“Astana-personification of a new, dynamically developing Kazakhstan, a symbol of renewal, a symbol of independence of our Republic!”
Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
"Through Astana we have opened new Kazakhstan to the global world. But above all, this city in a new way, we have discovered, to our homeland. Construction of Astana has become over the years the most grandiose mega project on all post-Soviet space, which showed the potential of our country. Today Astana - is the focus of a new history of Kazakhstan, "- Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev said in one of his speeches.
July 6, 1994 - was signed the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On the transfer of the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan." Today, this date is officially declared as the Day of the Capital. 1996 - Leading Asian, African and European architects have gathered to discuss the sketches of general development plan of the new capital. The international competition for the best general development of Astana won the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. Akmola was proclaimed as the capital of Kazakhstan on 10th December 1997 by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev and the Parliament of Republic of Kazakhstan. By the Presidential Decree signed on May 6, 1998 Akmola was renamed into Astana. The international presentation of Astana, as the new capital of Kazakhstan, was held on 10th June 1998. In 1999 Astana was awarded with the medal and title of City of Peace by UNESCO. Today the city's territory is over 722 sq. km.
The first capitals in the contemporary, recent and modern history of Kazakhstan were two different cities in the same time Alash-kala (1917-1920) - currentntly called Semey ( half part of Alash-kala Region of Kazakhstan were taked off from Kazakhstan in the different periods of Russian Empire and USSR and became modern Kemerovskaya oblast - Kemerovo ( Kazakh city Komir kemer translated from kazakh as Mountain hillside of coal ), Altayskiy Kray - Barnaul ( Kazakh Mountains of Altai with Kazakh city Boranaul translated from Kazakh as village of snow-storm or town of blizzard) and Altai Republic - Gorno-Altaisk.(Kazakh Mountains of Altai with Kazakh city Kos-Agash or Kosh-Agash means the trees pair also curtain of the trees and literal translation from the Kazakh word "kosh" and "agash" means "good-bye, the tree", corresponding to situated here treeless terrain) Kazakh Tobol Region fully taked off and now it an territory of modern Tumenskaya oblast - Tumen ( Kazakh city Tomen which means Down), Tobolsk (Kazakh city on the river Tobyl which named after Tobyl-Tura Siberian Kazakh Khan) and Novosibirskaya oblast-Novosibirsk ( Sibir or Siberia is a Kazakh lands of Siberian Kazakh Khanate), Tomskaya oblast-Tomsk ( Kazakh city Tombi
Kokand (from 1917-1918, later Tashkent from 1918-1924)) - currently this cities located on the territory of Uzbekistan since October 27, 1924 - 1925 as a result of the national-territorial delimitation of administrative and territorial reform of USSR transferred to the newly-formed the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic 1925 with a capital in Samarkand (created from the combined territories of the disbandment of the Khorezm Socialist Soviet Republic, of Bukhara Soviet Socialist Republic and taked off territoies of Kazakhstan from the Syrdarya region of Kazakhstan Amudariya and Tashkent countyies),
Orynbor ( currently called Orenburg) in 1920 - 1925 ( later the Kazakh territoryies were taked off from Kazakhstan - Kazakh Orynbor Region (currently half of Orynbor Region became part of Bashkiriya-Russia's Autonomy Republic), Orenburg , Kurgan ( was Kazakh city Korgan) and Chelyabinsk ( was Kazakh city Chelyabi) oblast(regions) of Russian Federation) ; Kazakh Bukei Region, Kazakh Nogay Horde and Astrakhan Kazakh Khanate ( currently Astrakhan oblast and Kalmyk Autonomy Republic of Russian Federation ( Kazakh city Asterkhan-Kazhy Tarkhan ) and county Sary-Tau ( now called Saratovskaya oblast-Saratov), county Sary-Su( called in Russian Empire Tsaritsyn then renamed to Volgagrad) and ; Kazakh city and county Ombi of Akmola Region ( currently Omsk Region of Russian Federation) ; Kazakh cities and countyies Tombi and Tobyl ( currently Tomsk and Tobolsk),
Kazakhstan then it was moved to Kyzylorda in 1925. The construction of the Turkish railway was the main reason for transferring the capital to Alma-Ata in 1929. The capital was moved from Almaty to Akmola for economic, ecological and geographical reasons. Almaty is too far from the actual geographic center of the country. The population in Almaty is close to 1.5 million with no further prospects for accommodation. In fact the city is fairly overbuilt, densely populated and has no spare areas for development. Transport is also a problem. Year in year out the ecological condition of the 'southern capital' deteriorates dramatically. It is one of the most polluted cities in Kazakhstan. Akmola was chosen as the best alternative, based on a nation-wide study taking into account 32 parameters including socioeconomic indices, climate, landscape, seismic condition, natural environment, engineering and transport infrastructure, construction facilities and work force. Decisive advantages of Astana included its overall condition, territory, central location, proximity to major economic centers and arteries, potential to increase its population to 400,000, stable utility supplies, well-developed transport infrastructure and balanced natural environment.
