My beloved capital

26 March 2021

From ancient times, the heart of any state has been its capital city. This year, the main city of our country – Ashgabat – turns 140 years old. Today it is a large administrative, political, industrial, scientific and cultural centre of Turkmenistan. Here, important issues of a state importance, related to the political, economic, cultural and social life of the country are solved. The beautiful avenues, highways that meet world standards, Ashgabat city, where the buildings of ministries and departments are concentrated, have become a vivid eviidence of the rapid development of the modern age, enlightening the way to a bright future.

But let’s look back to 140 years ago, to the distant year 1881. At that time, it was the village of Askhabat with 800 yurts, located near a mountain river under the same name, whose crystal clear waters originated at the top of the Kopetdag Mountains. Askhabat emerged as a fortress on the western outskirts of the settlement Askhabat along the Gaudan Road leading to Persia. The fortress stood on a hill 12 metres high, on which a redoubt citadel with a fortress settlement, surrounded by walls and a ditch, were built below.

a senior research worker at the Document Use Department, Central State Archives of Turkmenistan. Photo: Sagit BATALOV