Aktau - white city in a desert


Aktau is a unique city, and not just according to Kazakhstan standards. It is the only city in the world that "lives" on "artificial" water - seawater desalinated by special equipment. And equipment itself uses energy produced by the nuclear reactor.

Aktau was founded in the 60s of the last century. Its very construction is the feat. The city was built in the desert of Mangyshlak, which is harsh, waterless and the least suitable for urban development. Aktau was designed according to the master plan developed by Leningrad Design Institute within the framework of the new young Soviet cities development. It was built from scratch on the sea coast only a few kilometers long. Complex for the extraction and processing of uranium ore was built next to the city.

Initially it was a settlement - Aktauskiy. In 1963, it received the status of a city with the name of Shevchenko, in honor of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, who was in exile in Mangyshlak in the 19th century. In September  of 1991 the city was renamed into Aktau (White Mountain).

Aktau is the regional center of Mangistau oblast. As of 2013 the city population is over 300 000 people. In the near future the population is promising to reach a million - making the city a real megalopolis.

Nowdays Aktau is very clean, comfortable and green city. It is hard to believe that here has been a desert once. It is adorned with modern buildings, flowers, monuments and sculptures. City attractions are museums, theaters, resorts, beaches.


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