Skyline, Mosque and Transportation
Photo by: // Nicolai Bangsgaard, Creative Commons

One of the countries in Central Asia that should be included in a traveller’s itinerary is Turkmenistan. Though it is a country that is not recognized by everyone, it is teeming with great architecture as well as historical and cultural amenities.

The largest and capital city of Turkmenistan is Ashgabat, which, in Russian or Persian, loosely translates to “The City of Love”. It was originally founded by the Russians in 1818 to serve as a main terminal for the Transcaspian Railroad and also as a fort. It is near Nisa and Parthian and is said to be built along the Silk Road.

Relatively, Ashgabat is considered as a young city since it was only recently established, even the buildings and structures in the city are relatively new and modern. Mostly mosques serve as tourist destinations in the city; these include the Azadi Mosque, which looks like the Blue Mosque of Istanbul, the Khrezety Omar Mosque and the more modern Iranian Mosque. There are scientific and historical buildings as well like the Ashgabat Museum of National History which plays hosts to several artifacts dating back to the Persian time.

A visitor should also pass by the Arch of Neutrality which shows a statue of former President Niyazov (also called Turkmenbashi) which is made out of pure gold and rotates so that it can face the sun everyday when it rises.

The weather in Ashgabat is mostly preferred for strolls around the city because it can be dry at times. This can be attributed to the areas around it which includes the Kara-Kum desert in the North and the Kopet-Dag mountain ranges in the South.

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