Semipalatinsk, (Kazakh: Семей, also translated as Semij or Semey) is a city in north eastern Kazakhstan, near the border with Siberia. It is also known by its Russian name as Semipalatinsk (Семипалатинск). brijeIt is a city in the Shyghys Kazakhstan province (oblys) of Kazakhstan. It is located at 50°26′N 80°16′E, around 1000 km north of Almaty, and 700 km southeast of the Russian city of Omsk, along the Irtysh River.
The first settlement was in 1718, when the Russians built a fort beside the river Irtysh, near a ruined Buddhist monastery. The monastery's seven buildings lent the fort (and later the city) the name Semipalatinsk (Russian meaning - Seven Chambered City).
The fort suffered frequently from flooding caused by the snowmelt swelling the Irtysh, and in 1778 the fort was relocated square 18km upstream to less flood-prone ground. The small city grew around the fort, largely servicing the river trade between the nomadic peoples of Central Asia and the growing Russian Empire. The construction of the Turkestan Siberia Railway added to the city's importance, making it a major point of transit between Central Asia and Siberia.
Modern Semey is a bustling university town with a population nearing 400,000. Its proximity to the border, and the large ex-patriate scientific community attached to the university and the STS labs, gives Semey a more Russian character than other Kazakh cities.
The Province (oblyst) of Semipalatinsk has been merged with the bigger Shyghys Kazakhstan oblyst whose capital city is Ust-kamenogorsk (Öskemen).