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Нұр-Сұлтан ( kas. ) | Нур-Султан ( Russian )
coat of arms
coat of arms
Basic data
State : KazakhstanKazakhstan Kazakhstan
Founded : 1830
Coordinates : 51 ° 10 ′  N , 71 ° 25 ′  E Coordinates: 51 ° 10 ′ 0 ″  N , 71 ° 25 ′ 0 ″  E
Height : 338  m
Area : 797.3  km²
Residents : 1,136,156 (Jan 1, 2020)
Population density : 1,425 inhabitants per km²
Time zone : EKST ( UTC + 6 )
Telephone code : (+7) 7172
Postal code : 010000-010015
License plate : 01 (old: Z)
Community type: City with special status
Structure : 4 boroughs
Äkim ( Mayor ) : Altai Kölginow
Website :
Location in Kazakhstan
Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan)
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg
The Nur-Sultan skyline

Nur-Sultan , also Nursultan ( Kazakh Нұр-Сұлтан , pronunciation: [nʊɾsʊlˈtɑn] , Russian Нур-Султан ), is the capital of Kazakhstan . It is located in the northern part of the country in the middle of the Kazakh steppe on the banks of the Ishim River . With 1,136,156 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2020) it is the second largest city in the country after Almaty . The city has changed its name several times in the recent past. It was called Astana from 1998 to 2019 , previously Aqmola from 1992 to 1998 , Zelinograd from 1961 to 1991 , and before that Akmolinsk .

The city was founded in 1830 as a Russian fortress. In the 1950s, the place became the center of the Soviet new land campaign to gain arable land. This resulted in the cityscape changing and driving the city's development forward. After Kazakhstan's independence from the Soviet Union , a decision was made to relocate the capital, making the city the planned capital on December 10, 1997 . In the south of the city, a modern government district with striking buildings such as the Bajterek Tower , the Khan Shatyr or the Pyramid of Peace and Unity was built .


Geographical location

The place is located in a spacious steppe landscape in the transition area between the Russian-influenced north of Kazakhstan and the extremely sparsely populated center on the Ishim River . The older districts lie north of the river, while the new districts were mainly laid out south of the Ishim.

City structure

Nur-Sultan boroughs

The city can be geographically divided into different areas. To the north of the railway, which crosses the north of the city in an east-west direction, there are industrial and poorer residential areas. The city center is located between the railway line and the Ishim River, and there is currently brisk construction activity. To the west and east of it are upscale residential areas. South of the Ishim are the parks and the new government district. There are also many major construction projects in progress here, such as the construction of a diplomatic quarter, various government buildings and a prestigious waterfront. These districts should be completed by 2030. Nur-Sultan's chief planner, Vladimir Laptew, wants to build a Berlin in a Eurasian version . Occasionally, a parallel is drawn to Ankara , which became the capital of Turkey after the founding of modern Turkey. A purely administrative capital like Brasília or Canberra is not the goal of urban planners.

Administrative district Kazakh name Russian name Residents Area [km²]
Almaty Алматы ауданы Алматинский район 296.945 154.71
Baikonur Байқоңыр ауданы Байконурский район 237,433 181.29
Jessil Есіл ауданы Есильский район 263,817 393.58
Saryarqa Сарыарқа ауданы Сарыаркинский район 337.961 67.75
Nur-Sultan 1,136,156 797.3
As of January 1, 2020


