The city's name comes from the words "Ashk" – love and "abad"- city, giving it the name "city of love".
Ashgabat is located in the south of Turkmenistan, 25km north of the border with Iran from which it is separated by Kopetdag mountains, while on the other side the city borders with the Karakum desert.
Settlements on the territory of modern Ashgabat date back to the Neolithic era, around 6000 BC. The Kopetdag mountains were at that time an agricultural oasis.
When the Ashkhabad ancient military fortress was built in 1881, the city became the administrative center of the Trans-Caspian region. From 1919 until 1927 the city was named Poltoratsk. With the formation of the Turkmen SSR on 27 October 1924 the city became the capital of the republic and in 1927 it was given the name of Ashgabat.
The city was hit by catastrophic earthquake in 1948 which completely destroyed the city. It is estimated, that between half and two-thirds of the city’s population were killed in the tragedy.
The city was rebuilt after Turkmenistan gained independence. While rebuilding the city a lot of attention was paid to the appearance and improvement of the territory’s landscaping.
Today the white-marble Ashgabat is known as one of the most beautiful and comfortable cities in the world.
The capital of Turkmenistan acts as a cultural and sports center for the country. Its facilities include 6 theaters, 5 state museums, 20 universities, research and design institutes, other than several sport facilities including the Ashgabat Olympic Complex. There are 20 universities, 140 high schools, large research and design institutes located in the city too.
Ashgabat was entered into the Guinness Book of Records several times. First, as the city with the largest number of buildings finished with white marble. The number of such buildings in the city is 543, and the total area of the marble finish is 4.5 million square meters. Other records were set for the world's tallest flagpole (133 meters), for the largest Ferris wheel, for the largest fountain complex “Oguzkhan and Sons” which covers a total area of 15 hectares and finally, for the biggest architectural monument to a star, “The Oguzkhan Star” on Turkmen television tower.