"Astana - The symbol of an ambitious Kazakhstan!" Gorod Astana by WorldPassenger

Gorod Astana Travel Guide: 50 reviews and 84 photos

The controversial governmental capital of Kazakhstan is Astana (formerly named Tselinograd, Akmolinsk, and Aqmola) and it is the second largest city in Kazakhstan. Astana means "capital city" in Kazakh. It took over the role of capital city from Almaty (the largest city) in December 1998. It is a city seen as a symbol of the resource-rich nation's ambition to become a modern and developed state.

Astana is controversial to some Kazakh’s as the capital of Kazakhstan since so much public money was devoted to moving the capital and then building new facilities. Money that they feel could have been better spent in other ways. But all of that is water under the bridge as they say.

Astana is located in the northern part of the country, on the Ishim River, in a very flat, semi-desert steppe region. The elevation of Astana is only 1,138 feet (347 m) above sea level – a little bit higher than Atlanta, Georgia in the USA. The city was founded as a Russian fortress in 1824 and named Akmolinsk. Astana is known to be the second coldest capital in the world after the Mongolian capital. For example, January's average temperature is -15 C (+5 F).

Besides being the seat of government, Astana produces agricultural machinery and building-materials and chemicals and also has leather-tanning, food-processing, clothing and footwear and meat-packing industries as well as being an important rail junction. It is also trying to build up its air cargo services to become an air cargo hub in central Asia.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Nice new city
  • Cons:A long way from anywhere else
  • In a nutshell:I enjoyed Astana and seeing the city at night
  • Last visit to Gorod Astana: Mar 2008
  • Intro Updated Jul 20, 2008
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