Astana is President Nazarbayev’s spiritual child. Alma Ata used to be the capital, but the president wanted to found a new ‘city of the future’ in the middle of the wild plains. Hundreds of thousands of civil servants were forced to move to Astana in 1997. In exchange, they were given new apartments in the post-modern style inspired by nazi-architect Albert Speer. Home is where the heart is.
It’s clean and sterile but a wonderful place for children to grow up. There’s an artificial beach amidst the concrete.