Nur-Sultan (//; Kazakh pronunciation: [nʊɾ sʊltɑn]; Kazakh: Нұр-Сұлтан, romanized: Nūr-Sūltan), formerly Akmolinsk (Russian: Акмолинск, romanized: Akmolinsk), and Astana (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,
Astana (Астана; 1998–2019)
From top: Nur-Sultan downtown, Ishim River
|Founded||1830 (as Akmola)|
|• Body||City Mäslihat|
|• Akim||Altaı Kölginov|
|• City proper||810.2 km2 (312.8 sq mi)|
|Elevation||347 m (1,138 ft)|
|• City proper||1,136,008|
|Time zone||UTC+6 (ALMT)|
|Area code(s)||+7 7172|
|License plate||01, 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. 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.
Modern Nur-Sultan is a planned city, following the process of other planned capitals. 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. 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.