Discover with INFOSHYMKENT Beisbekov’s ‘Altyn Orda’ art gallery, savor Shymkentskoye Brewery, explore Qyrgy Bazaar during Press Tour – Day 3.
As the sun rose on the final day of the ‘Visit Shymkent’ Press Tour, it was not just the conclusion of our journey but also a special day. September 27th marked World Tourism Day, and what better way to celebrate than by embarking on an adventure to uncover more hidden gems in Shymkent.
Our day commenced at the doorstep of a unique haven of artistic expression, the ‘Altyn Orda’ private art gallery, owned by the talented Beisbekov family. The Beisbekovs are renowned for their prowess in fine arts, carpet making, and crafting traditional Kazakh decorations in a national style. The gallery owner Bolat Beisbekov welcomed our group and unveiled the family’s exquisite handmade artworks.
Visitors were given the chance to immerse themselves in Kazakh culture by partaking in the traditional game ‘Asyq Atu’ (Shooting the Asyq, which involves using an ankle bone) and donning the splendid national attire of the Kazakh people. The artisans at the gallery showcased their skills in crafting handmade baskurs, decorations, horse saddles, and felt art. As we exited the gallery, a quaint shop awaited us, offering a delightful array of small Kazakh souvenirs for purchase.
After an enlightening morning at the art gallery, our journey led us to one of Shymkent’s oldest and most vibrant marketplaces, the ‘Qyrgy Bazaar’ (English: Upper Bazaar). Here, we delved into the world of traditional handmade products, encompassing both culinary delights and clothing.
In the bazaar, we savored local delicacies such as honey, dairy products like qurt, Kazakh Raffaello (a cheese product), dried fruits and an assortment of locally grown fruits. The vibrant colors and aromas of the market were a sensory delight, offering a window into the rich culinary traditions of Shymkent.
With our appetites satisfied, our group made its way to one of the city’s most historic dining establishments, ‘Zheti Tandyr’, housed in the Shymkent’s oldest restaurant that has stood the test of time since 1949. This venerable restaurant has witnessed numerous transformations over the years, bearing witness to various culinary trends. ‘Zheti Tandyr’ which translates to English as ‘Seven Tandoors’, treated us to a sumptuous Central Asian feast, featuring ‘Plov’ (Palau or Pilaf) adorned with succulent Shashliks, ‘Dolma’ from Central Asia and the Middle East, and delectable baked dumplings known as ‘Samsa’, Our culinary journey was accompanied by the traditional Shymkent flatbread, completing a hearty and satisfying meal.
Energized by our delightful lunch, our next stop was ‘Shymkentpivo’ – the largest beer brewery in Kazakhstan. The brewery offered us a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour, tracing the journey of beer production from filtration and hop infusion to fermentation and bottle packaging. The factory, initially constructed in the Czech brewery style in 1976, retained some charming Soviet-era architectural features. Shymkent was chosen as its location due to the crystal-clear water in the region, which is essential for producing high-quality beverages. This brewery, one of the five major Soviet Union beer producers, underwent a series of transformations, ultimately emerging as ‘Shymkentpivo LLP’ in 2002. Modernized with equipment from Belgium, it once again gained popularity, becoming synonymous with the beloved ‘Shymkentskoye’ beer brand.
In the afternoon, we had some free time to explore the city further, and we decided to embark on a historical journey. Our first stop was the Department of Education building, one of Shymkent’s oldest Russian neoclassical revival structures. This building had housed the Shymkent Administration and the city’s oldest history museum, previously known as the ‘Chimkent Pedagogical Museum’. The museum was inaugurated in August 1920 and continued to operate until 1975 when it relocated to the building that now houses the Pushkin Library, which we visited on the first day of our tour. In 2014, the museum found its current home in a building at the ‘Kazyna’ cultural complex and is now called ‘South Kazakhstan Regional Historical Museum’. This place we visited on Day 2 of the press tour.
Our historical tour continued with a visit to the north side of Ken-Baba park, where we encountered the Puppet Theater. This magnificent building was originally the Nikolsky Cathedral, constructed in 1908. After the October Revolution and the decline of religion in the Soviet Union, the cathedral’s dome was removed, and it was transformed into the Pioneer Palace of Shymkent. In 1952, a third floor was added, giving the building its present appearance. In 1983, the Puppet Theater made this space its home, and the building was meticulously restored in 2011.
As the evening descended, our group reconvened at the Music Resto-bar “X-Band” for a hearty dinner. Laughter and conversation filled the air as we celebrated the conclusion of the press tour. With good food, good company, and good memories, we returned to our hotel. In the days that followed, some tour members headed home while others continued their exploration of Shymkent and the Turkestan region.
The ‘Visit Shymkent Press Tour’ 2023 was a truly enriching and delightful experience. It not only allowed us to discover new places but also to forge new friendships and acquire fresh knowledge. As we bid each other farewell and embarked on our individual paths, we carried with us the memories of an unforgettable journey through the heart of Shymkent.
P.S.: Thank you very much Paparazzi Club Shymkent for letting us to use your pictures, again!
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