Since acquiring the status of the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997 the Astana (population 700.000) face has changed dramatically. The architects and builders working in the capital create wonderful architectural ensembles, harmoniously combining modern design with oriental color.
The Baiterek Tower has become the city's symbol and its visiting card. The height of the construction is 105 meters. At the mark of 97 meters there is an observa tion deck providing a bird's eye view of the city. The figure of 97 was not chosen at random. It symbolizes the year of moving the capital from Almaty to Astana. The Baiterek Tower accommodates an art gallery, a large aquarium and a restaurant.
Astana in turning into one of the main business centers. All governmental organizations, diplomatic missions of 44 countries and 113 joint ventures and foreign businesses are located there. In 1999 by the decision of UNESCO Astana was awarded the title of World City.
The city has an opera and ballet theater, a drama theater and a variety of museums Monuments of Astana are a linking element between the new capital and its history held in esteem by all peoples of Kazakhstan.
Currently many administrative buildings, business and entertainment centers of the capital of Kazakhstan are under construction. Another attraction of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, is the ethnopark "Map of Kazakhstan- Atameken" representing a unique outdoor museum. The map area of 1.7 hectares features cities and historical memorials of Kazakhstan. The climate of the region is continental with moderately hot summer and long hard winter.