One of the oldest and largest museums in Kazakhstan — the Regional Museum of Local History was established in 1883 on the initiative of political exiles-narodovoltsev. The great poet Abay Kunanbayev, the philosopher and thinker Shakarim Kudaiberdiev, and the world-class writer Mukhtar Auezov contributed to the museum’s activities at various times. Throughout its history, the museum has changed its location eight times. The scientific library has 34 thousand volumes of rare editions in its collection. Rare publications are kept here: dictionaries, reference books, scientific notes, works of scientists-researchers of Russia, Central Asia and China.
The Fyodor Dostoevsky Museum was opened on May 7, 1971. The foundation of the museum was a one-and-a-half-story wooden house built in 1898. In total, Fyodor Dostoevsky spent more than 5 years in Semey: from March 1854 to July 1859. During this time, he went from a private to an officer, and at the same time he met a woman who became his wife. Over the 50 years of its existence, the museum has accumulated a rich fund, more than 25,000 items of storage. The museum’s collection contains a unique document – Dostoevsky’s autograph, rare lifetime editions of the works of the writer and his contemporaries, a large collection of autographed books, and extensive memoir literature.
The East Kazakhstan Regional Museum of Fine Arts named after the Nevzorov Family was opened in December 1985. The director of the museum invited Yu. Nevzorova to exhibit her famous personal collection in Semipalatinsk. The collection of paintings, which thus ended up in the Semipalatinsk Museum, was collected by three generations of the Nevzorov family. It is more than a hundred years old. The Nevzorov family donated more than 500 works of Russian, Soviet and foreign art to the Semipalatinsk Museum. In 1991, the museum was named after the Nevzorov family. The museum’s exposition presents quite fully the ways of development of Russian art of the late XVIII-early XX century.
The opening of the museum took place in 1940 and was timed to the 95th anniversary of the birth of the writer and poet Abay Kunanbayev. The museum’s collection includes 13 thousand exhibits, presented in 7 thematic halls. The exhibition includes archival documents, Abai’s autographs, the handwritten heritage of Abai’s contemporaries, photographs, rare books, periodicals of Abai’s time, works of fine art, ethnographic exhibits transferred by Abai in 1885 to the Museum of Local lore, Abai’s personal belongings, works of the successors of Abai’s literary traditions, and their translations into the languages of the peoples of the world.
The Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ is a monument of architecture and history of the mid-XIX century. The Resurrection Cathedral became the second church in the city of Semipalatinsk after Znamensky. The Resurrection Church was built in 1857-60 on the initiative of a retired Cossack sergeant Mitrofanov-Kazakov, mainly at the expense of the people. The Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ is popularly called the Cossack Church. After the Znamensky Cathedral was destroyed in the early 1930s, its icons were transferred to the Resurrection Church. In 2020, the Resurrection Cathedral celebrated its 160th anniversary.