Nur-Sultan is considered to be the second coldest capital in the world after Ulaanbaatar ; it is shaped by the continental climate . The winds from northern Siberia reach northern and central Kazakhstan almost unchecked in the winter months due to the lack of geographical barriers. The average winter temperature is around −15 degrees Celsius with occasional night frosts down to −40 degrees Celsius. The absolute temperature minimum is −51.6 degrees Celsius. In contrast, peak temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius are recorded in summer.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: ;
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Nur-Sultan
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) −10.5 −10.3 −4.1 10.7 19.7 25.7 27.0 24.5 18.5 8.9 −2.3 −7.9 O 8.4
Min. Temperature (° C) −19.3 −19.7 −13.3 0.2 7.2 12.9 15.1 12.0 6.4 −0.6 −10 −16.1 O −2
Temperature (° C) −15 −15.2 −8.8 5.1 13.3 19.3 20.9 18.1 12.1 3.7 −6.3 −12 O 3
Precipitation ( mm ) 18th 14th 14th 22nd 34 36 49 29 22nd 26th 23 20th Σ 307
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 2.7 4.1 4.9 7.0 8.9 10.2 9.8 8.6 6.9 4.0 2.4 2.1 O 6th
Rainy days ( d ) 7th 4th 4th 4th 6th 8th 6th 7th 5 7th 6th 6th Σ 70
Humidity ( % ) 81 81 82 71 56 55 58 60 63 73 82 83 O 70.4
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Ethnic composition of the population
Ethnicity Population
proportion of Population
proportion of Population
proportion of
Kazakhs 49,798 17.71% 133,585 41.83% 480,815 66.80%
Russians 152.147 54.10% 129,480 40.55% 188,928 23.35%
Ukrainians 26,054 9.26% 18,070 5.66% 13,453 1.81%
Tatars 9,339 3.32% 8,286 2.59% 9,937 1.34%
German 18,913 6.72% 9,591 3.00% 7,930 1.07%
Belarusians 8,220 2.92% 5,761 1.80% 3.834 0.52%
Korean 1,329 0.47% 2,028 0.64% 4,981 0.67%
Uzbeks 640 0.23% 429 0.13% 8,166 1.10%
Poland 2,762 0.98% 2,537 0.79% 2,412 0.32%
Ingush 1,889 0.67% 1,822 0.57% 2,732 0.30%
Azerbaijanis 997 0.35% 902 0.28% 2,978 0.40%
Kyrgyz 94 0.03% 196 0.06% 1,808 0.20%
Chechens 514 0.18% 752 0.24% 1,063 0.14%
Bashkirs 1,187 0.42% 870 0.27% 1.009 0.14%
Armenians 814 0.29% 576 0.18% 790 0.10%
Moldovans 1.004 0.36% 629 0.20% 700 0.09%
Uighurs 53 0.02% 161 0.05% 881 0.12%
other 5,498 1.64% 3,649 0.83% 8,711 0.90%
total 281.252 100% 319,324 100% 742.918 100%

Population development

year Residents
1939¹ 33.209
1945 69,400
1959¹ 102.276
1970¹ 179,514
1979¹ 233,638
1989¹ 277,365
1992 298,700
year Residents
1993 292.200
1994 294,600
1995 293.200
1996 289,700
1997 287.200
1998 300,500
1999¹ 328,341
year Residents
2000 380,990
2001 440.209
2002 493,062
2003 501.998
2004 510,533
2005 529.335
2006 550.438
year Residents
2007 574,448
2008 602,684
2009¹ 613.006
2010 649.146
2011 697.156
2012 742.884
2013 778.198
year Residents
2014 814.401
2015 852.882
2016 872,655
2017 972.672
2018 1,032,475
2019 1,078,362
2020 1,136,008

¹ census result


Akmolinsk fortress plan

Founded until World War II

Traces of Scythian settlement can be found in the tomb of the sun ruler (around 2500 years ago).

The city was founded in 1830 as the Russian fortress Akmolinsk (from Kazakh Aqmola (Ақмола) , 'white sanctuary', but also 'white grave' for a nearby place where light limestone emerges). For a long time it only functioned as a fort in the Kazakh steppe. The city grew in importance in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Akmolinsk became a railway junction on the Turksib . This led to the city's first economic boom, which lasted until the Russian Civil War . This also affected the area of ​​what is now northern Kazakhstan and thus Akmolinsk.

In Akmolinsk the POW camp 330 existed for German POWs of the Second World War .

City expansion in the 20th century

When Nikita Khrushchev started a mammoth project in the 1950s to transform the northern Kazakh steppe into a second granary of the Soviet Union , the city was renamed the capital of this so-called new territory (Zelinnyj Krai) and in 1961 it was renamed Zelinograd . The high proportion of the Russian population in this area, which led to ethnic tensions, can be traced back to the influx of farm workers during this period. Many Russian Germans who had previously been deported under the rule of Josef Stalin were also settled in the vicinity of the city .


