaeological excavations of ancient settlements. At the foot of the mountains in the valleys along the rivers, agriculture and vineyards are developed, and cattle breeding is developed on grassy mountain pastures.


Shymkent city district has witnessed many historical events for hundreds of years. The city was repeatedly attacked by invaders. Genghis Khan passed through the city with his troops on campaigns, and over time, Shymkent came under the control of the descendants of Genghis Khan. As a result of the wars of the khans of the White Horde and the Golden Horde, the city came under the control of Amir Temur. From the beginning of the 15th century to the middle of the 18th century, Shymkent was plundered by the Dzungarian invaders. Although countless wars and conflicts have brought suffering to the local population, the Sairam oasis has remained a thriving region of agriculture, gardening and handicrafts.

In the 17th century and the first half of the 19th century, the Kokand and Bukhara khanates fought for control over Shymkent. 1810-1864 Shymkent came under the rule of the Kokand Khanate and became the residence of the Khan's governor. A large garrison of Kokand troops was located here, and the city was mainly used as a military fortress. In 1864, the city was taken by a direct attack by Russian troops. After the accession of Kazakhstan and Central Asia to Russia, Shymkent became part of the Zhanakokand route, then became the county town of the Turkestan province, and since 1867 it became the county town of the Syrdarya region of the Turkestan governor-general. Since then, Shymkent has become an important transit point connecting the European part of Russia and Western Siberia with Central Asia. At the end of the 19th century, trade was developed in the city.

In the development of the urban economy in 1883, the Santoninsky plant was opened (later the chemical-pharmaceutical plant of OAO Chimpharm), whose products are exported. The quality of Shymkent santonino was very high, so it was in great demand in the domestic market. The natural climate of South Kazakhstan is suitable for the growth of dermen, and the production of santonino dermen is very rare. That is why the first and current symbol (coat of arms) of Shymkent depicts a branch of a gerbera.

In 1914, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the accession of Kazakhstan to the Russian Empire, the city was named after the Russian general Chernyaev, and in 1921 the city was renamed Shymkent. In the 20th century, a new period began in the history of the city. Residents of the city began to achieve new achievements as a result of great changes in the country. New production facilities were built in the city, educational institutions and centers of science and culture were opened. In the 1930s, a lead plant was built in Shymkent. This gigantic production provided 70% of the lead produced in the USSR. An oil mill, a hosiery and a mirror factory were launched in the city. In 1932, an agricultural aviation base was created, which laid the foundation for the Shymkent airport.

During the Great Patriotic War, Shymkent became one of the most important cities in the USSR. A number of productions, 17 plants and factories of the country. Spare parts, shells, metal, lead, optical instruments and other goods needed for tanks were produced in the city. The research institute of factories and the aviation school in Kharkov were transferred to Shymkent. During the Great Patriotic War, tens of thousands of Shymkent residents fought the enemy on the battlefields, 7 of our compatriots were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Shymkent city, Turkestan region


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