Darvaza Gas Crater

  • Also known as the Door to Hell or Gates of Hell, it is a burning natural gas field collapsed into a cavern near Darvaza
  • Accurate records of how the crater ignited have not been discovered, and some facts are disputed
  • One of the more popular theories is that Soviet geologists intentionally set it on fire in 1971 to prevent the spread of methane gas, and it is thought to have been burning continuously ever since
  • The crater has become a popular tourist attraction, and the surrounding area is also popular for wild desert camping

Karakum Desert

  • Desert in Central Asia with shale-rich sand generally beneath the sand of much of the desert
  • It occupies about 70 percent of Turkmenistan and rainfall is rare

Neutrality Monument, Ashgabat

  • Monument originally located in Ashgabat, in 2010 it was moved to the suburbs
  • The three-legged arch was built in 1998 on the orders of Turkmenistan’s President Saparmurat Niyazov to commemorate the country’s official position of neutrality
  • The monument was topped by a tall gold-plated statue of Niyazov which rotated always to face the sun
  • Since 2010, the statue no longer rotates but the viewing platform is still usually open for visitors and there are elevators inside the legs of the monument

Independence Monument, Ashgabat

  • Monument located in Ashgabat, whose design was inspired by traditional Turkmen tents and the traditional headgear worn by Turkmen girls
  • Elements of the building commemorate the independence date of Turkmenistan
  • Within the building, there are exhibition halls where important works of art representing Turkmenistan history are displayed
  • The Monument of Independence sits surrounded by green landscaping that encompasses a cascaded pool and 27 heroic statues of Turkmen leaders, centered on a golden statue of Saparmurat Niyazov

Türkmenbaşy Ruhy Mosque, Gypjak

  • Mosque completed in 2004, in Gypjak, and the resting place for Saparmurat Niyazov, the leader of Turkmenistan from 1985 to 2006
  • The mosque, constructed by a French company, was built in the home town of President Saparmurat Niyazov

Turkmen Carpet Museum, Ashgabat

  • Museum opened in 1994, which has the largest collection of Turkmen carpets of any museum
  • It has a rich collection of Turkmen carpets from the medieval through to the 20th century, including over 1000 carpets from the 18th and 19th centuries
  • One Tekke carpet, made in 2001, weighs more than a tonne, made to commemorate 10 years of Turkmen independence from the Soviet Union
  • It is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the largest hand-woven carpet in the world
  • One carpet, made in 1968, is representative of all the tribes in Turkmenistan, fusing together the different styles to display unity

Kutlug Timur Minaret, Konye-Urgench

  • Minaret in Konye-Urgench, it was built in 1011 during the Khwarazmian dynasty
  • The Kutlug Timur minaret belongs to a group of around 60 minarets and towers built between the 11th and the 13th centuries in Central Asia, Iran and Afghanistan including the Minaret of Jam, Afghanistan
  • On the basis of its decorative brickwork, including Kufic inscriptions, the minaret is thought to be an earlier construction but restored by Kutlug-Timur around 1330