Astana (in Kazakh. Astana - "capital") - the capital of Kazakhstan with a population (as of November 1, 2008) - 633.7 thousand people (the second largest in the republic after the Almaty). Former names Akmolinsk from 1830 to 1961, Tselinograd from 1961 to 1992, Akmola from 1992 to 1998. On December 10, 1997 is the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The city is located in the steppe zone on the Ishim River, the site of its closest approach to Nuroy. Akmola founded in 1832 as a Cossack outpost, the original status - Order (Akmola). Founder - Colonel Fyodor Kuzmich Shubin Second, participants battle of Borodino. Words Akmola and Akmol in transcription from the Kazakh language has 2 main interpretations ("White Grave" and "White abundance"). On the one hand interpretation of "White Grave" is possible, since a 20-kilometers from the town of the same name is the tract known fact that there, on top of the white limestone of the hill is the tomb of a local beating. On the other hand, the interpretation of "White abundance of" no less plausible, since the region was recognized Akmola pastoral center with a significant production of milk and dairy products. Akmola order was put on the old caravan route from Central Asia to Western Siberia, Akmola had great commercial importance, primarily for cattle traders. After gaining capital status and organization of a special economic zone "Astana - New City, the city implemented a number of modern architectural and urban projects, while the population increased from 270 thousand in 1996 to 500 thousand in 2006.