Astana: City of the Future. Today.
Astana is the capital and second largest city (after Almaty) of Kazakhstan, with an officially estimated population of 708,794 as of 1 August 2010.
It is located in the north-central portion of Kazakhstan, within Akmola Province, though administrated separately from the province as a federal city area.
Bayterek is the most famous landmark in Astana. The legend behind this tower as a symbol is that it represents a poplar tree, where the magic bird Samuruk laid its egg. In the sphere on the top of Bayterek there is an imprint of president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s hand.
In front of the Bayterek Tower in the summer of 2010, the largest open-air art exhibition ever in Kazakhstan took place: About 2.2 million people saw the international exhibition of United Buddy Bears.
The pyramid has been conceived and designed by architect Sir Norman Foster. It was inaugurated in September 2006. It contains accommodations for different religions: Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and other faiths. It also houses a 1,500-seat opera house, a national museum of culture, a new “university of civilization”, a library and a research center for Kazakhstan’s ethnic and geographical groups.
The tent is 150 meters high, and like the pyramid was designed by the British team of Norman Foster and Buro Happold. It houses an urban-scale internal park, shopping and entertainment venue with squares and cobbled streets, a boating river, shopping centre, minigolf and indoor beach resort.
Kazakhstan – Our connection to the Universe.
Eat your heart out, Borat!