Saparmurat Niyazov, the former leader of the Soviet Union, aimed to usher in a “golden period of Turkmenistan” with the construction of Ashgabat. His vision was realized through the creation of remarkable marble structures, making Ashgabat the city with the highest concentration of such buildings.
Despite the striking contrast with the rocky, sand-covered Kopet Dag mountains that envelop the modern metropolis, Ashgabat boasts a predominant color palette of white, gold, and green. The city is adorned with ornate street lamps, bus stops, phone booths, traffic signals, gilded domes, and statues.
Within the city, one finds expansive new marble-clad edifices, wide boulevards, parks, gardens, and fountains, but curiously, it appears devoid of inhabitants. Ashgabat is divided into two sections: the ancient town and the new town.
Regrettably, Ashgabat has earned the moniker “the city of the dead” due to its desolate appearance, a consequence of Turkmenistan’s distinct culture and limited international travel...See More