Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan. It is located on the Ishim River in the north area of Kazakhstan, within the Akmola Region, though administrated separately from the region as a city with special status. The 2014 census reported a population of 835,153 within the city limits, making it the second largest city in Kazakhstan.

Founded in 1830 as a settlement of Akmoly or Akmolinsky prikaz, it served as a defensive fortification for the Siberian Cossacks. In 1832 the settlement was granted a town status and renamed Akmolinsk. On March 20, 1961 the city was renamed Tselinograd to mark the city's evolution as a cultural and administrative center of the Virgin Lands Campaign. In 1992 it was renamed Akmola, the modified original name meaning "a white grave". On December 10, 1997 Akmola replaced Almaty as the capital of Kazakhstan. On May 6, 1998 it was renamed Astana, which means "the capital" in Kazakh.

In 1999 by decision of UNESCO, Astana was awarded the title of World City.

Now Astana has become one of the largest business centers in the region. All governmental organizations, the diplomatic missions of 44 countries and 113 joint ventures and foreign businesses are located here. Every year the city hosts various international industrial exhibitions, conferences, musical contests and festivals of the Kazakhstani people. Many administrative buildings and business and entertainment centers are under construction in Astana.

Within a very short time Astana has got a very new face. From an ordinary soviet looking city it is turning into a modern XXI century city.

The climate in region differs by the long snow winters. The average temperature in January reaches from  -14 ° C to 18 ° C rarely fall to-40 ° C. Late spring, but very picturesque. Usually the spring comes in the end of March. At this time the steppe looks especially beautifully, plains become covered by irises and tulips. Summer in Astana moderately hot, often there are rains, sunny days are very valuable to inhabitants. Average temperature in July 20°С to 24°C.

Sightseeings of Astana

At present time Astana becomes a place of pilgrimage for millions of tourists. You can visit many administrative objects, business and entertainment centers in Astana.

"Baiterek Tower" ("Poplar" - in Kazakh language) firmly became a symbol and the capital card of modern Astana. The construction height is 105 metres. From viewing platform  of  97 metres you can see  the picturesque panorama of the city.  Number 97 is not casual, it symbolizes year of carrying over of capital from Almaty to Astana. There is an art gallery, a huge aquarium and restaurant in Bayterek Tower.

“Duman” entertainment   complex.  It is the  place for public recreation where you can visit  the large oceanarium, 3D movie theater, a movie theater, area for slot machines and other interactive games, bowling, beautiful hotel, many cafes and restaurants and indoor aquapark.

Ethnopark called "Map of Kazakhstan - Atameken" presenting a unique outdoor museum. The unique map area of 1.7 hectares featuring different cities and historical memorials of Kazakhstan.

There was opened the Independence Palace where you can see the multipurpose hall on 4,5 thousand places.  Impresses the ethnographic hall, its exhibits can tell you about a life and traditions of the Kazakh people. You should visit "Astana" museum in this Palace, art gallery, 4D cinema with special effects, the General layout of building of a city Astana.

National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The museum is located on the main place of the country - at the Independence Square, harmoniously fitting into a single architectural ensemble with the monument "Kazakh Eli", the Palace of Independence, the Palace of Peace and Accord, mosque "Hazrat Sultan" and the National University of Arts.

Many of the values ​​identified in the framework of the state program "Cultural Heritage", comprise an invaluable fund of the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The museum building catches the eye by unusual external form. Exhibit Space occupied 11 halls with a total area of ​​14 000 sq.m.

The museum is equipped with facilities of international standard for exposures using modern exhibition technology: a unique curved screen with a special content that runs on two halls, a media floor, a dynamic layout of the central part of modern Astana, numerous media screen, holograms, LED-technology, touch kiosks, multimedia guide to the provision of information in three languages.

Palace of Peace and Reconciliation in Astana was created by the famous architect Norman Foster innovator. It was built specifically to host the International Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions. The palace was built in a pyramid form by a "Golden Section Fibonacci".  It is called the eighth wonder of the world.

One of the most modern attractions in Astana, young capital of Kazakhstan, is the Hazrat Sultan Mosque. The colossal building resembles oriental palace.

The mosque is crowned by four minarets of 62 m. height. The domes covered with gold leaf. The eight artfully decorated cores supporting the dome are not just a decoration, they also have carved suras (part of the text of the Holy Quran). Inside there is a large hall, where can pray at the same time 5 thousand people. On the second floor - balcony, designed for prayer of 2 thousand women.

The architect of the shopping and entertainment center "Khan Shatyr" is the famous Norman Foster, who designed many of the modern facilities not only in Astana, but also in London and many cities in the world.

The unique shell of the tent allows you to maintain a comfortable microclimate inside the building, even if outside the raging storms or cold rage, that usual for Astana residents. Consistently good weather and plenty of sunshine is a business card of "Khan Shatyr".

Inside there is a lot of greens. All of these can be admired from the top terrace equipped with a viewing platform. Under the exhibition and entertainment events assigned spacious flexible platform in the center of the building.

But perhaps a special charm represent a tropical oasis and man-made lagoon with a magnificent beach with soft sand, imported from the distant Maldive Islands. Here you can relax in any season and to enjoy comparable with the rest of the Mediterranean, but without the "charms" of an exhausting trip.

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