Taraz (formerly Talas, Zhambyl, Dzambul and Aulie-Ata) is a city and capital of Zhambyl oblast (southern Kazakhstan). Taraz city is located at the junction of Talas River and Turkestan-Siberian Railway. Taraz city is one of the oldest cities of Kazakhstan.
Taraz has the population of about 380,000 (2009).
The phone code is +7 7262; postal codes - 080000-080019.
Taraz is standing on the site of ancient city of Taraz, which flourished as a stop along Silk Road from Europe to China until it was destroyed by Mongol armies in the 13th century.
A new town called Aulie-Ata was established on the site by the emirs of Kokand in the late 18th century. The fort and town were captured by Russians in 1864, and in 1938 the town was renamed after Kazakh poet Jam-bul Jabayev (Russian: Zhambyl Dzhabayev; 1846-1945).
Phosphorite ore which was found in nearest mountain Karatau predetermined development of phosphorite industry in the region. 3 chemical plants were constructed in the city at once.
The collapse of USSR destroyed all the industrial ties and these plants were in heavy crisis. Unemployment was high in the city. Recently all the plants have been almost restored.
On January 8th, 1997, by Kazakhstan President’s decree the city Zhambyl was renamed into Taraz. In autumn 2002 Taraz celebrated its 2,000th anniversary.
Present day Taraz city has large phosphate-processing works, a large power station, sugar, leather, and footwear factories and a wool-washing plant.
Taraz city central part view
Taraz city, Kazakhstan view
There are institutions for training teachers, food and light-industry technicians, and irrigation engineers in Taraz. The city also has a museum and two theaters.
Taraz city is a good place to stop for a day travelling between Tashkent and Almaty. There are number of nice mausoleums of 9-12th centuries inside and around Taraz city of Kazakhstan.
The 12th century Aishai-Bibi mausoleum is located 18 km west of Taraz city. It obtained the status of UNESCO-protected architectural monument because of picturesque fretwork, which covers the whole building.
The 11th century Babadja-Khatun is the only mausoleum in Central Asia with 16-rib umbrella shaped dome. Arabic note on the wall says: “The woman from the country of Babadji”.