The Medeu sports complex is located at an altitude of 1,691 meters above sea level and is the world’s largest high-altitude complex for winter sports. The skating rink and dam above it are one of the most famous sights of Almaty, and one of the city’s most popular attractions. In winter time ice skaters enjoy the rink, in summer visitors wander among the slopes, collecting mushrooms and wild berries.
At one time, this rink held more than 200 world records, and was appropriately named the “Factory of Records”. Construction began in 1949, the first Soviet-Union-wide events were held in 1951, but the complex reached its final completed state only in the 1970s when the road was paved and the skating rink rebuilt and equipped with artificial ice. This final stage of construction, completed in a short time and with support from the entire Soviet Union, was an example of a Soviet shock construction project. Today Medeu is recognized as a great example of urban planning of the period and a facility of national architectural significance.