Ashgabat — is the capital of Turkmenistan, the largest city of the country, its industrial, scientific and cultural center. The city is located in the southeastern part of the st
ate, located in the picturesque valley of the foothills of the Kopet Dagh. It lies at an altitude of 214-240 m above sea level, while at the same latitude to Athens, San Francisco and Seoul.
Region’s climate is continental with hot and dry summer periods and short cold winter. The basic amount of little rainfalls is scarce in the autumn and spring. Minimum winter temperatures drop in January (- 10C), the maximum are in summer — in July (+ 40C).
Ashgabat is located in an area of high seismic activity.
According to statistics the population of the capital by the year 2006 amounted to 660 thousand people. The bulk of the population falls on the Turkmen people — 77%, other 23% consists of various ethnic groups, including Russians, Armenians, Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis and others, with more
than 100 nationalities.
The official language of the country is Turkmen, but many people in the city speak Russian.
The basic percentage of the population adheres to Sunni Islam.
History of the city is not such ancient and great like most cities in Turkmenistan, but the capital can also be proud of some aspects.
Ashgabat was founded as a military fortress in 1881, after the army of Tsarist Russia occupied the whole Akhal-Tekin oasis. The city was founded on the spot settlement Ashabat, the territory of which is now engulfed upset metropolis.
They say that the name in Arabic sounds like the «city of love», but some scientists have put forward a more plausible version. According to them, Ashgabat — derived from «ashkabat» city belonging to the king by the name of Ashk, but to be more detailed, this name was wearing by one of the Parthian king from the dynasty of Arshakids kings, whose residence was in the distance of only a few kilometers from the present capital.
One way or another, but in 1881 the newly-born city became the administrative center of the entire Trans-Caspian area. Laid branch lines: Ashgabat and the Caspian Sea (1885) andAshgabat-Tashkent (1889) have greatly contributed to its growth and development of economic and trade relations. After the October Revolution, in 1919 the city was renamed to Poltoratsk, in honor of the revolutionary leader who was shot P.G. Poltoratsky, but with the formation in 1924 into Turkmen SSR, the capital decided to proclaim exactly in this place, and in 1927 the city returned to the historical name — Ashgabat.
October 6, 1948 the Soviet Union was shocked by the terrible news — the city Ashgabat was no more appeared. The earthquake of the incredible destructive power razed the capital of Turkmenistan to the ground, buried under the rubbles of more than 100 thousand people.
But in the once-mighty and united country no one was indifferent, and even though there was nothing particularly to help, the Soviet Union overcame the destruction after the World War II; thousands of volunteers came to pick up the ruined city. The modern image of Ashgabat – is largely the merit of those selfless people.
The construction of the Central Asian Railway and the Karakum Canal in 1962, just over a decade with little has made Ashgabat as a major transportation hub of Turkmenistan and the connection of the city in 1970 to a gas pipeline Bairam-Ali-Ashgabat-Bezmein immediately agreed to many of the problems of citizens.
In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ashgabat became the capital of the independent state of Turkmenistan.
Today Ashgabat – is the most beautiful modern metropolis, much «whitened» for the last two decades.
The fact is that during President Saparmurat Niyazov, who called himself as «Turkmenbashi» (leader of all Turkmen people), city has undergone many architectural changes. There were erected new and reconstructed old buildings, generally the constructions were built as a grand monumental style, and to emphasize their greatness large number of white marble was used to finish constructions, as the construction went skyrocketing, today the capital of Turkmenistan is in the literal sense is a white stone.
The modern city’s economy is developing in three areas: industry, finance and trade.
On the territory of Ashgabat and its suburbs there are 43 large, 128 medium and 1700 small industrial enterprises, representing engineering, furniture, spinning and weaving, silk-making, food and carpet industries.
The city is well-developed in social infrastructure, so public transport is represented by trolleybuses, buses and taxis. In 2008, it was announced about the start of construction of urban underground.
Ashgabat has a modern air terminal, which serves passengers arriving from 14 different cities around the world.
