Which city is Kazakhstan's largest city and formerly its capital?
Almaty, formerly (1855–1921) Verny city, is located in southeastern Kazakhstan. In 1921 the city was renamed Almaty (literally “Father of Apples”), alluding to the many apple trees in the locality. It was formerly the capital of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (1929–91) and of independent Kazakhstan (1991–97). Almaty is still the major commercial and cultural centre of Kazakhstan, as well as its most populous and most cosmopolitan city.
Almaty lies in the northern foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau at an elevation of 2,300–3,000 feet (700–900 metres). It extends about 12.5 miles (20 km) in all directions from its centre and is considered one of the most beautiful cities of Kazakhstan, with regular planning, wide tree-lined streets, numerous parks and orchards, and a backdrop of mountains. It is now a major industrial centre, with the food industry accounting for about one-third of its industrial output and light industry accounting for about one-fourth.
The capital of Kazakhstan is Nur-Sultan, formerly known as Astana. It was moved from Almaty in 1997.