Ashgabat

Turkmenistan is a country in the Central Asia with an ancient history and world-famous handmade carpets, fleet pedigree racehorses and a cradle of one of the world’s earliest civilizations.

Let’s start discovering it from its capital: Ashgabat, it is a quite safe city, no crime, no bums around...

You can’t miss the old quarters of  the city with their irreplaceable colours: children yell, play and run round and round, you can hear the sounds of the televisions from the open windows – it’s all very dynamic.

People are kind and hospitable.

If you decide to visit Ashgabat, these are the main attractions we suggest to see:

National museum of Turkmen carpet

It’s a museum about traditional history and the way of creation of the carpets. 
Here it’s kept the largest carpet in the world: 301 mt and 1,2 tonsweight, which is showed in the Guinnes World Record Book too.

Thereis a big collection of the national clothes, made from silk homespun line "keteni" (special high quality material).

Monument "Arch of Neutrality"

The monument has been created because of the status of Neutrality of the Country.

95 meters high, it keeps the sculpture of the first president of Turkmenistan, installed at a top of the Arch.

Due to special mechanism, it’s always towards the sun.

There is a panoramic lift and from the top the guests can enjoy the beauty and majesty of the city. 

It’s the right place where to spend a fresh evening during the hot summer nights lying on the green lawn next to the Monument.

National Museum of Turkmenistan

The National museum of Turkmenistan was created at the beginning of 1990.

It consists of seven galleries and it keeps the history and the ethnography of Turkmenistan.

In the opposite side of the museum there is one of  highest flagstaff in the world: a majestic flag of Turkmenistan.

Ten halls of the museum show personal goods of the Presidents, gifts, valuable archive, documents and photo materials, presenting the latest history of the country.

 

Tolkuchka or AltynAsyr bazar

For inexpensive souvenirs and high-priced arts you definitely have to visit the local market called: "tolkuchka"; not far from the airport (you can reach itby public transport or by taxi).

In the centre of the market – there is a high tower with clock which is considered as the main landmark.

Tolkuchka” is open till approximately 14:00, so it is recommended to go there in the morning.

On “AltynAsyr” market it’s possible to find all that you like - splendid Turkmen carpets, national suits and headdresses, fabrics, textiles, embellishment, fruits and vegetables, products from marble and stone - statuettes of famous Turkmen racer.

Darwaza

Most of the area of Turkmenistan is occupied by desert, but 260 km (4 hours by car) from Ashgabat there is a real burning crater, the famous:"Gates to Hell"
Before getting to the crater, there are Turkmen nomad's tent with guards where it’s possible to take a short rest; foreigners put there their own tents to spend the night.

Here in 1971, looking for gas, explorer have unexpectedly fallen into a cavity creating a huge bore.

No damage, but inside the land, a big bore appears and it’s been burning since the last 39 years.

It looks fantastic. You can come to brink point (border of  hole) and look downwards. It’s really impressive. I love the T-shirt with inscription "Darwaza. I've been to Hell".

Geoktepe

There is a museum with an interesting exposure which tells about the story of the assault of the fortresses.

In 19th centurythere have been several colonial wars but the battle of Geoktepe has been one of the most bloody ever.

It was the time of territorial conquests between the largest colonial Emperies.

Central Asia was the target of Russian and British.


Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque

Just outside Ashghabad, in a small town called Kipchak, there is the biggest mosque in Central Asia and the main mosque of Turkmenistan –TurkmenbashiRuhy Mosque.

The Mosque presents an enormous dome, surrounded by 4 minarets.

The Height of minaret: 91 m, symbolizes the 1991, the Independence year of Turkmenistan.

The walls of the mosque are decoratedwith Koran’s sura, but as well as "Ruhnama” book which quotes about moralities, spirituality written by Turkmenbashi.
The floor of the mosque is covered by huge handmade Turkmen carpets.

Maria Bagdasarova

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