Almaty (Alma-Ata or Almaty, which literally means "father of apples"). According to archaeologists, the first settlements of early farmers and ranchers in the territory of modern Alma-Ata appeared in X-IX centuries BC. er.
In the VI-III centuries BC. er. in these places inhabited by Saka tribes and later Usun. It was at this time include Saks mounds found on the territory of Almaty and surrounding areas. The largest are up to 20 meters in diameter at the base of over 100 meters located on the banks of the rivers Bolshaya and Malaya Almatinka, Vesnovka, Aksay. Today, most buried under mounds of residential buildings. More recent evidence date from the VIII-X centuries by. er. According to the testimony of Genoese merchants in the vicinity of Alma-Ata were several urban settlements. One is called Almaty (the legends of coins minted in this city) and was on the trade route from Europe to China - the Silk Road.
The beginning of the XIII century and the Mongol conquest brought hardship cities Ili valley, which include Almaty. Negatively on the city's development impact and the extinction of the Great Silk Road. By the end of the XVI century from Almaty is still only a small part as a large village. 
The beginning of the modern city was laid on Feb. 4, 1854, when the Russian government decided to build on the left bank of the river Malaya Almatinka fortification. In the spring of 1854 near the ancient ruins of Almaty to strengthen the construction of the Trans-Ili, later called Faithful. Construction led the Major Peremyshelsky and engineer-Lieutenant Alexander. By the autumn of the same year construction work had been completed. In log homes and wooden barracks housed 470 soldiers and officers Zaili squad. Since mid-1855 in the strengthening of Russian immigrants began to arrive. With their arrival Faithful began to develop rapidly. Next to the strengthening of any Big and Small Almaty village, Tatar Slobodka. In 1856 was founded The Treasury Gardens (now the Central Park of Culture and Recreation), and in 1857 in the Tatar suburb was built the first watermill. Entered service in 1858 first brewery laid the foundation of the local manufacturing industry. By May 1859 to strengthen already had 5 thousand inhabitants and in 1860 opened the first post office opened and a hospital.
April 11, 1867 the city became the center of Faithful Semirechensk region in the Turkestan general-governorship. July 13, 1867 was established Semirechenskaya Cossack army. At the same time was approved by the coat Semirechensk region: a shield, entwined with a garland of apple twigs with fruit, divided into three fields. Top - the image of the fortress, bottom: left - cross right - the crescent moon. Becoming a center Semirechensk region, the Faithful began to develop industry and handicrafts. Appeared Distillery and brewery, a factory on manufacture of coarse woolen cloth. The largest enterprises of the city were tobacco factories Gavrilova (1875) and Kadakina (1900). The city had opened the male and female schools, parochial and vocational schools and, later, men's and women's gymnasium. At mosques operate Islamic schools.
May 28, 1887 there was the strongest earthquake, which killed 322 people, destroyed 1,798 brick houses. Less affected buildings big and small villages, built of wood. Subsequently, the city was organized by the earthquake and the meteorological station under the supervision of AP Zenkova and developed a system of registration of seismicity in the construction of buildings. After the earthquake for the city came to be used mostly wood. Of it were built large town houses - the House of Assembly of a military regiment, the Cathedral, the House of public assembly, etc. Some buildings of that period have survived and are now monuments and architecture and are protected by the state. In memory of the tragedy, the citizens put a chapel which was demolished in 1927. On the eve of 1913 in the city had more than 41 thousand people, there were 59 industrial enterprises.