Capital Day in Kazakhstan
Baiterek Tower in Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan
Capital Day in Kazakhstan has been celebrated ever since Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) acquired the status of capital in 1998.
On July 6, 1994, the Supreme Council of Kazakhstan passed a resolution to move the Kazakhstan capital from Alma-Ata to Akmola (formerly Tselinograd). On May 6, 1998, Akmola was renamed Astana and on June 10, 1998, Astana was presented to the world as the new capital of Kazakhstan. Although Capital Day was initially observed on June 10th, it was later changed to coincide with the birthday of the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev.
Massive construction efforts were undertaken from the moment the city acquired the status of capital, and it has long been regarded as an architectural gem of Kazakhstan and one of the most beautiful modern cities in all Central Asia. Among its most famous architectural masterpieces are the Ministry of Transport and Communication center, the towers of Kazakhstan Temir Joly and Northern Lights buildings, the business center, Astana Tower, Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport, Baiterak Tower and Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center. With construction projects continuing in full swing, the city’s list of notable landmarks is sure to keep expanding.
The architectural plan driving the new face of Kazakhstan’s capital was the creation of a new Eurasian city, and indeed most Kazakhs will attest that Nur-Sultan artfully combines elements of both East and West. Both Kazakh architects and foreign specialists have taken part in the city’s architectural revolution, including Kise Kurokawa and Norman Foster. The well-known British architect is the mastermind behind one of the most unique buildings in Nur-Sultan, The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.
Between 1996 and 2017, the population of Nur-Sultan rose from 270,000 to 1 million, and in 1999, UNESCO coined Nur-Sultan "The City of Peace". On July 18, 2008, the 6th of July was announced as the new date for Capital Day in Kazakhstan. The fact that Nur-Sultan is a free economic zone contributes greatly to its economic development, and the city stands as a visual reminder of the achievements of Kazakhstan during its first decades of independence.