Astana Kazakhstan and Its Remarkable Buildings

It’s time to visit Kazakhstan! The capital will astound you. Dubbed by CNN as the world’s weirdest capital, Astana seems like a playground of modern architecture. From a bird’s eye view, the profusion of uniquely designed edifices in different shapes, sizes and colors is itself worth the visit. From the ground, marvel at each point of interest, which are remarkably different from each other architecturally.

Perhaps the most iconic building in Astana is the Bayterek Monument. Nicknamed the Tree of Life, the Bayterek is an inspired work based on the Kazakh legend, where a tree of life grows on the World River bank and on its top is a nest of the Samruk, a holy bird of happiness. In this nest, the bird flies over to lay a golden egg. The Bayterek stands in the middle of the city at 97 meters high. For its creators, it is a tree with a big golden egg in a nest on its crown represented by a giant, wooden globe in shiny gold held by several petal-like structures. But for the locals, it simply is the giant Chupa Chups or lollipop as it does look like one.

Inside the tower are several entertainment facilities like aquariums, a gallery and a café perfect for a quick gastronomic respite. Try your best to get to the 86th floor as it offers the best 360-degree view of the city. A stroll around the tower is also delightful as you will be walking around geometrically arranged garden patches with flowers bursting in bright colors.

Another strikingly different and ultra-contemporary structure in the city is the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center. It looks like a tent in a monumental scale, whose base is bigger than 10 football stadiums. Thus it is often considered the world’s largest tent. It is transparent and such effect was achieved not by the use of plastic but a fabric stretched and suspended by series of cables. The transparent feature makes a perfect containment of multi-colored lights that make a dramatic effect on the structure when seen in the evening. The inside holds a park, a shopping center, squares, cobbled streets, a boating river, a mini golf, and an indoor beach resort.

Definitely eye-catching for its resemblance to the Louvre in Paris, the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation also known as the Pyramid of Peace and Accord is another must-see, due to its structure and design as well as the idea and belief it stands for. It’s a 5- story glass pyramid where each triangle side measures about 12 meters. The upper two stories are interesting because of the flying dove design etched on them. When light passes through these doves, the reflections are truly magical. This unique structure and the ideaology that it was based on it to be admired and commended.

Every three years, the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions is held here. For the Kazakhs, the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation represents and reinforces their belief that various religion, cultures and traditions can thrive side by side peacefully. Aside from the congress held in its oval hall, the palace also contains an opera house with a 1,500 seat capacity, a national museum of culture, a library and a research center devoted to the Kazakhstan’s ethnic and geographical groups.

Astana also astonishes visitors with its other magnificent buildings like the Presidential Palace that resembles the White House, the colorful Duman Center, and the Nur-Astana Mosque. Make sure to bring your camera and capture the remarkable Astana structures.