The pristine and sparkling system was begun in 1988, when Kazakhstan was part of the Soviet Union. After the fall of the USSR the project came to a halt, until it was revived in 2005.
"The architecture of many of the stations retains the tubular aesthetic of early visions of the subway, with curving vaults decorated with marble and classical ornamentation, or clean swaths of solid-color paneling. Some are festooned with elaborate light fixtures and stained glass, giving a historic flavor to the station interiors. Evidently, the once revolutionary concept of underground transportation has not lost all its shine," writes Kelly Chan.