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Astana was built almost overnight on the tundra. The brand new capital began as a Russian fort but was relegated to the background for a long time. In 1994 when the city suddenly became the new capital of Kazakhstan, it underwent an enormous growth spurt. Thanks to the dedication of internationally renowned architects and a huge dollop of glitz and glamour, the city has deservedly been nicknamed the Dubai of the Tundra.
In 1997, the symbol of Kazakhstan progress was completed: the 105-metre-high Bayterek Tower. The tower’s shape represents a popular myth about the tree of life and the bird of happiness. The bird’s bullet-shaped ‘egg’, which measures 22 metres in diameter, adorns the tower. There are 2 floors inside. The top level displays a golden handprint of the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. The lower level houses the observation deck. From here you enjoy a 360-degree view of the Astana skyline. This makes the tower the perfect spot to admire the city’s latest architectural highlights. Here are 3 striking examples.