Steppes of Akmola from ancient times was a place where different cultures and civilization have met . In the middle of the first millennium BC. e. historian Herodotus mentioned a route through the Great Steppe (later Great Silk Road), which ran here. The caravan routes contributed to the flourishing of trade and handicrafts in cities traditionally engaged in cattle breeding and agriculture. The medieval town of Bozok - the predecessor of Astana. Bozok was discovered Kazakh archeological expedition under the direction of well-known historian, honored worker of Kazakhstan Kemal Akisheva the fall of 1998, and the following year excavations of the settlement began. Bozok was discovered by Kazakh archeological expedition under the direction of well-known historian, honored worker of Kazakhstan Kemal Akishev the fall of 1998, and the following year excavations of the settlement began. Ruins of the ancient center of civilization were found on the eastern shore of Lake Buzukty five kilometers from the modern Astana. Bozok - a very unusual type of medieval fortification settled - is made up of three separate parts. Central - it blocks enclosed with a moat and rampart. In the northern part it is residential and industrial buildings and is located in the southern necropolis. Having studied the layout of the first found of dwellings, Professor Kemal Akishev allegedly fixed the date of their construction - VII-VIII century. The ruins of the monument are typical steppe appearance. Low shafts (0.6-1.0 m) surrounded by flat square-shaped surface areas. Configuring sites clearly distinguished from internal ditches. In the pits recorded passages jumper. People who have chosen this place to settle, built three areas - "blocks" (50 × 50 m) square-shaped, enclosed with their ditches and mud walls. During the years of excavation studied architecture of these fortifications. According to written sources it is known that the nomads strengthened fortifications, putting the cart at the top of the shaft. They were able to hide the defenders. After studying the findings, archaeologists, scientists have recognized that the monument is unique. The central and northern parts of the country are poorly understood, but because of the northern steppes of Kazakhstan Bozok - amazing one of a kind find for historians. After the founding of the settlement Bozok centuries have passed. This place has been left to its first settlers. The second stage in the history of Bozok falls between the gain in the steppes of Kazakhstan Kipchak Khanate (X-XI centuries.). New inhabitants have cleared the ditches again, spiked with an inner pad of clay, built on land which houses of mud bricks and wood. In the center stood a yurt platforms. Grounds them were discovered during excavations. Kipchaks spiked space between the pads ( "neighborhoods"), and raised him on its surface built the first mausoleums and a minaret. This is not surprising, t. To. In ancient times the city in the steppe formed around the shrines around the tombs of their ancestors. The third stage of development of this place begins in the era of the Golden Horde (XIII-XIV centuries.) And continues until a new time. Ruins of ancient settlement Bozok acquire the status of a cult center. Perhaps this is one of the first Muslim missionaries was buried, whose tomb became a shrine. On settlement Bozok investigated the remains of five mausoleums built of mud baked bricks. Near the mausoleum open kirpicheobzhigatelnye furnace. In total, the settlement excavated 49 graves of the X-XIV centuries. This is the first such a representative collection of anthropological material collected in the territory of the monument. Its study may shed light on the problem of ethnogenesis Kazakhs. A third of the burials - with things or sacrificial food. Two-thirds - are made according to the Muslim rite. In subjects group burials released material culture