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Bayterek is a monument and observation tower in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. A tourist attraction popular with foreign visitors and native Kazakhs alike, it is a common symbol of the city, epitomizing its elevation in 1997 to the status of capital of the country.
The monument is meant to embody a folktale about a mythical tree of life and a magic bird of happiness: the bird, named Samruk, had laid its egg in the crevice between two branches of a poplar tree. The 105m structure consists of a narrow cylindrical shaft emeshed in flaring white branch-like girders, widening toward the top (the "tree"), where a gold-mirrored 22m-diameter sphere (the "egg") containing the observation deck is supported.
The altitude of the deck is 97m, symbolizing the year of the capital-transfer to Astana (1997). From its height it is possible to see much of the newly built city. The viewing platform features a gilded hand print (Alakan) of the right hand of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first President of the independent Republic of Kazakhstan. An accompanying plaque suggests that visitors place their own hand in the imprint and make a wish; when one does so the Kazakh national anthem plays. In addition to the observation platform, the tower contains a large aquarium and an art gallery.
Astana citizens jokingly refer to Bayterek as "Chupa Chups" because of its similarity to the popular lollipop