Kok-Tobe

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Kok-Tobe Mountain
Kazakh: Көк-Төбе
Russian: Кок-Тобе
Вид на Кок-Тюбе с многоэтажного здания.JPG
Highest point
Elevation 1,100 m (3,600 ft)
Coordinates 43°7′47.30″N 76°54′18.20″E / 43.1298056°N 76.9050556°E / 43.1298056; 76.9050556Coordinates: 43°7′47.30″N 76°54′18.20″E / 43.1298056°N 76.9050556°E / 43.1298056; 76.9050556
Geography
Location Almaty, Kazakhstan

Kok-Tobe (Kazakh: Көк-Төбе - "Green Hill"; Russian: Кок-Тюбе, Kok-Tyube) is a mountain which is the highest point of Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city. There is a popular recreation area on top of the mountain. The mountain's height is 1100 meters above sea level. Kok-tobe is one of the main landmarks in the city, and it is popular among visitors and tourists to Almaty.

Recreational Area[edit]

Kok-Tobe Park
Kok-Tobe Park (June 2016).jpg
Park at night.
Type Urban park, Forest park
Location Almaty, Kazakhstan
Created 2006

The Kok-Tobe recreational area has a variety of amusement park type attractions and restaurants. It is connected to downtown Almaty by a cable car line. The City Terminal is located near Hotel Kazakhstan. Also, there is a 372 meters tall TV Tower at the foot of the mountain. The tower can be seen from most parts of the city.

History[edit]

Kok-Tobe mountain was originally called Verigin until the 1960's. Before the Soviet Union, the Hill was favorite spot for the inhabitants of the city. During the Summer, the civilians organized May Day celebrations. While during winter, it was popular spot for skiing and sledding. Verny merchants called the mountain "Blue Hill" which is believed that the name origins back to medieval times. After Almaty became the capital of Kazakh SSR, Verigin mountain was originally going to become a governmental place which the architects proposed to build several public buildings on the slope, and at the very top of the mountain such as house of the Supreme Council of Kazakh SSR. However plans were not implemented. During the 1950's the mountain became a relaxation spot for the Soviet Elites. Cottages were built for the academics of the Kazakh SSR, as well as later for the first secretary of the Central Committee, Dinmukhamed Kunayev. Passenger cable way connecting the center of Almaty to the mountain Kok-Tobe was commissioned on November 4, 1967. [1] Surprisingly, the cable car worked with little or no maintenance for almost forty years until mid 2000's. In the spring of 2004, after heavy rains on Kok-Tobe was in state of emergency, on the surface of the mountain significant cracks appeared and began to slip and crumble the soil structure. There was a real threat of a landslide in the residential areas nearby. Former Almaty mayor Zamanbek Nurkadilov decided to close the mountain. In summer of 2004, work began on the reconstructing and strengthening the slope of Kok-Tobe. At the top of moutainn, illegally erected buildings, mostly cafes were removed. Construction workers drilled and concreted 395 wells up to 24 meters. Their main task was to keep the soil from slipping. Cable car and viewing platforms were restored. In 2006, the mountain opened a recreational entertainment center which was the start of Kok-Tobe Park. A Beatles Monument was installed in 2007. In September 2014, the mountain was closed for the purpose of the construction of a new cable car, as well as the reconstruction of the northern side of the mountain and the park. In March 2016, the park completed its construction of the cable car and the park itself was also updated which reopened its doors to visitors. Instead of the two old cable cars, there are now 17 new cable cars. A new Ferris wheel was also installed to the park. [2] [3][4]

TV Tower[edit]

Main article: Almaty Tower

Almaty Tower, the city's television tower, built during 1975 and 1983, is located on the south-eastern slope of the hill.[5] If measured from sea level, this tower is one of the highest in the world. The tower is 372 meters tall. It has a couple observation platforms, but they are not open for public. It is unique, because unlike other TV towers, it was built entirely of steel, and has a tubular structure. The city locals considered to construct the TV Tower somewhere else however the TV Tower did end up being built in Kok Tobe area. [6]

The Beatles Monument[edit]

A bronze statue of The Beatles by sculptor Eduard Kazaryan was placed on Kok Tobe mountain on May 15, 2007.[7] The monument was inaugurated as part of the launch of the National Award "Music feature - 2007". This is the first monument of the legendary Fab Four in full: John Lennon with his guitar sitting on a bench behind him, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

The Beatles Monument

Entertainment[edit]

Kok-Tobe park has various entertainments such as a fountain of "desire" in the shape of an apple, a children's playground, a climbing wall, the Fast Coaster ride, an art gallery, tea house, and a restaurant "Yurt". In addition to these attractions, on the Kok-Tobe there are: viewing platforms, a petting zoo, a concert hall, a lovers alley, ponds, and shops selling national souvenirs.

Fast Coaster[edit]

Fast Coaster is a roller coaster located on the hillside. It is the only roller coaster in Kazakhstan that is located on a side of a mountain. Going down with a speed of 45 km / h, one can feel an adrenaline rush, enjoy the view of the picturesque landscape of the city. Sliding down at night, one will see stunning views of the city drowned in millions of colored lights.[8]

Alley of Lovers[edit]

Alley lovers on Kok Tobe Mountain is a place for romantic walks and dates for those who want to get away from prying eyes and seclude with loved ones in the lap of nature.

Fountain of Desires[edit]

The Fountain of Desires in the form of granite apple, the symbol of Almaty, welcomes guests at Kok Tobe Peak. Some people thoughtfully throw coins into the depths of its waters, while others make memorable photos near it.

Ferris Wheel[edit]

Located in the park Ferris wheel's height is 30 meters. It is 1 136 meters above sea level. There are 20 closed highly comfortable and safe cabins, 6 passengers for each cabin. There is great view on Almaty from cabins.[9]

Transportation[edit]

Cabin cableway on the approach to the Kok-Tobe

Kok-tobe is connected to Almaty's city centre by a rope way. Departing point from the city centre is a station located on intersection of Dostyk and Abay avenues. The city centre's terminal is situated behind Arman Cinema and Hotel Kazakhstan. The length of the rope-way is 1727 meters and it takes about 6 minutes to reach the Kok-Tobe's station.[10] There are also alternative ways to reach Kok-Tobe such as: by taking a shuttle bus that starts at the foot of the mountain, or by walking. Cars are not allowed to get inside of the park due to environmental reasons.

Gallery[edit]

Panorama of Almaty city from Kok-Tobe's viewpoint at night.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]