The capital of Kazakhstan again got into the Guinness Book of World Records as a city-record holder for the number of renames. The British publication The Economist reports.
The capital of Kazakhstan has had many names over the years. It started life as Akmolinsk, at its founding as a Russian military outpost in 1830. Then, from 1961, it was Tselinograd, Russian for “virgin lands city”, to mark its place at the centre of Soviet expansion to the steppe. At the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, it was renamed Akmola, or “white tomb”. And in 1998, soon after it became the capital, it got a fresh name: Astana, or “capital”.
Until 2019, that is, when it became Nur-Sultan. This was in honour of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who served as the country’s president from independence until that year, when he voluntarily stepped down. And now the city, already the Guinness World Record holder for having the most name-changes, has renamed itself yet again. On September 17th it reverted to Astana. “Capital” is in, Nur-Sultan is out.