Located in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana, the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation is a beautifully designed pyramid.
“The four sides of our Palace are oriented to the four sides of the world. In some sense this construction embodies independent Kazakhstan that friendly embraces all people of all nations and practicing different religions.”
~Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first President of Kazakhstan
The Palace was designed and created for the express purpose of providing a permanent venue for the triennial Congress of World and Traditional Religions. This congress brings together religious leaders for open dialogue to promote mutual peace and understanding.
Designed by British architectural firm Foster and Partners, the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation took just under two years to build and was completed in 2006. The pyramid stands 62 meters (203 feet) tall with a symmetrical base that measures 62 meters by 62 meters.
The top of the structure features beautiful stained glass work designed by artist Brian Clark depicting doves, a universal symbol of peace. The best view of the glass work can be seen from the inside in the apex conference room. The building also houses a 1350-seat opera hall and an atrium full of living trees and foliage.
For a brilliant photograph of the full structure, wait until dark to capture it lit from within by glowing colors.
Planning a Visit
The city of Astana is very welcoming to tourists and has accommodations available to suit any price range. The city is home to not only the palace, but many other modern architectural structures that are sure to make the trip worthwhile for any architectural buff. While there you can also check out local music performances, museums, and restaurants with traditional local cuisine.
The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation is open 10-6 daily and offers 30-minute guided tours which are available in English.
Khan Shatyr is one of the most unique structures in Central Asia.
This giant transparent tent serves as an entertainment district in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana.
Filling the Need
Kazakhstan is in the middle of Central Asia. This largely desert country can have some very extreme temperatures through the year (both high and low.) Designed by British architect Norman Foster, this giant transparent tent opened in 2010. According to Atlas Obscura, Khan Shatyr is 150 meters tall and covers over 100,000 square meters of space! The transparent material covering the tent allows sunlight to shine through keeping the building warm during the intense winter months in Kazakhstan. There is also a sophisticated heating and cooling system that maintains a very comfortable temperature year-round.
The overall purpose is to give people a place to go that is comfortable regardless of what the outside temperatures are in the city of Astana. Khan Shatyr is a large entertainment center with restaurants, shops, a miniature golf course, an indoor beach and so much more. It even contains a park that is perfect for jogging, exercising, playing, or just people watching. When you go in, you’ll hear the sounds of children playing and people mingling. It truly is the centerpiece of Astana.
Going for a Visit
If you’re planning to take a trip to Central Asia, visiting the Kazakhstan capital of Astana won’t disappoint. Architectural marvels like Khan Shatyr are breathtaking to see and accessible to all. YouTuber Patmax Adventures paid a visit to Khan Shatyr and documented the experience in this video. The views of this fascinating building in the evening are breathtaking, and the oasis it provides allows people to spend their days in comfort despite the harsh weather conditions outside. Coffee shops, fast food, and fine dining are all available if you are looking for a great meal. Make Khan Shatyr a must-visit destination in your travel plans.