Atyrau Region features 400m steep slopes and dazzling and perfectly round stones about 2 m in diameter. This protected limestone plateau was once the bottom of a prehistoric ocean. The Caspian and Aral seas are its remains. Here the arid steppe meets the wetlands of the Ural River (Zhaik in Kazakh), which resemble the swamps of Florida.
This is a paradise for waterfowl. Only air-cushioned watercraft are permitted here. Flocks of swans, ducks and geese sweep over the heads of astonished travelers, struck by their number. Atyrau is the administrative center of the region. The city and region have a long-established history. Their first records date back to the 3-4th centuries BC. The city chronicle started in 1640. The port on the Ural River, founded by the Guriev brothers, Russian merchants, has grown into modern Atyrau, Kazakhstan's biggest oil and gas production center and a fast-growing investment center. This is a harsh land, although generous and beautiful in its own way.
Atyrau (formerly Guriev) is a port on Caspian Sea and a pier on the Ural River (formerly Guriev as well). Fishermen founded it as fishing settlement at the mouth of Ural in 1615. In 1992 it was renamed in Atyrau. At the beginning of the 20th century fishing was the only branch of the economy in the provincial yuezd town of Guriev.
Then the railway, which was situated not far from the spot where the Ural flows into the Caspian Sea, had a big influence on the development of the town. The town is situated on two continents: the Samarskaya side (the right bank of the Ural River) is in Europe, and Bukharskaya (the left bank) is in Asia.
The employer Mikhail Guriev founded it in 1615, having asked Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich for a decree for the monopoly right to fish for sturgeon in the mouth of Ural, however he was obligated to build the town's fortifications for defense from raids and to deliver red caviar to the Tsar. In 1668 Stepan Razin owned Guriev. Today's population is about 140,000.
The town was built on the Seashore, which now has receded a distance of 25-30 km. The first oil refineries and production facilites in Kazakhstan were built here and the largest fish tinned plant in the Republic was also built here. Today Atyrau has become the center of the oil industry of the Ural-Embensky region.
The grave of the Kazakh people's composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayev (1806-1879) is located in Atyrau; the town Saraidzhuk (16th - 17th cc.), not far from where the routes from Europe and Asia crossed, is situated 50 km north of town.
The Caspian Sea is the largest closed reservoir in the world, which washes against the western part of Kazakhstan. The name of the Sea is connected with the Caspii tribes, who had settled these shores from time immemorial. It had had such names as Girkanskoye, Khazarskoye, and Khvalynskoye.
The first mention of the Caspian Sea and its tribes were in the works of Gerodot. The document on the Russian navigators' visit to the Caspian Sea dates back to the 9th - 10th centuries. At the beginning of the 18th century Peter I began constant exploration of the Caspian Sea (through the expeditions of Bekovich-Cherkasky A. and others).
Next, Soimonov I. F., Ivashinsev N. A., Pallas P. S., Gmelin S. G., Karelin G. S., and others explored the region. The Caspian Sea stretches 1200 km from north to south; its median width is 320 km, and length of its shore line is about 7000 km (6000 km of which is among the territory of Russia and other countries).
Atyrau region is good for tourism development and rest. The natural resources and cultural heritages are let to develop medical, sanitary, sportive, cognitive, ecological, extremal and other kinds of tourism.
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Atyrau oblast is located in the extreme west of Kazakhstan. It is a wonderful land of contrasts, where steppe meets the sea, desert meets oasis, and ardent heat meets the chill of powerful rivers, such as Ural River and delta of Volga River.
The length of the oblast is 350 kilometres North to South,, and more than 600 kilometres East to West. In the west, Atyrau oblast is bounded by Astrakhan Oblast of the Russian Federation.
Climate is harshly continental, with extreme drought, hot summer (+40/42oC), and cold winter (-38/40oC). Ural River, the main artery of Atyrau Oblast, falls into Caspian Sea 45 kilometres south of Atyrau.
Major oil and gas field serve as the basis for continuous development of the industrial complex.
The first oil well which gave the start to development of petroleum industry in Kazakhstan was discovered in 1899. Atyrau Oblast has 469 enterprises, of which 129 are mining enterprises, 273 are processing enterprises, and 83 are agricultural processing enterprises.
An investmently-attractive Atyrau region and Kazakhstan oil capital Atyrau city, now is famous for many hustlers qf the world (business men). Profitable geographical location of region underlines an advanced transport communication system, wide spectrum of telco capacity, which is able to guarantee an operative jnessage (connecting) with any world part.
The new flight strip is bring into work, the Ural-Caspian watercourse clearing is concluding, and carrying out motor road reconstruction. And phone net digitalization is fully completed, also in villages of region.
The area of Atyrau Oblast is over 118.6 thousand square metres. Atyrau is proud of its oil and gas facility in a world-largest Tengiz oil field where the first large-scale Kazakhstani-American enterprise, Tengizchevroil, was created in 1993.
Water port Atyrau is connected with Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Azov and Black Sea via Volga. There are 5 higher schools, 4 research and design institutes (in the fields of exploration, fishery and agriculture, and oil and gas) with 36 doctors of sciences, and 173 candidates of sciences.
Atyrau oblast is known as a unique supplier of sturgeon and black caviar, and as a cattle breeding area of Kazakhstan.
Atyrau oblast lies where two civilizations Eastern and Western meet. It is the area where two continents, Europe and Asia, join together. The Oblast Centre, City of Atyrau (before 1992 Guriev), standing on Ural River, was founded in 1640. Atyrau is the largest hydrocarbon region of the country, and the major oil and gas centre.
In Atyrau every stone seem to be a living testimony of the past.
Over thousands of historical monuments, archaeological, architectural, and monumental structures (54 out of them are historical, 119 - monumental, 43 - archaeological, 150 - architectural and over 800 cult structures) reminds progeny of the great spiritual heritage left behind by their ancestors.
Atyrau is reach for plant and animal world. Near Atyrau city, there is situated one of the perspective tourist routes, the regional museum preserve "Khan Ordaly Saraishyk", which opens all ancient Kazakh nations' history.
This Seven Khans memorial complex strikes with own beauty and greatness.
Saraishyk town was one of the large tradeful Golden orda's centre and there was the shortest way from Europe to Central Asia and China. In Atyrau we mostly find ancient, architectural, cult monuments (mainly Islamic), mainly ancient Necropolis, underground mosques, Saganatam (burial vaults), Koshkastas (zoomorphic tombstones), Kulpytas (grave stones), Sandyktas (trunk-shaped gravestones). All these monuments differ greatly in form and decorative motives.
Culture and Art
Atyrau Oblast lives an intense cultural life. There is Drama Theatre named after M. Utemisov, Oblast Philharmonic Hall named after N. Zhanturin, well-known academic orchestra of Kazakh folk instruments named after D. Nurpeisova, museum of regional history, geography, and culture, fine arts museum, 7 district museums, regional centre of research and methodology in folk arts, culture, and recreation, National Clubs Fund, 145 libraries, and 2 cinemas.