XIII-XIV centuries. In connection with this interest is the problem of the spread of Islam in the steppes of Kazakhstan. Despite the adoption of the Golden Horde in the XIV century. Islam as the state religion, in the deep of the steppe regions of Kazakhstan continued to bury a pagan rite: in clothes, with things, with the funeral meal; found the skull, shoulder blades, dissected carcasses of horses, entire skeletons of sheep. Dating from the material presented iron arrowheads, a bronze mirror, a silver coin, a silver bowl, jewelry items. At a later time, perhaps, (. XVI-XVIII centuries) is committed burial according to Muslim rites without things, head to the west, facing south, in the graves with red lining. The most surprising discoveries of archaeologists were fragments of irrigation facilities, adjacent to the ruins of the city on the east side. Around the settlement residents laid gardens and crops, creating an elaborate system of irrigation facilities. The irrigation system was discovered by chance in 2000, when the summer was so rainy that moisture does not have time to soak into the soil. Walking one day on the archaeological camp leader K. Akishev expedition, saw the water going into individual streams, flows into the lake. So were found canals, the medieval town residents erected Bozok. The territory of the irrigation system and the ruins of the city as a whole occupy an area of approximately 30 hectares. As in science, until recently, it was thought that the nomads had no fixed habitat, and continuously moved across the steppe, the opening of the medieval town of Bozok was of great importance in terms of confirming the hypothesis of the presence of sedentary tribes in the steppes of ancient Kazakhstan. And in the Middle Ages, in the output period of Kipchak in the political arena, there are towns and villages. Bozok Settlement, or as it was called at the beginning - Buzok (Buzuk), survived came to our days only due to the fact that it is located in the marshes left bank of the Ishim River Valley. But now, according to the general plan of development capital, Buzukty lake and the ruins of the medieval town are included in the circumference of the ring of the city. The fact that the preservation of the archaeological site - one of the most important tasks facing the state, Kemal Akishev said at a meeting with the President of the country, which took place shortly before the death of the scientist. Archaeologist took the initiative to create a museum-reserve on the territory adjacent to the Bozok. Currently is known exactly that Bozok was the center of administrative power, the concentration point of crafts and trade, including international, because he was at the intersection of the various branches of the Great Silk Road. They were part of its overall system and connected to the steppes of Sary-Arch with an area of urban civilization, rapidly developing in southern Kazakhstan and Zhetysu. Through the Silk Road Buzuk was connected with Europe, China, the Arab East. Sary-Arka, receiving from the neighboring countries of prestigious products, cultural standards and new technology, is also the center of production of metal products, which was famous for the Central Kazakhstan across the Eurasian continent in the Bronze Age. Articles made of metal spread as far west as the Balkans and the East - to Xinjiang. In the early stages of the Bozok metal that was exported from the Sary-Arka, in particular silver development, describes the Arab geographer al-Idris. But many of the achievements of Sary-Arka - vysokoporodnye horse, leather, wool - were exported to near and distant regions of Eurasia in the same Silk Road. Thus, starting from the age of antiquity the area between the Nura-Ishim was an important economic center. At the same time it housed the residence of the lords of the steppe. One of them - Bozok - the forerunner of the modern Astana.