After Kazakhstan gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union , the city and its region were renamed Aqmola after the original name in 1992 and nominated as the future capital in 1994. After the relocation of the capital from Almaty to Aqmola on December 10, 1997, the city was renamed again on May 6, 1998 and was given the name Astana. In addition to the high risk of earthquakes in Almaty, the main reason for relocating the capital was that the Kazakh government under Nursultan Nazarbayev hoped to better counter any separatist tendencies in the predominantly Russian-inhabited areas in the north-east of the country. In addition, the best development opportunities were forecast for Astana, resulting from possible development areas and transport infrastructure. After all, the move - which is mentioned behind closed doors in Kazakhstan - was achieved through a balance of interests and power between the three traditional Kazakh tribal federations of the Great Horde in the urbanized south - which includes President Nazarbayev - the Middle Horde in central and eastern Kazakhstan, in whose area Nur-Sultan lies, and the Small Horde , which is based in the oil and gas-rich Caspian Depression in western Kazakhstan . Since Nur-Sultan became the capital, the city has experienced strong economic growth. This is accompanied by strong population growth and high construction activity.

Panorama of Nur-Sultan's modern government district and business center.
From left to right there is the Central Concert Hall of Kazakhstan , the Ak-Orda Presidential Palace , behind it in the distance the Bayterek Tower , and to the right of it other modern skyscrapers

Development of the place name

Development of the place name
Akmolinsk 1830-1961
Zelinograd 1961-1991
Aqmola 1992-1998
Astana 1998-2019
Nur-Sultan since 2019

The city was officially given its current name on March 23, 2019 in honor of Kazakhstan's long-time President Nursultan Nazarbayev . The name was changed at the suggestion of his successor, Qassym-Shomart Toqayev .

The city had changed its name several times before. Earlier names were Akmolinsk (1830–1961), Zelinograd (1961–1992), Aqmola (1992–1998), and Astana ([ astaˈna ], German also [ asˈtaːna ]) (1998–2019). The Kazakh term Astana means capital ; it was thus historically and politically unencumbered.



Mayor (Äkim) of Nur-Sultan has been Altai Kölginow since June 2019 . During the Soviet period, the city administration was headed by the chairman of the executive committee. Below are the mayors of the city since 1992:

badges and flags

Planned coat of arms of Akmolinsk city from 1868 Coat of arms of the city of Zelinograd in the Soviet Union Coat of arms and flag of the city of Astana 1998–2008 Coat of arms and flag of the city of Astana 2008–2019 Coat of arms of the city of Nur-Sultan since 2019
Coat of arms of Akmolinsk 1878.svg Герб Целинограда.svg Old coat of arms of Astana.svg Old flag of Astana.svg Emblem of Nur-Sultan.svg Flag of Astana, Kazakhstan (2008-2019) .svg Emblem of Nur-Sultan-1.svg

The current coat of arms of Nur-Sultan was designed as the coat of arms of Astana by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and introduced on June 5, 2008. The two central motifs of the coat of arms are Bäiterek ( Kazakh Бәйтерек ) and Schangyraq ( Kazakh шаңырақ ). Bajterek, the name for the tree of life among the Turkic peoples , is the personification of the universe and Shanghai, the crown of a Kazakh yurt , represents the transition point from the infinite expanse of the universe to one's own house. At the lower end of Baiterek there is a stylized one Depiction of the mythical Simorgh bird with outspread wings, for which the name Samruk is used in Kazakhstan. The city's coat of arms is divided into two rings: The outer ring represents the history of the Great Steppe . The red color goes back to the purifying power of fire, which the Turks saw as an indispensable element and was associated with birth, growth and development. The red border also symbolizes the fiery gates that one crosses to purify the spirit and to be filled with power. The inner ring in the color azure blue , which is also used for the flag of Kazakhstan , represents the independence of modern Kazakhstan. On both sides of the inscription of the city name there are three symmetrical lines in the red ring, which represent the roof poles ( Kazakh Уық / uyq ) of Shanghai . The inscription Астана (Kazakh and Russian for Astana) has been replaced by Nur-Sultan (in Latin script).

