You are here

Home » Taraz - Dzhambul - Aulie-Ata. Historical and archaeological sights of an ancient city.

History town of Taraz.

Sights of Taraz.

“You take delight not in a city's seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours” 

 Italo Calvino.

“Having passed 140 - 150 li west of Qianquan, we arrived in the city of Dalos. The town in a circle is 8 - 9 li. Merchants from different countries and Khus (Sogdians) live in it mixed. The land and climate are the same as in Suva.
About 10 li south of it there is a small single town with a population of about 300 households. These are, in fact, people from the Middle Kingdom. Once they were taken prisoner by Tutszue, but later united in the compatriots and settled in this city, living in its central estates. When the clothes were worn out, they began to dress like Tutszue, but their language, customs and laws are the same as in China."

Xuan Jian. 629 AD.

Holiday Tours in Kazakhstan.

Taraz is one of the most ancient cities of Kazakhstan, mentioned together with Jamukat already in the VIth century. In the VIth - Vth centuries BC, tribal unions of Sakas and Usuns formed in the steppes near the Talas River, who founded the Taraz settlement. His traces were found on the site of the Central City Market (the so-called "Green Bazaar") of modern Taraz.
In the Ist century BC. e. during the split and weakening of the Hunnish state, one of the sons of the Shanyu Suyulyu-Quanqui - Chzhichzhi, who refused to obey the suddenly strengthened China, went to Central Asia to his vassals, the Usuns, where he founded the capital in the Talas valley in Taraz.
The first written mention of the city (in Greek sources) dates back to 400, under the name of Tolosa. It was one of the points of the northern branch of the Great Silk Road, which passed from Almalyk (a region of the modern city of Gulja in China) in the direction of the city of Yasy (the modern town of Turkestan) and further downstream of the Syr. A Chinese pilgrim, a Buddhist monk Xuanzang, who passed through Taraz in 485, reported that “he arrived in the town of Ta-lo-se, which had 8 or 9 li. Merchants from different countries live in this city mixed...".
It was in Taraz, a city on the banks of the Talas, at the brilliant headquarters of the Turkic kagan Dizabul, in 568 that the Ambassador Byzantine Zemarch was received. In 629, Taraz (Dalos) describes Xuan Jian: “Having passed 140 - 150 li west of Qianquan, we arrived in the city of Dalos.
The town in a circle is 8 - 9 li. Merchants from different countries and Khus (Sogdians) live in it mixed. The land and climate are the same as in Suva. About 10 li south of it there is a small single town with a population of about 300 households. These are, in fact, people from the Middle Kingdom.
Once they were taken prisoner by Tutszue, but later united in a fellowship and settled in this city, living in its central estates. When the clothes were worn out, they began to dress like Tutszue, but their language, customs and laws are the same as in China."
In the 7th century, Taraz became a large city that played an important role on the Great Silk Road. It was from this time that his fame spreads everywhere thanks to the information about him contained in the description of routes, ancient chronicles and geographical writings.
In 751, Taraz and part of the southwestern Semirechye were conquered by the Arabs, but in 766 the city became part of the possessions of the Karluks, and at the end of the 9th century it submitted to the Samanids.
In 751, the battle of Talas, famous in ancient history, took place near the city. The battle on the Talas River near the ancient city of Taraz and the victory of the joint Kazakh-Arab forces over the troops of the Chinese Empire left an indelible mark on the common history of Central Asia and the Middle East, stopping Chinese expansion.
It was after this that the region acquired an Islamic coloration. From the VIII century to 893, the city was part of the Karluk Khanate. Since 833, the region has been under the rule of the Turkic royal dynasty of the Karakhanids (Karakhanids), who defeated the Samanids in the region.
Under the Karakhanids, in the XI - XII centuries, ancient Taraz was the capital of their kingdom and reached its greatest prosperity. In 893, according to sources, Ismail ibn Ahmad went to war against Taraz and suffered many hardships. In the end, the emir of Taraz surrendered to the mercy of the victor and converted to Islam with numerous farmers.
At the same time, Ismail ibn Ahmad “took the capital of their king and captured him (the king), his wife - Khatun and about 10,000 (people). He killed many of them and took away so many mounts that it was impossible to count.
Each Muslim rider got 1000 dirgems from the booty during the division. In the IX - X centuries. there was a further rise in the economy and culture of Taraz, which was facilitated by its location on the trade route - in the center of a rich agricultural valley, next to the silver mines in the mountains of Talas Alatau.
Makdisi, a geographer of the 10th century, noted that “Taraz is a large fortified city, with many gardens, densely populated, it has a moat, four gates and a populated rabad. There is a large river at the gates of the medina, behind it is a part of the city, through which there is a passage. Cathedral mosque among the markets ”.
At the end of X - XI centuries, after the conquest of Semirechye, South Kazakhstan and Central Asia by the Karakhanid dynasty, Taraz became the capital of one of the destinies of the new state. At the beginning of the XIII century, at a time of confusion for Semirechye and Central Asia, on the eve of the Mongol invasion, when the struggle for domination in Central Asia between the Karakitays was unfolding, Naimanamn, the Khorezmshah Muhammad, Taraz changed hands several times.
There is no written information about the conquest of Taraz by the Mongols, but, apparently, in 1220 the town put up significant resistance to the Mongols, which is why it was destroyed by them to the ground, as evidenced by the remains of a conflagration discovered during excavations.
