A Russian military fort built in 1869 grew into an important regional hub of Aktyubinsk with the arrival of the railway to Tashkent in 1901. Renamed Aktobe (Ақтөбе) in 1999, and associated with Hero of the Soviet Union Aliya Moldagulova, this oil and gas city is a major transport hub with a couple of quirky attractions to keep visitors briefly entertained. Aktobe is divided into Old Town to the east, where the railway station is, and New Town to the west.
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