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. In addition, due to the recent archaeological excavations in the area of the Ashhabadka river numerous artifacts were discovered which point out to the fact that thousand years ago this place were inhabited by prehistoric people. The above mentioned data allows to suppose that the city of Ashgabat, probably has more ancient history than is commonly believed.
In the IIIrd BC, on the territory of the present Ashgabat, a well-fortified fortress was built by order of the Arsakids. As it is generally known that many cities, numbering more than a thousand year history, initially were fortresses this shows that the city began to arise exactly at this period of time – in the IIIrd BC. In the XIIIth century, most of the cities of Turkmenistan had been attacked by hordes of Genghis Khan and most of them were destroyed and then restored, but Ashgabat was an abandoned village for a long time, untill in the XVIII-XIX centuries, the fortress was reconstructed and the city began to develop.
Construction of the railway lines Askhabat - Caspian in 1885, and Ashkhabad - Tashkent in 1899 contributed to the growth of the city and the development of trade relations. In December 1917, power passed into the hands of the Bolshevik Council. On July 17, 1919 the town was renamed Poltoratsk after the revolutionary leader P.G. Poltoratsky. With the formation of the Turkmenian SSR, on October 1924, the city became the capital of the republic, and in 1927 it recovered its original name Ashhabad. In 1948 the town was completely destroyed by the earthquake, after which it was entirely rebuilt. In 1960 - 1970, the general reconstruction was conducted, during which were greatly expanded streets, neighborhoods and green recreational areas.
In connection with the construction of the Central Asian Railway and the Karakum Canal in 1962, Ashgabad turned into the important transport center of Turkmenistan virtually for a decade. Since 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ashgabat became the capital of independent Turkmenistan.