Akmola's history starts in 1830 with the construction of the Akmola fortress in Karautkul to make it 'the main town of the county of the Siberian Kazakhs on the Ishim River'. In the 30s years. XIX century in the steppes of Kazakhstan at the site of the village there was a city Akmola. Akmola - an important commercial and economic center of Central Asia. At that time it had a population of just over 2,000 people. However, over the next 30 years the city's population has tripled.The fairly advantageous position of the city was clear as early as 1863 in an abstract from the Geographic and Statistical Dictionary of the Russian Empire, St. Petersburg. It describes how picket roads and lines connected this geographic center to Kargaly in the East, Aktau fort in the South and through Atbasar to Kokchetav in the West. In the 19th century Akmola was an important commercial and economic center in the steppe. It officially became a district city on 16th July 1863. Akmolinsk region headquartered in Omsk was created on 21st October 1868 according to the Provisional Administrative Regulation in the Orenburg Steppe Region and the General Governorship of Western Siberia. At the time Omsk was the capital of the General Governorship of Western Siberia and Akmola region may have been named so because its center was intended to become Akmola. This is supported by the fact that, in 1879 major general Dubelt proposed to build a railway between Tyumen and Akmolinsk to the Ministry of Communications of Russian Empire. In the course of the first 30 years of its existence the population of Akmola numbered a trifle more than 2,000 people. However over the next 30 years the city's population became thrice as large according to Volosts and Settlements of the Akmolinsk region, St. Petersburg 1893. Akmolinsk was an uyezd (district city) with a 6,428 strong population, 3 churches, 5 schools and colleges and 3 factories. This was the first stage of the development of the city. The second stage, that of the Virgin Lands, had a major impact on the destiny of the city. According to the Byzantine writer Prokopius the Huns called mola a high barrow or fortress. Akmola was a major center for cattle fairs and famous for the abundance and variety of its milk products (koumyss, shubat, etc.). Hence its name, literally 'ak mol' - white abundance. Akmola translates into 'white holy place'. This is actually the final choice of the members of the Republican onomastic committee after a meticulous study of all available historical sources.
In December 1960 the city had 100,000 people when it became the center of the Tselinny territory of north Kazakhstan. Shortly after in 1961 Akmolinsk became Tselinograd. In 1971, the Tselinny territory was abolished and Tselinograd became the center of the region. In 1992 the city took its former name - Akmola - again. There are several versions of the origin of this name. The first one is that the area of Akmola was named after the white-coloured lime-stone hill.
The Akmola region lies in the North of the central part of Kazakhstan with a territory of 96,800 sq km. Its relief is far from uniform and includes hillock areas and low mountains, plains and river valleys. In the North we find spurs of the Kokshetau elevations, in the South and South-East Saryarka (Kazakh hummock topography) and plains in the North-East. The climate is a harsh continental one becoming arid to the South. The average temperature ranges from -14/18° C in January to +20/24°C in July. In winter it can be as cold as -40°C whereas summers are quite hot (sometimes above +35°C) with dust storms and dry hot winds. Summer lasts 194-202 days, winter 163-171 days and there are about 105-130 days above freezing. The annual precipitation is 200-300 mm.The largest rivers are the Ishim and the Nura Rivers. Lakes include Tengh, Karasor, Korgalzhyn, Balyktykol and Kypshak. There are 55 species of animals, 180 species of birds and 30 species of fish. Rare species (listed in the Red Book) include the Pamir argali (arkhars), Saker falcons, golden eagles, bustards, Demoiselle cranes, steppe eagles, Dalmatian pelicans, little bustards and flamingo. Korgalzhyn state preserve and a number of game reserves were set up to protect these endangered species. There are 66 plant species over 4,391.6 ha. According to the 1999 census the Akmola population is 836,200 (319.000 in Akmola city) with a density of 7.5 per sq km. Akmola has several universities including the L.Gumilyov Eurasian University and the A.Barayev Research Institute of Grain Farming reputed throughout the international scientific community. There are also three museums, two drama theatres and branches of the Union of Writers and Artists of Kazakhstan publishing over 40 newspapers and 2 literary magazines. Akmola region is by right one of the Republic's granaries and a main center for agricultural machine-building. In fact it produces one fifth of all grain (one fourth being sold to the state) and one tenth of all cattle-breeding products. Crops account for 3,423 ha. Meat and milk cattle-breeding, pig-breeding, sheep-breeding, horse-breeding and poultry farming are also well developed. The region has deposits of gold, uranium, bauxite, antimony, copper, lignite, caoline ores, quartz sands and other commercial minerals. Agriculture and processing of agricultural products are the traditional regional industries. The region encourages foreign investment and maintains mutually-advantageous relations with neighbouring and other countries. Russia, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Tajikistan are major trade partners. The main exports to CIS countries are grain, meat, flour and milk products while imports consist in fuel and power resources, chemicals, timber, saw-timber, paper, rolled stock of ferrous metals and consumer goods. Most other trade partners are the USA, China, France, Germany, Turkey and Austria. These countries receive uranium oxide, molybdenum and fertilizers and provide food products and agroindustrial machinery.
