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Ak Orda Presidential Palace, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan - Priceless Palaces
101    Dibyendu Banerjee    21/10/2022

Situated on the left bank of the Ishim River, the Ak Orda Presidential Palace is one of the striking buildings of Nur-Sultan, the new capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Located in the north-central part of Kazakhstan and previously known as Astana, the city became the capital of Kazakhstan in 1997 and was renamed on 23 March 2019 after Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the country from 1990 to 2019. The beautiful Ak Orda Presidential Palace, crowned with a blue and gold dome topped with a spire, is one of the newly constructed magnificent buildings, built to adorn the new capital as a place of attraction.

ak orda presidential palace

After the capital of Kazakhstan was shifted from Almaty to Nur-Sultan, which literally stands for the radiant sultan, in Kazakh and Arabic languages, it was decided to develop the city as a destination for tourist interest. Accordingly, it dramatically changed into a modern planned city with magnificent buildings, which include, apart from the Ak Orda Presidential Palace, the Palace of Peace and Accord, the Khan Shatyr shopping and entertainment centre, the Astana Opera, Hazrat Sultan Mosque, Synagogue Beit Rachel Khabad Lyubavich, the Central Concert Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art and many futuristic buildings and skyscrapers.

ak orda presidential palace

However, the Ak Orda Presidential Palace is a compositional and conceptual centre of the city’s architecture, which visually embodies the ideas of preserving the continuity of the Great steppes’ traditions, promoting the Eurasian culture of tolerance, as well as creating a magnificent city that aspires to achieve the heights of modern world civilization. While its palatial external and impressive interior harmoniously goes back to the best samples of traditional European architecture, it reflects a steppe civilization in the mirror of the European culture. With the aim to create an unprecedented and unrepeatable complex, which would signify the power and dynamism of the swiftly developing country, several eminent architects of Europe and Kazakhstan, including European designers M Gualazzi and A Molteni, were involved in the project. Made from solid concrete and adopting the most modern techniques of construction with the use of advanced engineering equipment, the construction of the palace began in 2001, with the help of experts and workers of 26 nationalities from ten countries of the world. Finally, the Ak Orda Presidential Palace, covering an area of around 395250 square feet (36720 sq m) was officially opened on 24 December 2004.

ak orda presidential palace

The complex of the Ak Orda Presidential Palace, enclosed by a decorative fence, is decorated with plants, flower beds and flowing fountains, while the approach and asphalt paths, landscape architectural elements and parking zones fit well into the composition. Ak Orda is a large four-storey building with a height of 282 feet (86 m) including the spire and consists of four ground floors and two underground floors and is crowned with a blue and gold dome topped with a spire. There is a golden statue, standing atop the dome, including a sun with 32 rays at its apex and also includes a steppe eagle flying beneath the sun. While the colour gold features prominently throughout the complex, the colour white, basically signifying purity and nobility prevails in the colour scheme of facades and the interiors. All the halls of the building have an exclusive internal decoration, complete with chandeliers and furniture, while the floors are trimmed with various sorts of marble, granite and art parquet.

ak orda presidential palace
ak orda presidential palace

The 10 m-high ground floor of the Ak Orda Presidential Palace contains a Grand Central Hall, the Hall of Press Conferences, the Gala Hall and the Winter Garden. The Grand Central Hall, measuring 19375 square feet (1800 sq m) and decorated with a large domed crystal chandelier in the centre, is designated for official receptions in front of the guard of honour. The Hall for press conferences is used for meetings of the Head of state with mass media and the Gala Hall serves as the venue for state receptions hosted by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The first floor of the palace includes offices of the Presidential Administration staff and the second floor, containing several halls, is meant to hold events of international level. While the Marble Hall on the second floor of the palace is used for signing agreements with leaders of other states, the Oval Hall is designed for summit talks and the Golden Hall hosts meetings in the privy. Besides, the floor also houses the Hall of Extended Negotiations and the Oriental Hall, built in the form of a yurt, which is a portable round tent, usually covered with skins and used as a dwelling by several nomadic groups in the steppes. The third floor of the Ark Orda Presidential Palace accommodates the Cupola Hall, used for consultations with the heads of the regional governments of the Republic, the Government Session Hall and the Presidential Library. Besides the above, the basement of the building houses the various technical services, garage premises, a modern kitchen and a dining hall.

ak orda presidential palace

However, although named the Ark Orda Presidential Palace, it is not the president’s place of residence, it is the place of work of the President and houses the staff of the Presidential Administration. But for its design, architectural style and decoration, it gained the status of one of the most significant and recognizable symbols of Kazakhstan.

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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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