Nursultan – a wierd post soviet, modern architecture city in the middle of nowhere.
The Capital of Kazakhstan is undergoing a transformation costing billions of dollars, where top international architects assist in trying to make Nursultan a worthy capital – not only of Kazakhstan but of all Central Asia. Thus, Nursultan presents an interesting and intriguing blend of old Soviet architecture with the modern designs of Norman Foster and the likes but it doesnt come close to the western counterparts.
Kazakhstan renamed its capital Astana to Nursultan to honour outgoing leader Nursultan Nazarbayev wich ran for 30 years since they got their indepencence from Sovjet, earlier this year.
Todays president Mr Tokayev was sworn in some 24 hours after Mr Nazarbayev’s surprise resignation. Tokayev then proposed changing Astana’s name “in honour of the first president” and, shortly afterwards, parliament adopted a law making the renaming official. Small protests took place in Almaty and other cities after the name change was proposed.
Astana, which means “capital” in Kazakh, became the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997, taking over from Almaty, still the country’s commercial hub and largest population centre.
In 1997, Nazarbayev moved the capital from Almaty, turning a provincial town noted for severe winters into a showcase of modernist architecture, including an observation tower where visitors are invited to touch a handprint of the leader.
As a tourist here its a few things to do for a few days, looking at extreme architectural buildings made to flash wealth, eat local Food (they have horse on the meny) or visit old gulag camps (pre soviet working camps) outside of Nursultan.
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