Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Astana, Kazakhstan; Fun To See!

The Baiterek
So, Astana is the new capital of Kazakhstan.  The old capital was Almaty, but the President of Kazakhstan (a bit of a megalomaniac with oil riches) moved it in 1997.  He has built up a small town into a big city, and named it Astana (which means "Capital" in the Kazak language).
He also designed the Baiterek, which means "tall poplar tree".  It is a 318 f.t tower, buttressed by an exoskeleton of white-painted steel.  At the top is a gold-plated glass sphere.  According to the epigraph at its base, the monument represents the Kazakh myth of Samurk, a sacred bird that every year lays a golden egg (the sun), in the crown of an enormous tree of life.  its designer?  Nursultan Nazarbayev, the steelworker turned strongman who has run the country since independence in 1991!
The pictures in general are faboo! I would love to see it.  Kind of Vegas meets mini-Abu Duabi on the steppe.
Wait, it gets better.  In the top of the egg, there is a hand print of Nazarbayev.  You put your hand into the print and, if your lucky, either the National Anthem might play, or recorded words of wisdom from the President might play.
Wheeee!  (Select pictures to grow - all from National Geographic Magazine)
Color NOT photoshopped!

McManisons right out of Beverly Hills

Upper Right is a non-denominational house of worship by Norman Foster


World Traveler from Wisconsin said...

I kinda want to go. LOVE the architecture and the culture seems pretty embracing - or am I all wrong and they hate Americans too?

I stand corrected, in Wisconsin said...

ps - I will admit that throughout the world (generally speaking)....people do still love Americans and their money. They just hate our government's policies.

There - I've corrected myself. (that, my friends doesn't happen often so enjoy it while you can). :)