Ashgabat was established as a Russian village in 1818 on the ruins of an old Silk Road city that had existed since at least the 2nd Century BC. It became the capital of the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic in 1925 and of Independent Turkmenistan in 1991. With the break-up of the Soviet Union, Ashgabat rapidly developed as the Turkmen capital, primarily around the personality of the country's dictator, Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov, who became known as Turkmenbashi -- Leader of the Turkmen. http://www.neatorama.com/2007/
Check out these pictures of some of Ashgabat's new buildings which are quite amazing
I'm off to Chisinau later today. Where's that?