Town twinning

Sultan's only town twinning
City arms of Izmir Izmir TurkeyTurkey Turkey 1994
City coat of arms of Gdansk Danzig PolandPoland Poland 1996
City coat of arms of Kiev Kiev UkraineUkraine Ukraine 1998
Ankara city coat of arms Ankara TurkeyTurkey Turkey 2001
City arms of Warsaw Warsaw PolandPoland Poland 2002
Kazan city coat of arms Kazan RussiaRussia Russia 2004
Seoul city coat of arms Seoul Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 2004
Sultan's only town twinning
City coat of arms of Tbilisi Tbilisi GeorgiaGeorgia Georgia 2005
Beijing China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 2006
Moscow city coat of arms Moscow RussiaRussia Russia
City arms of Riga Riga LatviaLatvia Latvia
Vilnius city coat of arms Vilnius LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania
City coat of arms of Usak Usak TurkeyTurkey Turkey

Culture and sights


Among the city's museums is the Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with a collection of arms, medals and awards from President Nursultan Nazarbayev . In various exhibitions, exhibits are shown that give insights into Kazakh culture.

The Atameken Open Air Museum is located near the Ishim River . A miniature model of Kazakhstan and the Caspian Sea was created here on a good two hectares. Models of Kazakh sights and some European buildings are presented.

The President's Cultural Center consists of a museum, library and concert hall. In addition to the archeology , art and history of Kazakhstan, some other scientific and cultural topics are dealt with.


You won't find any old buildings in Nur-Sultan. The city is characterized on the one hand by buildings from the Soviet era - here the architectural style of the 1960s and 1970s predominates - and on the other hand by neighborhoods that have either been built in recent years or have been rebuilt. This affects the quarters south of the Ishim, which were created as part of the government move. Almost all of the city's significant buildings were built after the city was declared the capital of Kazakhstan.

Most of the city's well-known buildings are located in the city's new government district, which was laid out in the south of Nur-Sultan. In the center of the government district is Nurschol Boulevard, where numerous authorities, the Kazakh Parliament and some state-owned companies have their headquarters. There is also the Bayterek Tower , a 100-meter-high observation tower in the shape of a mythological tree of life and a symbol of the city. At its western end is the Khan Shatyr , a construction in the form of a tent. This includes a shopping center, an entertainment center and an aqua park. At the eastern end of this boulevard is the Ak-Orda Palace , the official residence of the Kazakh President , on the banks of the river . The striking building, which is clad in Italian marble and has a dome with a golden antenna, is surrounded by a large park. Directly opposite, on the other side of the Ishim, is the Pyramid of Peace and Unity . This pyramid-shaped structure, designed by the British architects Foster + Partners , is the permanent venue for the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. It is designed as a place that stands for religious understanding, the renunciation of violence and the promotion of faith and the equality of people.

Since the turn of the millennium , an increasing number of skyscrapers have been built in Nur-Sultan . The oldest skyscraper in the city is the Astana Tower, completed in 2001 . Most of the skyscrapers were built on Nurschol Boulevard. This is where the 175 meter high Railways Building , headquarters of the Qasaqstan Temir Scholy railway company , and the Transport Tower are located . Right next to the Railways Building is the Emerald Towers complex, which consists of two skyscrapers. With a height of 210 meters, Emerald Towers 1 is currently the tallest building in Kazakhstan. The Northern Lights complex consists of three high-rise buildings, the tallest of which is 180 meters high. The Abu Dhabi Plaza , which is being financed by the United Arab Emirates , has been under construction south of the Bajterek Tower since 2010 . With a planned height of 382 meters, the structure will be the tallest building in Central Asia . Completion has been postponed several times and was scheduled for 2019. [outdated]

The new Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Assumption was inaugurated in early 2010 by the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kyrill I. The Nur Astana Mosque was the largest mosque in Kazakhstan until it was replaced by the Hazrat Sultan Mosque in 2012 . In addition, the Beit Rachel Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Central Asia, is located in Nur-Sultan .

Nur-Sultan (then called Astana) hosted the World Expo 2017 in 2017 .


Central Concert Hall Kazakhstan


Two major football clubs are or were based in Nur-Sultan. The football club FK Astana-1964 played in the country's second-highest division and was dissolved in 2014. He played his home games in the Kaschymukan Munaitpassow Stadium . FK Astana was only founded in 2009 through the merger of two teams and is represented in the Kazakh premier league . The home football games are played in the Astana Arena, which opened in 2009 and has a capacity of 30,000 .

The ice hockey team Barys Nur-Sultan is one of the most successful teams in Central Asia. Since the 2008/2009 season she has been participating in the continental hockey league . The team's venue is the 12,000-seat Barys Arena .

