In Kazakhstan to the northern part of the small hill Sary-Arka, is located the city of Astana, which was given the status of the capital on December 10th, 1997. Since that moment the city is developing inexorably fast, surprising citizens and visitors with new buildings and highly developed infrastructure.
The city is divided by the Esil river. Local people are dividing the city into «right» and «left» banks. On the left bank of river- the new city, where is the construction of new complexes until the present time. On the right bank of river, against the background of the city construction, you will see the signs of the old city.
While walking there you have feeling as you come back to the past.
In addition to the fact that Astana is the administrative center of the Republic of Kazakhstan, by the decision of UNESCO in 1999 it was awarded the title of «City of Peace». This country’s territory is famous for its agro-industrial machinery, developed food industry and transport sphere. The city is in the center of the country and serves as a transports and railways junction.
Every year Astana attracts more and more tourists. And not only because — in the old days the Great Silk Road passed through it, but also that to our day the city is the key center of cultural, industrial and industrial development due to its advantages position. The International Exhibition EXPO 2017 will be in Astana under the slogan «Energy of the Future».
GULAG — the main administration of labor camps, places of imprisonment and labor settlements (1930-1960). During the Civil War the camp system began to form, the main purpose of which was the placement of criminal prisoners in certain places, subordinated to the Main directorate of forced labor. The main idea of creating such places had been the need to develop natural resources through prisoners. The project also implied that after the time of departure prisoners stayed in the nearby territories of the camps.
GULAG in the Republic of Kazakhstan consisted of the following camps:
- Steplag — for political prisoners.
- KARLAG is a Karaganda’s camp.
- ALZHIR — camp of traitor’s wives of Native Land (in Akmola).
Prisoners had been build the canals and roads absolutely for free also as industrial and other facilities. Looking back to the past it is important to note that the conditions were far from human’s. Elementary human rights were violated. People were mocked and punished for the slightest violations of the regime and rules. People just simply died of hunger, cold, hard labor and disease.
ALZHIR – one of the biggest women’s camp. It was opened in early 1938. The woman was arrested later, only after their husbands were found guilty.
KARLAG (1930-1959) — belongs to the largest correctional and penal institutions of the Gulag in the territory of the Karaganda’s region. It had had a special significance in the period of repression. It was created for the formation of large food and production bases of the coal and metallurgical industry:
- Karaganda coal basin
- Dzhezkazgan copper smelting plant
- Balkhash copper smelting plant
During the KARLAG time the camp hosted about one million convicts working in prison.
This tour takes you back to the past. The tour guide will tell you about the times when people were forced to undergo the hardest tests after which not so many people survived.
Day 1. Astana
Participants are expected a city tour around Astana, within of which it is planned to visit such sightseeing as:
Breakfast in the hotel.
Baiterek — tourists can enjoy the view of the city on height of 97 meters.
Duman — an entertainment complex with the only oceanarium in Kazakhstan.
Atameken is an open-air museum. Here you can walk around the whole Kazakhstan in a short time, as it is a mini-map of the country with exact copies of the main showplaces, areas and landscapes.
Walk around the city.
Day 2. Astana (KARLAG)
Transfer to KARLAG (213 km far away from the city).
Visiting of museum.
Like hundreds of other correctional institutions CARLAG was an instrument of political repression. The administrative center of the camp was in 50 km from the south-west of Karaganda, in the village of Dolinka. There is a museum to commemorate the victims of political repressions which located in this gloomy and large building for the management of KARLAG. The building is executed in the spirit of neoclassicism.
Also on the territory you will see:
House of Officers
Cultural center for local military
House of technology
Constructions build by prisoners
The museum accommodates 25 rooms which includes many exhibits of that period. Visiting the museum will dip you back to the past and will allow you to realize the atmosphere of a heavy burden borne by prisoners.
Return back to Astana. Evening walk around the city.
Day 3. Astana (ALZHIR)
Transfer to ALZHIR (30 km far away from Astana).
The participants of the tour will visit the museum and memorial complex of the victims of political repressions and totalitarianism ALZHIR. It was opened on May 31th, 2007 by the decree of the President of the Kazakhstan Republic N.A. Nazarbayev.
The author of the idea: architect and sculptor Saken Narynov.
The memorial includes:
The Monument of the Tribulation.
Memorial «The Wall of Remembrance» — the names of 7620 dead prisoners of the camp are immortalized here.
Sculptural compositions «Struggle and Hope», «Despair and Impotence».
Data of the prisoners were taken from archival documents, where the private files of prisoners and photographs had been found.
Since its opening until 2010, the museum
Visitors accepted: 125,777 people;
Number of excursions: 3117.
Transfer back to Astana. Rest time. Transfer to the airport.