The city, apparently, was renamed by the Mongols into Yany (New), since upon further mentioning it, both European and Arab sources write:"... the town of Yana, which was called Taraz before the conquest." In 1212, the city, along with other centers of the southwestern Semirechye and southern Kazakhstan, was destroyed by order of Yamshah Muhammad, so as not to fall into the hands of the Mongols. In the middle of the XIII century, the town was rebuilt, judging by the fact that it is mentioned in the notes of Wilhelm Rubruk.
However, the period of the second half of the XIII - early XIV centuries was politically unstable. In Semirechye, including in the Talas Valley, there was a constant struggle and rivalry between the Chingizids, accompanied by the destruction of cities and villages.
In the XIII - XV centuries, the city was part of the Chagatai ulus of the Mongol Empire. In the period 1465 to 1718 - one of the cities of the Kazakh Khanate. Was among the destroyed in 1723 - 1727. Dzhungars of towns.
In 1723, the Talas Valley, like most of the southern regions of present-day Kazakhstan, was conquered by the Dzungars, who owned it almost until 1756. By the middle of the XIV century, many centers of sedentary and urban culture suffered. Life in them died out.
In the XVIIIth - XIXth centuries, it was part of the Kokand Khanate.
In 1856, the city was renamed "Aulie-Ata" - Holy ancestor (kaz.). It received this name in honor of Karakhan, the founder of the Karakhanid dynasty. The mausoleum of Karakhan is located in the center of the city (near the Dynamo stadium).
In 1864, during the colonization of Central Asia by the Russian Empire, a small detachment under the command of Colonel M.G. Chernyaev captured the Aulie-Ata fortress.
Its first settlers were Uzbeks from Namangan. The population of the city was engaged in handicrafts and trade. Here, at the spring fair, there was an exchange of artisan products and agricultural products, which the sedentary inhabitants of the oasis were engaged in, for livestock products of Kazakh nomads.
At the end of the XVIIIth century, the Kokand people built a fortress near the ruins of Taraz. In March 1858 Aulie-Ata became the center of the struggle of the Kazakhs of South Kazakhstan against the oppression of the Kokand feudal lords. The rebels surrounded the Kokand garrison located in Aulie-Ata and blocked the road to Tashkent.
During the siege of the town, the Tashkent ruler bek Mirza-Akhmet with 3000 army of nukers broke into the fortress, which was again surrounded. Fearing the further development of the popular movement, the Kazakh, the feudal lords agreed with the Kokand khan Khudiyar to send troops against the rebels. As compensation, they demanded to replace the ruler of Tashkent.
Having made concessions, Khudiyar appointed his younger brother Murat-Atalyk instead of the hated people Mirza-Akhmet. The uprising was suppressed, but at the same time it intensified the gravitation of the Kazakhs of the southern regions of Kazakhstan to Russia, the desire to become under its protection
A fairly complete description of the city at the beginning of the XXth century is given in the work “Russia. Full geographical description of our fatherland. " It is noted that Aulie-Ata had a large bazaar, a fair and a number of transport offices.
In 1859, the advance of Russian troops to Aulie-Ata began. In 1864, after a brutal reprisal against the local population, the detachment of General M.G. Chernyaev occupied Aulie-Ata. The former northern outpost of the Kokand feudal lords soon turned into a major trade and craft center.
The town consisted of Russian and Asian parts. It had 3 churches, 21 mosques, postal- a telegraph office, a city school, a hospital, a military hospital, 17 factories and plants, 1791 residential buildings, 19,052 residents.
In 1867, Aulie-Ata became part of the Syrdarya region as a district town. According to the census of 1897, it numbered 722 people, and in 1914 - 20 327 people.
In 1913, there were 15 industrial enterprises in Aulie-Ata associated with the processing of agricultural raw materials. Until 1917, there were 7 educational institutions in the city, as well as 21 mektebs at mosques. There were 2 hospitals and 2 pharmacies in operation. There were over 20 mosques and 3 churches in the town.
In 1917, the Semirechenskaya railway from Arys to Verny was laid through the town, which accelerated the development of the city. In Soviet times, the road became part of Turksib (1930).
The first revolutionary protests of workers and progressive-minded people in Aulie-Ata took place after the bloody events of January 9, 1905 in St. Petersburg.
On March 17, 1917, under the influence of the Bolsheviks, the Aulie-Ata Committee (Council) of Soldiers 'and Peasants' Deputies was formed and its Presidium was elected, which acted as a revolutionary authority for the workers and soldiers of the town of Aulie-Ata and the county.
Who took the initiative to regulate national relations, introduce an 8-hour working day, solve the food and land issue to protect the workers and peasant poor from the tyranny of entrepreneurs.
On November 19, 1917, Soviet power was established in Aulie-Ata. Since 1938, the city bears the name of the great Kazakh akyn Jambul.
In the 1920s, the famous writer Dmitry Furmanov stayed in the city. There is a plaque on the house where he lived.
In 1936 - 1938 the city bore the name "Mirzoyan" in honor of the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Kazakhstan Levon Mirzoyan, who was later repressed and shot on February 26, 1939.
In 1938, the city was renamed from Mirzoyan to Dzhambul, after the Kazakh poet and akyn Dzhambul Dzhabayev.
In 1968, the Zhambyl Regional Philharmonic Society was formed.
On May 4, 1993 by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of Kazakhstan, the transcription of the name of the Dzhambul region in Russian was changed to Zhambyl region, and Dzhambul - to "Zhambyl".
On January 8, 1997, by the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan "taking into account the petitions of local executive bodies and the wishes of the public of the Zhambyl region, on the basis of the conclusion of the State Onomastic Commission under the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan", the city of Zhambyl was renamed into the city of Taraz.
On September 26, 2002, the residents of Taraz celebrated a big holiday: the town turned 2000 years old, which was officially recognized by UNESCO. 

K.M. Baypakov. “Medieval settlements on the Great Silk Road”. Almaty, "Gylym". 1998.

Alexander Petrov.