We wish our readers a happy Capital Day of Kazakhstan and want to take them on a tour through Kazakhstan’s modern capital Nur-Sultan – Central Asia’s Dubai.
We will start our Capital Day sightseeing tour through the modern capital of Kazakhstan at the Khan Shatyr. It means Royal Marquee and it is a very huge shopping mall which built between 2006 till 2010 and was opened 10 years ago at the 1st president of Kazakhstan’s birthday and the Kazakh public holiday Capital Day. Khan Shatyr looks like a very huge tent and with it’s 150 meters height it is the highest tensile structure in the world. The diameter of the building is 200 metres and covering an amazing area larger than 10 football stadiums. If you going into the Khan Shaty you find everything you need to spend your free time on a Kazakh cold winter (-35 °C) and hot summer (40°C). The air condition of the huge tent gives their visitors a nice temperature around 25 °C and they can visit very much shops and restaurants, a dinosaur park, boating river, mini golf square and even a indoor beach resort with sand and palms. This beautiful building was designed by the famous British architect Norman Foster. After we had a small lunch break in a restaurant we leaving the tent and crossing the street to the Lovers Park because we want to continue our sightseeing tour along the Nurzhol Boulevard.
The new park is well made and we see to the left the Astana Opera – a nice building with a old European style and opened in summer 2013. With its 1500 seats its the third largest opera in the world.
We walking forward and passing through a huge modern office tower with a shape of a huge arc and brown and white cladding. It is the Ministry of Energy. Now we have to leave Nurzhol Boulevard for a short time to go to the right to visit another landmark of Nur-Sultan.
It is the Nur-Astana Mosque. The capacity of 5,000 worshippers makes this building to the 3rd largest mosque in Central Asia. The measures of the building made out of glass, concrete, steel and granite, have a special meaning: The 40-meter height dome represent the age of the Prophet Muhammad when he received the revelations, and the height of the four minarets represents with its 63 meters the age of Muhammad when he died. The white mosque with golden dome and golden tips of the minarets is a gift of the 1st President of Kazakhstan and the Emir of Qatar to the city in 2005. After we visited the mosque and made some pictures we walking back to the Nurzhol Boulevard.
The skyscrapers at the Nurzhol Boulevard protecting us from the hot Kazakh sun. The modern glass cladded buildings and the heat give us a feeling that we are currently in Dubai. But we are in Central Asia! One of the new skyscrapers in Nur-Sultan are the Emerald Towers. It is a a complex of three office towers. The highest one is 210 meters tall and built in 2012. It is still the tallest completed building in Kazakhstan. But to the right behind the buildings of the Boulevard we can see a huge constructions site with cranes building a even taller skyscraper – the Abu Dhabi Plaza. This skyscraper will be the tallest building in Central Asia after topping out at 382 meters in 2021.
After walking some minutes further down the Nurzhol boulevard with it’s very much beautiful modern arts and flower beds we arriving the heart of Nur-Sultan: Bayterek tower. The modern monument and observation tower with a height of 105m was designed by the 1st president of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev and symbolize the mythical tree of life with the bird nest and the golden egg of the Samruk – the magic bird of happiness.
The observation deck at a height at 97 meters stand for the year 1997 – the year that the city Akmola (now: Nur-Sultan) became the nation’s capital. We have a wonderful 360 degrees view around the new and well planned capital of Kazakhstan, but another feature of Bayterek tower went into our focus. It is a gilded hand print of the hand of the first president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. After we went down by elevator to the ground again we continuing our Capital Day sightseeing tour through Nur-Sultan.
As we walking still down the Nurzhol Boulevard a huge building in front of us coming closer. It is the official working place of the President of Kazakhstan. It’s the White house of the biggest country of Central Asia – called Ak Orda that means White horde. The 80 meters high building has seven floors and a blue dome. And on it’s top is the golden eagle and a sun with 32 rays – the national flag symbols of Kazakhstan.
After we reached the end of the Nurzhol Boulevard and we had a look through the fence to the working place of the current president of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev we have to go to the left to pass the Ishim river over a street bridge. After we crossed the Ishim river we see a strange building. The shape of the building is more expected in Egypt. It’s a huge pyramid. It is the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.
The 62 meters high pyramid was designed – like the Khan Shatyr – by the British architect Norman Foster and construction finished in 2006. It is home of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions which meets once every three years around a huge round table in the apex of the pyramid cladded with blue painted stained glasses and white flying doves. If you are inside of the top of the pyramids it feels like in a dream or a Sci-Fi move. In the basement is a 1,300-seat opera hall and a national museum of culture.
After we left the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation we arriving at the Independence Square of Nur-Sultan. It’s the main square of Kazakhstan’s and Nauryz celebrations in March and the Defender of the Fatherland Day parade is held here. In the center you find the huge Kazakh Eli monument framed by the Palace of Independence (a exhibition and meeting hall) and the blue futuristic Shabyt Palace. The palace is the home of the Kazakh National University of the Arts.
We turning to the right first to have a look to the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The modern museum was opened in 2014 and on seven floors, in 14 halls and a overall space of 4,000 square meters is displayed the whole history of Kazakhstan. The museum is also the home of the famous Golden Man. Its a great place to learn more about the Kazakh culture and history because the historical items are displayed in a well and modern style.
After passing the monument Kazakh Eli and the Independence Square again – our next stop is the Hazrat Sultan Mosque. Hazrat Sultan means Holy Sultan and was a nickname of the famous Sufi Sheikh Khoja Ahmed Yasavi, whose lived in Turkistan. Info Shymkent wrote already about his beautiful mausoleum. The Hazrat Sultan Mosque is Nur-Sultan’s newest mosque and with a space for 5 to 10,000 people it is the largest mosque in Central Asia. The mosques has also the largest dome in Kazakhstan with 51 meters high and a 28.1 meters diameter at the base. The four minarets rising 77 meters to the dark blue sky of Kazakhstan. Like the Nur-Astana Mosque the Hazrat Sultan Mosque is directed to Mecca of course and breaking the direction of the strict lines of the streets of the new Nur-Sultan. After we went into the beautiful mosque our feet went tired. So this is our last stop of our sightseeing tour.
We hope you liked our tour through the capital of Kazakhstan and we wish you a great Capital Day holiday! Enjoy!
More information about the capital of Kazakhstan: English Wikipedia about city Nur-Sultan