The Akmola region and north Kazakhstan have tremendous development prospects for mining, in particular with reserves of industrial diamonds, tin, zirconium, uranium and gold. The transfer of the country's capital to Akmola is sure to have synergies on neighbouring industrially developed Karagandy, Pavlodar, East Kazakhstan and Kostanay regions. In addition it will boost local entrepreneurship and business through the creation of foreign companies' headquarters, branches of major banks and eventually their headquarters.The country's administration moving to Akmola by 1999 will create an influx of experts improving management, information, technical and technological expertise and trade. All this will promote business both in Akmola and its suburbs. The local market in the capital will become more diversified with a higher capacity and goods and services will grow. In short Akmola will consolidate its international position for trading agricultural goods. Agriculture, stocks and shares, currencies, banking, insurance and transport, permanent fairs and exhibitions will see a sustained development and there are also good prospects for transport and trade facilities.Akmola is to become an important cultural and scientific center for Kazakhstan. New infrastructure will be building including a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, new educational establishments, a national library, a national museum, a modern art gallery, a center for socioeconomic technologies, a business center, a children's park, an aqua park, as well as various cultural venues and healthcare establishments. Akmola's population is growing particularly due to the expansion of transport, communication and public utilities and services. It is only natural to expect a country-wide redistribution of manpower, particularly highly qualified workforce. The new capital will eventually become the center of education, culture and public service currently concentrated in Almaty. According to preliminary estimates the population of Akmola may rise to 450,000 by 2005 and 550,000 by 2030.To develop the economic potential of the region, attract foreign investors to Kazakhstan and encourage their participation in the economic development of the capital Akmola was declared a special economic zone in 1997. Firstly Akmola is a customs-free zone. Any person or organisation engaged in business activities within the city's territory can import goods duty- and tax-free.
Secondly, goods manufactured on the territory of the special economic zone are exempted from customs duties when exported.And thirdly, a favourable taxation regime applies to construction and maintenance of real estates. Nearly 18 billion Tenge were invested in the fixed assets of Akmola city in 1997, including Turkish, Israeli, Italian and other foreign investments. Kazakhstan businessmen are no less active investors. They include firms such as Astana-holding, Raimbek, Accept and Diamond. A special plan to rehabilitate and develop the economic potential of the new capital's region has been elaborated and is being implemented.Local companies are seeing results through mastering new technologies and installing up-to-date production lines. Major industrial giants which - in their former obsolete condition were below the new economic standards are being restructured and split up and new enterprises created to manufacture household appliances, provide spare parts and maintenance of agricultural equipment or self-contained power supply equipment operating on liquid fuel. A huge construction project for housing was also launched. In 1997 the volume of construction was worth 14 billion tenge, six times the 1996 level. No less advanced is the programme for developing telecommunications aiming to provide as many as 30 handsets per 100 residents in Akmola by 2010.
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