Idea #622 – Visiting the white marble city of Ashgabat
Ashgabat, the “city of Love” in Turkmen, is a relatively new town, originating from a village of the same name founded in 1818. In 1869, Russian soldiers built a fortress on a cliff near the village. Security quickly attracted the merchants. The Russian Empire annexed the region in 1884, and chose to develop the city as administrative chief town of a Russian Turkestan oblast because of the proximity of Persia. It became a pleasant city with European-style buildings, shops and hotels. In 1919, following the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, the city was renamed Poltoratsk. The name of Ashkhabat was reestablished in 1927 as a result of the strengthening of the position of the Communist Party in Turkmenistan. The city then knew a fast growth and industrialization, interrupted by the very violent earthquake of October 6, 1948.Rebuilt with the help of the Soviet Union, the city is again experiencing a modern extension in the 2000s, in the form of monumental buildings in marble and gold, from the sale of gas. In 2013, the city was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest concentration of white marble buildings!
Where is it ?