The Central State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan is one of the largest museums in Central Asia. Its collections were originally displayed in the 1830s in the city of Orenburg, where they were organised by the Nepliuevskii Military Academy as the 'Orenburg Region Museum'. One of the organisers was the famous linguist and author of the 'Explanatory Dictionary', Vladimir Dal. In the following years, the museum was influenced by collections from the museum in the Zhetysu region, the museum of the Kazakh army and the Republican Anti-religious museum.
In 1931 the museum opened its doors in the building of Almaty's former cathedral, a unique architectural complex built in 1904-1907 under an initiative of the famous architect, A.P. Zenkov. It was one of a small number of buildings which withstood the destructive earthquake of 1911.
The modern museum building was built in 1985 under a project led by architects Iu. Ratushnyi, Z. Mustafina and B. Rzagaliev. It is rightfully considered one of the best constructions of modern architecture in the city. The total area of the museum building is 17,557 square metres. On three of its floors are exhibition galleries and four exhibition rooms. Today the collection of the Central State Museum numbers more than 200,000 artefacts of material and spiritual culture.
The museum welcomes collectors and researches interested in questions about the history of Kazakhstan and museum organisation.