The Astana cycling team , which takes part in the UCI ProTour , has been based in Nur-Sultan since 2009.

The basketball team BK Astana was newly founded in 2011 and plays alongside the Kazakh National League in the VTB-UL . She won the national championship and the cup in 2012.

A Rally Team Astana has also existed since 2011, which took third place in the truck class at the 2012 Dakar Rally.

With the Ironman Kazakhstan , a triathlon over the Ironman distance (3.86 km swimming, 180.2 km cycling and 42.195 km running) has been held here since 2020 .

Economy and Infrastructure


Nur-Sultan lives mainly from its function as a capital city and the related industries. Due to the brisk construction activity, the construction sector has an important role in the city. Another important branch of industry is leather processing . The urban area represents a special economic zone . The area is used extensively for agriculture .


Nur-Sultan is located in the middle of Kazakhstan and therefore has a special position as a traffic junction .


Nur-Sultan is an important traffic junction in rail traffic both in north-south (from Petropawl to Almaty and Tashkent ) and in east-west (from Moscow to China ).

The train station only Sultan is by the state Kazakh railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy operated and is one of the largest stations in Kazakhstan. There are daily connections to major Kazakh cities. There are train connections abroad mainly to Russia , but also to Central Asian countries and China.


Main roads run parallel to the railway lines. Due to the enormous extent of the country, the road network is only important for regional traffic. Additional expressways and motorways are planned for the next few years . The only winter and weatherproof motorway in Kazakhstan so far connects Nur-Sultan with Kökschetau .

Air traffic

Approx. 15 km south of Nur-Sultan's city center is Nur-Sultan's airport , u. a. with connections to Europe , e.g. B. to Vienna , Frankfurt and Kiev .

The airport was an important hub for the flights of a few years Lufthansa Cargo to Asia.

From Germany, Air Astana and Lufthansa fly non-stop from Frankfurt am Main to Nur-Sultan. Turkish Airlines flies from Istanbul to Nur-Sultan. From the Ukraine from flying Ukraine International Airlines non-stop to only Sultan and Almaty.

A new international airport is to be built about 15 km west of Nur-Sultan in the next few years.


The public transport are bus lines and a large number Marschrutki . Trolleybus traffic had to be abandoned in 2008 after the electricity bills could no longer be paid. When the Astana light rail system goes into operation , a new transport system is to be introduced. After completing all four construction phases, the network of lines will consist of four lines that run through the entire city area.


KazMunayGas corporate headquarters

The headquarters of Kazakh state companies are primarily located in Nur-Sultan. Most of Kazakhstan's non-state owned companies are based in the former capital, Almaty .

Kazakhstan's state oil company KazMunayGas is headquartered in an 18-story building in the city's new government district. The two subsidiaries KazTransOil and KazTransGas are also located in Nur-Sultan. In addition to Kazakhstan's largest transport company, Kazakhstan Temir Scholy , its subsidiaries Kaztemirtrans and Kaztransservice, KazakhTelecom also has its corporate headquarters here. The state media company Nur Media is also located in Nur-Sultan.

Kazakhstan's largest automobile dealer, Astana Motors, is located in Nur-Sultan. The mining company Eurasian Natural Resources has set up its new Kazakh headquarters in Nur-Sultan. Tsesnabank is the only Kazakh credit institution to have its headquarters in the capital.


The city is the seat of several colleges and universities. The oldest university is the Kazakh Agricultural Technical University . The agricultural college is one of the best universities in Kazakhstan and has nine faculties with more than 10,000 students. Another important university is the Eurasian National University . It was founded in 1996 by merging two universities. The Medical University of Astana was founded 1964th The KAZGUU Närikbajew University is a private university that was founded in the 1994th The Nazarbayev University was established of 2010. It is a research university with mainly international staff. Around 5000 students are enrolled at the university.

sons and daughters of the town

See also

Web links

Commons : Nur-Sultan  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Nur-Sultan  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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  3. ( Memento from November 13, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
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  14. Abu Dhabi Plaza, Astana on
  15. Patriarch of Moscow and all Russian Cyril visits Kazakhstan
  16. Astana - capital city of Kazakhstan: “Nur Astana” Central Mosque and Beit Rachel Synagogue ( Memento from July 10, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
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