"AKMOLA -> TSELINOGRAD -> ASTANA" Top 5 Page for this destination Astana by Pablos_new
Astana Travel Guide: 38 reviews and 67 photos
Akmola, which could be translated from ancient Turk as "white grave" was a small willage in endless Kazakh steppe. In 1950-s Khruschev made a call: Everyone should go for uprising of virgin lands. And millions of peasants, mainly from Russia and Ukraine, moved with families into this wild and deserted country. For many of young people this was real chalenge and there were really very many volunteers and enthusiasts came here to build new life. Administrative center of the new region could not have such an unpleasant name and new town was named: Tselinograd. "Tselina" in Russian and Ukranian means "Virgin lands" (Virginia ;-))).
After fall of the Soviet Union there was a wave of renaming of all Russian names (not only Soviet ones) in Northen Kazakhstan (even ancient Russian town Guriev was renamed). Name Akmola was returned, but not for too long time. To prevent splitting Kazakhstan into to parts (Russian-speaking and Kazakh-speaking), president Nazarbaev desided to move capital from Almaty (Alma-Ata) to the north. Name Akmola again apeared to be rather unpleasnat for that. And new giant and modern megapolis appeared on the world map - Astana.
I Kazakh this means just "a capital".
In 2006 a big aquarium with real sea sharks opened in Astana. Worth to visit this place - this is the most "far from the... more travel advice
This picture was taken on the way from airport to the city. You can see new mosque (under construction) and some big... more travel advice
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