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Photo by Gerd Mittmann on EyeEm

Photo by Gerd Mittmann on EyeEm

Photo by Gerd Mittmann on EyeEm

Photo by Gerd Mittmann on EyeEm

Photograph by Gerd Ludwig The Baiterek, towering over Astana's central promenade, flares green against a dappled evening sky. Intended as a symbol of the new capital, the 318-foot monument evokes a giant tree with a golden egg in its branches. In the Kazakh myth of Samruk, a sacred bird lays a golden egg in the branches of a poplar each year.

Photograph by Gerd Ludwig The Baiterek, towering over Astana's central promenade, flares green against a dappled evening sky. Intended as a symbol of the new capital, the 318-foot monument evokes a giant tree with a golden egg in its branches. In the Kazakh myth of Samruk, a sacred bird lays a golden egg in the branches of a poplar each year.

An Orthodox priest on a meditative stroll. Photograph by Gerd Ludwig, Russia, 2009. From National Geographic Image Collection, pages 346-7 (Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2009).

An Orthodox priest on a meditative stroll. Photograph by Gerd Ludwig, Russia, 2009. From National Geographic Image Collection, pages 346-7 (Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2009).

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