Astana (/əsˈtɑːnə/, US /æsˈtɑːnə/; Kazakh: Астана [astaˈna] ( listen)) is the capital of Kazakhstan. It is located on the Ishim River in the north portion of Kazakhstan, within Akmola Region, though administrated separately from the region as a city with special status. The 2014 census reported a population of 835,153 within the city, making it the second-largest city in Kazakhstan.
Founded in 1830 as the settlement of Akmoly (Kazakh: Ақмолы) or Akmolinsky prikaz (Russian: Акмолинский приказ), it served as a defensive fortification for the Siberian Cossacks. In 1832, the settlement was granted a town status and renamed Akmolinsk (Russian: Акмолинск). On 20 March 1961, the city was renamed to Tselinograd (Russian: Целиноград) to mark the city's evolution as a cultural and administrative centre of the Virgin Lands Campaign. In 1992, it was renamed Akmola (Kazakh: Ақмола), the modified original name meaning "a white grave". On 10 December 1997, Akmola replaced Almaty to become the capital of Kazakhstan. On 6 May 1998, it was renamed Astana, which means "the capital" in Kazakh.
Astana is a planned city, such as Brasilia in Brazil, Canberra in Australia and Washington, D.C. in the United States. The master plan of Astana was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. As the seat of the Government of Kazakhstan, Astana 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 many futuristic buildings, hotels and skyscrapers. Astana is a centre for sport, having been set to host the Expo 2017. Astana also has extensive healthcare and education systems.
* From Wikipedia