Almaty is the former capital and still largest city in Kazakhstan, with a population of 1,348,500 (as of 1 September 2008).This represents 9% of the population of the country.
It was the capital of the Kazakh SSR and its successor Kazakhstan from 1929 to 1997. Despite losing its status as the capital to Astana in 1997, Almaty remains the major commercial center of Kazakhstan. It is located in southern Kazakhstan, near the border with Kyrgyzstan.
An aerial tramway line connects downtown Almaty with a popular recreation area the top of KÃ¶k TÃ¶be: a mountain just to the southeast. The city television tower, Alma-Ata Tower, is located on the hill, as well as a variety of amusement-park type attractions and touristy restaurants.