The name of the Turkmenistan`s capital and the largest city of the republic is very unusual, it comes from the Arabic word “ashkhabat”, which means "City of Love". It received this name in 1881 from the settlement Ashkhabad, in which place was the military fortification with the ancient fortress. As a relatively young city, Ashgabat, gained its face in the middle of the XXth century, as the destroying earthquake of October 6, 1948, overnight razed the entire city, took lives of thousands of people. In the place of the ruins for a few years emerged a beautiful new city, where, unfortunately, did not remain historical monuments. But today Ashgabat as if was born again, and it is impossible to imagine that in the place of white marble palaces and majestic buildings once were smoldering heap of rubble. Now there are luxury hotels, offices of ministries and departments, park areas and motorways, which on the background of snow-capped mountains look like fairy castles. Unique oriental flavor of the city give sky-rocket minarets of mosques, impressive unusual architecture of the comfortable residential high-rises. Ashgabat turned into biggest city of the country and became even more beautiful and fresher than ever. It has become the industrial centre of the republic. There are universities, institutes, research institutions, theaters, museums, clubs.
Location of Ashgabat
The city is located in the south of Turkmenistan, in Akhal oasis on the edge of the Kara-Kum desert, in a picturesque valley at the foot of the Kopetdag ridge. From the south are the mountains of Kopetdag, from the north is the Karakum Desert. Altitude above sea level - 214-240 m.
Climate in Ashgabat
The climate is continental, arid; with hot and dry summer period, average temperature varies from 12 to17 C. The coldest month is January, with the average temperature of + 4 C. Summer is unusually dry and hot. The maximum average temperature observed in July is 28 degrees.
Population of Ashgabat
In the second half of XXth century, the city`s population grew rapidly and by 2006 amounted to 660 thousand people. Turkmens made up more than 77% of the population, the remaining 23% are ethnic groups such as the Russian, Armenians, Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis, in general more than 100 nationalities. Official language is Turkmen, referring to the Turkic group of languages. Russian is also widespread in Ashhabad. Sunni Islam is the predominant religion.
The town – planning ensemble, created in the center of the capital includes Arch of Neutrality, with a golden statue of Turkmenbashi on the top, the Presidential Palace, the building of the Mejlis, the complex of the Academy of Sciences, the Academic Mollanepes Drama Theater, Bayram Khan monument, Lenin Square, Mekan Palace, the building of National Library, the Music College and Conservatory, the Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky (the XIXth century), Ertogrulgazy Mosque, with 4 minarets and the huge dome, and Ashgabat Circus.
In general, the city`s architecture is characterized by total use of white marble in the design of monuments and buildings. You can take Turkmenistan tours to explore the country’s tourist sties.
Economics of the city is mainly represented by industry, financial institutions and a broad trade network. There are more than 43 large industrial facilities, 128 medium and more than 1,700 small industrial facilities on the territory of Ashgabat and in its suburbs. GDP of Ashgabat in 2008, according to some estimates, amounted to about 9 bln. dollars.
History of Ashgabat
There is a widespread interpretation of the word Ashgabat as the “city of love” from Arab “eshg” - love and “abad” - city. However, some scientists put forward another interpretation of the word Ashkabad According to this version the name of the city derives from the Persian word "Ashk" and is the name of the Parthian king of the Arsakid dynasty (Arshakids). Among other things the place where the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat city, is located, is just a few kilometers from the former residence of Parthian kings of Nyssa.