Ashgabat is the capital and largest city of Turkmenistan. Now it’s being actively reconstructed. Day by day it becomes more and more modern and beautiful. Let’s take a look at it.
Before the revolution, the city was half-Russian. But even now Russians make up a small part of its population.
Two events caused the city’s changing. The first one is a terrible earthquake happened in 1948 and destroyed almost the whole city. And the second one is the elections of the first president who brought marble buildings and gold palaces into fashion (forcibly). Now the city reminds of those which are located on some distant planets in the Star Wars.
Ashgabat is being built very quickly. This is the picture made last year…
And this one was made just lately. The tower is the monument to the constitution.
New avenues with the same type of massive buildings are actively built.
For some strange reason and to the disappointment of the citizens, community facilities decided to plant conifers (which aren’t peculiar to this type of climate and don’t provide much shade) instead of common plane trees (in fact, the only source of shade and a symbol of the city).
Some people though support this idea saying that it’s very practical because evergreen trees don’t take off leaves and litter streets.
Ministries compete in architecture.
And don’t think of shade either.
Though it’s really important, especially in summer.
That’s why there are such wonderful bus stops in the city, with automatic doors and air conditioners.
Speaking of transportation… The city purchased a new fleet of buses which go like clockwork.
A fare (20 tenges – it’s 2 rubles and about 0.13 dollars) is paid on leaving the bus. Money is put into the box near the driver’s place. Everything’s based on trust.
Taxi cars are also all new.
As well as police cars, most of which are Mercedeses. Note, that Turkmen policemen walk without weapons! Only billies. Crime rate is very low.
The city reminds of a small copy of the United Arab Emirates.
It’s a pity that it gradually approaches mountains which means that most probably they’ll soon become fubar.
A year ago it was possible to look at the city from this observation deck.
The view was awesome but due to security reasons the tower was demolished. Now it’s being restored on the city’s outskirts.
By the way, it’s not only houses which are decorated with marble.
But also pedestrian crossings, which are in fact used very rarely.
Now the city looks more like a huge construction site. As soon as a new area begins to be built, all old houses around are demolished so as not to spoil the view.
But they have their own charm, don’t they? The charm obscure to officials.
Is it possible to see such scenes in new areas? We guess, no.
A piece of Soviet architecture.
The poetics of marble and glass.
The output of the Soviet automobile industry looks quite appropriate in Ashgabat.
Green license plates are governmental. It means that it’s forbidden to use the car after 7 p.m.
This is the picture of the last year. Now an honor guard doesn’t stand here anymore.
The monument to those killed in World War II reminds of a heathen temple.
The largest flag in the world.
And the honor guard not far away from it. It’s forbidden to photograph its soldiers at a close distance.
The market of Ashgabat.
And this is what you can buy there. The rug depicting Yuri Gagarin.
Local people are very bright and photogenic.
Especially in groups.
Well, much has lately changed in Turkmenistan. In previous days, it was the only Muslim country where a woman was relatively free in terms of appearance: they could open their face and were allowed not to wear a niqab or a yashmak. Now it’s becoming more like all the other Muslim countries…