Astana-Bayterek Monument
The Bayterek Monument has a special meaning for the capital of Kazakhstan. Bayterek means “a poplar” in Kazakh: a young, strong, growing tree, which symbolizes the young independent state with strong roots pushing its way upwards. The monument is 97 meters high, which symbolizes 1997 — the year of proclaiming Astana as the country’s new capital. The significance of Bayterek is reinforced with the artistic composition titled Ayaly Alakan (which means caring hands in Kazakh), with a print of the right hand of the President. The monument has adorned the Left Bank of the Ishim River since 2002, towering opposite the Presidential Palace. You can climb the monumental Tree to the 97-meter height and enjoy the unique chance of viewing the city from above with its magnificent architectural ensemble on Nurzhol Boulevard, and you can place your hand on the print of the hand of the Nation Leader.
This is one of the most magnificent buildings in Astana – the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, Center of Religious Studies and Religious Tolerance. The Palace was built in the shape of a regular pyramid. It is often referred the eighth wonder of the world. The building plan was developed by the famous British architect – Sir Norman Foster. The entrance to the Pyramid is through the underground floor and its top is entirely made of glass. The building has a special structure, which makes the building steel frame movable in winter. Thus, when the temperature falls to minus 40 degrees Celsius, the building shrinks, and in the summer, on the contrary, it expands. The seasonal change in the Pyramid dimensions reaches 6 inches! You can climb to the top of the pyramid in a diagonal elevator. There are only two elevators of this type elsewhere in the world (in the French Louvre Museum and in Los Angeles). However, you can also climb there on foot, along the wavy stairs through the numerous green terraces. Inside the Pyramid, there is an opera and concert hall with 1500 seats. The Cheops Atrium Hall will present you the General Development Plan of Astana until 2030, the scale of which is impressive. At the top of the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, there is the Cradle, a place that hosted the Conference of the World Religion Leaders. The Winter Garden is blooming around the hall, impressing with all kinds of plants brought from all over the world. The Pyramid is crowned with a large glass dome with 130 doves depicted on it, symbolizing the Peoples of Kazakhstan. The dome glows at night.
The National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the youngest and largest Museum in Central Asia. The Museum is located on the main square of the country – Independence Square. The National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan has the following halls: Hall of Astana, Hall of Independent Kazakhstan, Hall of Gold, Hall of Ancient and Medieval History, Hall of History, Hall of Ethnography, Halls of Modern Art.
The museum and memorial complex starts with the monument titled the Arch of Sorrow. The museum exposition is located around the perimeter of its premises, which draws the visitor into the vicious circle by immersing him in the historical past of Kazakhstan. The twelve exhibit windows of the museum display copies of sentences, photos, charts, maps, documents on arrest and capital punishments, old household articles, weapons - all of which reflect the struggle of the Kazakh people against mass repression. Any person could be a victim of the unprecedented terror, irrespective of national or social origin. Thousands of representatives of the Kazakh intelligentsia were killed by the Stalinist tyranny. Among the prisoners of ALZHIR, there were wives of poets and writers, wives of public figures, widely known throughout the former Soviet Union. The everyday work and life of the prisoners is presented in the hall titled Women Prisoners of ALZHIR. The hardships suffered in labor camps are memorialized on the Memory Wall, which displays the names of 7620 women prisoners.
The Khazret Sultan Mosque is the largest mosque in Central Asia. The building, which resembles an Oriental Palace, is a beautiful architectural monument in Astana. The mosque has a dome with a height of 51 meters and a diameter of 28 meters. At the corners of the mosque, you can see four 77-meter minarets, and around the main dome, there are eight smaller domes. The Khazret Sultan Mosque is distinguished by its classic oriental style. The white color was chosen for the main facade and interior. White massive columns adorn the Central Hall of the mosque. They deepen the feeling of monumentality of this beautiful building. The interior and facade are adorned with traditional Kazakh ornaments. The mosque can accommodate up to ten thousand people. The mosque has a wedding hall, a prayer hall, a room for ablutions, a dressing room and rooms for seminarians and reading the Quran.
After Akkorda Palace was built and made the official capital residence of the President, the former residence of President Nursultan Nazarbayev became the Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Museum has a collection of unique archival documents, scientific works, books, collections of presents, awards and other materials relating to the history of sovereign Kazakhstan and revealing the stages of life, state and public activity of the First President of the country. Today, the Museum has more than 140 thousand different items. In addition to historical documents, the museum also presents works written by the President and the works devoted to his activities and role in the construction of modern Kazakhstan.
The territory of the Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. The reserve is located 130 km from Astana. The Korgalzhyn nature reserve presents unique protected wetlands that are home to the largest northern population of pink flamingos. It has two large interconnected lakes – Tengiz with salt water and Korgalzhyn with fresh water. Rare birds nest on the shores of the lakes: over 300 species, of which 32 are listed in the Red book.
The Borovoye resort is located in Aqmola region. It is an authentic oasis amid Kazakh steppes with the unique charming nature, fresh air, abundant with beautiful lakes and therapeutic waters, majestic mountains and lush green pine forests. This wonderful area is frequently called the Switzerland of Kazakhstan. There are fourteen beautiful lakes in the resort of Borovoye with curative mud and water. The Borovoye season opens in May. However, it is recommended to swim in the lakes in June, when the water is warm enough. Lake Borovoye is great for fishing, being home to many different fish species. The picturesque Blue Bay has a fancy eighteen-meter rock called Zhumbaktas. Its shape resembles the Sphinx. Another interesting rock is called Okzhetpes with the top in the form of a lying elephant on the slopes of Kokshetau Mountain. The local mountains attract tourists with their mystery. Each of them has its own interesting history or legend, told by the resort's local guides. The resort offers its guests extreme tours through the beautiful rocks, accompanied by professional climbers. Borovoye is also famous as a climatic resort. There are many guesthouses of various types with innovative equipment, health and sports facilities, boarding houses, rest houses and sanatoria. There are all natural factors required for treatment of various health problems. The resorts offer curative mud and mineral water from healing springs, as well as healthy mare milk. All of this is complemented by pure mountain air saturated with pine fragrance and smell of steppe grasses.