Nur-Sultan (/ˌnʊərsʊlˈtɑːn/;[8] Kazakh pronunciation: [nʊɾ sʊltɑn]; Kazakh: Нұр-Сұлтан, romanized: Nūr-Sūltan), formerly Akmolinsk (Russian: Акмолинск, romanized: Akmolinsk), and Astana[lower-alpha 1] (Kazakh pronunciation: [ɑstɑnɑ], Cyrillic: Астана), is the capital city of Kazakhstan. The city acquired its present name on March 23, 2019, following a unanimous vote in Kazakhstan's parliament. It was named after former Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, [12][13][14]

Astana (Астана; 1998–2019)
From top: Nur-Sultan downtown, Ishim River
Location of Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan
Location of Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan
Nur-Sultan (Asia)
Coordinates: 51°10′N 71°26′E
Country Kazakhstan
Founded1830 (as Akmola)[1]
  BodyCity Mäslihat
  AkimAltaı Kölginov
  City proper810.2 km2 (312.8 sq mi)
347 m (1,138 ft)
 (1 March 2020)[2]
  City proper1,136,008[3]
Time zoneUTC+6 (ALMT)
Postal code
Area code(s)+7 7172[6]
ISO 3166-2AST[7]
License plate01, Z

The city lies on the banks of the Ishim River in the north-central part of Kazakhstan, within the Akmola Region, though administered as a city with special status separately from the rest of the region. A 2020 official estimate reported a population of 1,136,008 within the city limits, making it the second-largest city in the country, after Almaty, which had been the capital until 1997.[2] The city became the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997, since then it has grown and developed economically into one of the most modern cities in Central Asia.[15][16]

Modern Nur-Sultan is a planned city, following the process of other planned capitals.[17] After it became the capital of Kazakhstan, the city dramatically changed its shape. The city's master-plan was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa.[17] As the seat of the government of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan is the site of the Parliament House, the Supreme Court, the Ak Orda Presidential Palace and numerous government departments and agencies. It is home to a range of futuristic buildings, including many skyscrapers.[18][19][20]