One of the survived first buildings of Semey is Yamishev gates. This fortification is considered to be an architectural monument of the XVIII century.
The gates are built of mountain limestone and baked bricks in the form of a massive arch with a vaulted ceiling and cornices of a simple drawing. 2 meter thick walls of the arch have a depth of about 10 m. Rounding at the top, they form something like a small tunnel. The gate’s length is 7.27 m, width - 7.79 m, the maximum height is 7.43 m. 203 cubic meters of brick was laid during their construction. The view of Yamishev fortress gates was completely renovated. They are fortified with iron hinges and lock. Guns are placed near the most fortress gates just as before.
Yamishev gates have its unusual history and plight. The gates are the only surviving part of a once formidable Semipalatinsk fortress built here on the orders of Peter I in 1718. Initially the fort was built in another place, but the place of the fortress changed three times in 60-s due to the constant spring floods of the Irtysh River. Finally, in 1718 engineers and builders managed to find the safest highland place and the fortress was built, and today our Kazakh city Semey is located here. The fortress was situated on the right highland bank of the river and it was walled, moated and embanked. During the long years of its existence, the fortress was reconstructed and strengthened several times. In 1773, the gates and walls were built under the direction and by design of the engineer - Captain Andreev I.G. Semipalatinsk fortress, built pursuant to all the rules of military science of that time, had two bastions armed with guns and three gates. Yamishev, facing Omsk, Semipalatinsk, looking towards abrupt bank of the Irtysh, and Ust-Kamenogorsk - the eastern gates. Only the western among three gates had survived, but tense times awaited them as well.
The fortress had already lost its military significance at the beginning of the XX century, but some parts of it including Yamishev gates were decided to be kept as a landmark. However, the attitude towards the monuments of the past was changed dramatically with coming of the Soviet regime and the issue of demolition Yamishev gates was raised in 1932, but it was just in words and the gates survived. In 1941, the City Council makes a decision on demolition, reasoning that "Yamishev gates lack great historical significance and place in a bad location, which is against the layout of one of the central streets of Semipalatinsk, proposed for reconstruction". A long struggle of the public and local ethnographers for the preservation of this monument begins. Right before the war, on 29 May 1941, it was decided to "repair or restore Yamishev gates", "... at the expense of income rent for the commercial and industrial and office spaces, which are allocated to municipal funds’ repair on the expenditure side...", in the III quarter of 1941. However to defend the monument of architecture was managed in those hard times. Unfortunately it didn’t last long. In 1970 the gates began to block the construction of a tunnel for the entry point to the railway, wherefore it was decided to move them to 50 meters closer to the river Irtysh. The gates were dismantled and re-built and its foundation was fortified. The builders managed to maintain their exterior, but, unfortunately, it is not the same original historical monument.