A railway line: Turkmenbashi- Mary-Turkmenabat passes through the capital of.
There is a bus station serving the local areas.
The modern city has a science and cultural facilities, museums, theaters, exhibition halls, sports facilities.
The famous bazaars remarkably emphasize the flavor of the city, where the city has just seven of them, the most popular of them is Dzhygyllyk («Tolkuchka»). This place attracts attention, especially the possibility of buying the famous Turkmen carpets, on which one can admire in the State Museum of Carpet.
There are many attractions in Ashgabat, many of which because of virtue of a minor age of the city causing more cognitive interest. These historical values are located on the outskirts of Ashgabat.
Historical sites and attractions.
Nisa — the ancient city.
Nisa -is the capital of the once mighty Parthian kingdom, it is ruins extend 18 km west of Ashgabat. Ruined castle is divided into two parts — the fortress Old Nisa and New Nisa.
In the III century B.C., New Nisa was the capital of Parthia, and the Old, in its turn, served as the residence of the monarch. During the heyday of the Parthian Empire the Old Nisa was called Mitridatkert, in honor of the reigning king, who by the legends founded the city.
Later the capital was moved to the Minor Asia, but the city has not lost its former importance. The royal family spent the holidays there and did the ritual sacrifice and the kings of the ruling dynasty were buried.
In 226 A.D., the Sassanids came to the power and Parthian state was destroyed, the Old Nisa razed, and only after Arabs’ coming into these territories, the city could be revived, but has never reached its former greatness.
Standing on the site archaeological researches began in the 40s of XX century. The searches found the remains of temples and palaces, broken city walls, shopping and accommodations.
During the excavation in one of the palaces the royal treasury was found which kept the magnificent marble statues, ritual vessels — in the form of horns rhytons argali, jewelry, weapons and household utensils for many centuries, as well as numerous documents written on clay tablets.
By the decision of the authorities, Nisa was recognized as an archaeological reserve and came under the state protection. In 2007, this monument was inscribed on the lists of world heritage by UNESCO as one of the most interesting and historically rich sites of the Orient.
The mosque “Turkmenbashi Ruhy”.
The main mosque of Turkmenistan was built at home city of Saparmurat Niyazov («Turkmenbashi») — the first president of Turkmenistan. Turkmenbashi Ruhy («spirituality of Turkmenbashi») is located in the village of Kipchak, which is 15 km from Ashgabat.
Giant mosque is amazing, impressive beauty and grandeur, but it leaves a strange impression of depression of the seen. This huge structure, entirely lined with white marble, was built specially invited by French architects and builders, and cost the state treasury US$ 100 million.
The mosque covers an area of 18 thousand square meters; ceilings’ height is 55 meters and the height of four detached minarets — is 80 meters.
«Turkmenbashi Ruhy» – is the largest mosque in the Central Asia. At the same time there can be worship to seven thousand men and three thousand women. Nowadays here in the suburbs of Ashgabat s all of the major Muslim festivals and rituals are spent.
An interesting feature of the decoration of the mosque is calligraphic labels, which carry not only the sayings of the Koran, but also quotes from the book «Rukhnama» by Saparmurat Niyazov.
Near the mosque the mausoleum was built – which is tribal tomb of the president and his family. In the middle of a huge tomb there is a sarcophagus today of the first president ofTurkmenistan who died in 2006.
Museum of Turkmen Carpet.
This huge exhibition was created in Ashgabat in 1993, by presidential decree of the state. Its goal of opening a museum was the revival, preservation and creative development of the folk traditions of Turkmen carpet weaving, as well as enhancement of the glory of handmade rugs ofTurkmenistan.
The museum is one of the cult centers in Turkmenistan; it exhibit more than 2000 types of carpets.
In such way there is the smallest exhibit — carpet stick, to carry keys, and in contrast — the largest carpet sewed in 2001. It has an area equal to 301 square meters and is listed in the Guinness book.
The museum does not only a demonstration carpets, at the same time, this is the biggest in the country for antique restoration workshop copies of carpets.