Astana, Kazakhstan

Astana, Kazakhstan

According to abbreviationfinder, Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan since 1998 when it replaced Almaty, it is also the capital of a federal district. The name of the city before June 1998 was Akmola. The city is located in north-central Kazakhstan, within the Akmola province, although it is politically independent from the rest of the province, which has its own capital Kokshetau. The city’s population was 750,700, according to a November 2008 estimate.

The word Astana in the Kazakh language literally means Capital City. Formerly it had the name Tselinogrado and then Akmola, which means white tomb.

In June 2008, the parliament proposed to change the name of the city to “Nursultan”, in honor of the current president, but the idea was rejected by the president himself, who suggested that future generations should decide to change the name. name the city.


In 1824 a troop of Siberian Cossacks reached the upper reaches of the river Ishim and there they founded a fort that prospered over the years and became known as Akmolinsk.

In 1961 it was renamed Tselinograd and became the capital of the Soviet Virgin Lands Territory and the center of the Virgin Lands Campaign led by Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s, in order to make the state a second producer. of grain for the Soviet Union.

With the independence of Kazakhstan the city and the oblast were renamed Aqmola (White Tomb).

In 1994 it was promoted as the future capital of the country. When the capital was transferred from Almaty (previously called Almá-Atá).

In 1997, it was renamed under its current name, which means capital in the Kazakh language.

Astana was modernized by running one of the world’s largest and most expensive urbanization projects, although the quality of the architectural design is not the best. This great project was financed with oil money.

It is said that the transfer of capital was to dominate the northern region of the country, with a Russian majority and thus avoid a possible secession; Another theory suggests that it was tried to move the capital away from the borders, since Almaty is only 60 km from China and 50 from Kyrgyzstan. In any case, both theories have their strategic function, but officially the reason was the lack of space for the expansion of Almaty, the former capital of the country and because it is located in a seismic zone.


The city is located in a very flat semi-desert steppe in the center of Kazakhstan, at about 347 meters above sea level, being irrigated by the Ishim River, which divides it into two neighborhoods.


The city has a continental climate, with exceptionally cold winters and moderately hot, arid and semi-arid summers. The average annual temperature in Astana is 1 ° C. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of -16 ° C. July is the warmest month with an average temperature of 20 ° C.

After Ulaanbaatar the capital of Mongolia, Astana is the second coldest capital in the world with temperatures between -35 to -40 ° C.


The development of the new capital has attracted thousands of immigrants from Kazakhstan, and from neighboring states such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, especially workers and young professionals who aspire to develop their careers. This immigration produced a change in the demographics of Astana, increasing the number of more ethnic Kazakhs in a city with a predominantly Slavic population, which brought the ethnic population of Kazakhs to increase in 1989 to 60%, well above 17 % before that date.

In 1999, Astana already had a population of 281,000, with an ethnic mix that included Kazakhs, Russians, Ukrainians ], Volga Germans, among others. The% of the population by ethnicity was as follows: 40.5% of the population were Russians; 5.7%, Ukrainians ; 3% were German; 2.6% were Tatars ; 1.8% Belarusians and 0.8% Polish.

Although the Kazakh population outnumbers the Russian with 41.8%, Russians form the largest ethnic group in the city, while Ingush and Koreans each account for 0.8% of the total. Other notable minorities are the Uzbeks, with 3.8% of the population.

According to surveys carried out in 2009, by that date Astana already had a population of over 700,000 residents. See population of Kazakhstan.


Astana is considered one of the largest urban growth projects in the world and its execution is linked to the strong contributions linked to oil. The purpose of the project, in addition to making the city the center of Kazakhstan, is to be the capital of Central Asia, although at present the capital of this area is still Tashkent.

Public policies and government administration are the main economic activities of the capital, which also forms a special economic zone.


The neighborhoods of the city that were built in the first phases are located to the north of the river while those of new construction are located to the south of it.

The construction standards indicate that the quality of the buildings is considerably high, the buildings are modern, however there are divisions among the experts about the real quality of the new buildings.

Places of interest

Avenida de la República is the main center of activity in the city, where there are shops, cafes, restaurants and nightclubs.

Among the main sites of the city we can mention:

  • The Bayterek Tower: symbol of the new Astana.
  • The Avenue of the Republic.
  • The Oceanarium.
  • The Islamic Center.
  • The Catholic Cathedral.
  • The Central National Mosque of Astana.
  • The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.
  • Among the museums we can mention:
  • The Presidential Center of Culture.
  • The Mausoleum of Kabanbay batır.
  • The Atameken Ethical Memorial Complex.
  • The S. Seyfullïn Museum.
  • The Museum of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Among the theaters we can mention:

  • The Gorka Russian Dramatic Theater.
  • The Kazakh Theater K.Qwanışbaev.
  • The National Opera of K. Baysetova.

Among the monuments we can mention:

  • The Otan qorğawşılar.
  • The one built in homage to the victims of political repression.
  • The one built in honor of the Kazakhs killed in the war in Afghanistan.
  • The central square.
  • The one built in honor of Kenesarı khan.

Among the architectural monuments we can mention:

  • Buzok City.
  • The Church of Konstantin and Jelena.
  • The Green Mosque.


In the city there is an extensive sports development where the soccer team FC Astana should be highlighted, which plays in the Kazakhstan Super League, winner of the national championship three times, the basketball team Astana Tigres, winner of the 2004 season title / 2005, as well as Barys Astana of the Kazakh Ice Hockey League.

In the city there is a great development of cycling and the government sponsors a team of this sport that is licensed by the UCI ProTour, this team called Astana participated in the 2007 Tour de France, they also participated in the 2009 edition with excellent results.

Astana, Kazakhstan

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