The development of Ashgabat history began in 1881, at the time when a Russian fortress was placed on a hill on the borders of the capital and had the same name. This fortress became the preliminary point for the development of the modern city since 140 years ago. After some time, the Russian market has appeared and brought up goods from Persia.
Over time, Molokans – Russian settlers moved from Russia and cancelled the Orthodoxy which was accountable for the transportation. They originated villages in the foothills and in the mountains of Kopetdag, controlled the transport services and developed the first bazaar, which later called “Russian”. After the last forty years, the bazaar got official name as the Gulistan Shopping Center.
According to the project of the Ashgabat architect Vladimir Vysotin, the bazaar was settled on a historic site beyond the borders of Turkmenistan in the 70s. After finishing the market, authors were awarded the Prize of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, which is one of the highest awards in architecture field.
What is the exclusivity of the Gulistan market?
When Vladimir Vysotin spend his youth in Italy, in the city of Turin, he was the wonderful Lavoro Palace, which conquered his heart. He was amazed by its construction of different columns and decided to use the idea of building the Russian market almost in this style.
Visiting this amazing bazaar in your tour, you will see the design of stiffeners backing the roof as well as sixteen plank crossbars pending from each column and armor-plated with sloping crossbars, founding an eight-pointed star lengthways the outside relief.
Merely ten of these big umbrellas makes a shared rooftop among the transaction part, defensive from the sun and hail. This giant construction was designed by the project's chief engineer Alexei Belov. But this construction was placed in the high seismic zone.
If you go inside, you will find the gigantic concrete sculpture on behalf of the Turkmens named the “cup of gazelles”, the author of which was the famous Turkmen sculptor Klych Yarmamedov and co-author was Vysotin. In the course of a tour, you will be impressed by the art of the geometric form and the cellar vessel.
The market in made in U-shaped form, having receipt and storage areas, shops, parking zones, cascade of pools with fountains in front of the main entrance. There are a lot of goods starting from eastern food as watermelons, melons and others.
The Russian bazaar was reassembled for several times and nowadays it is one of the desired markets for locals and guests of Ashgabat. It is worth travelling in Kyrgyzstan and see it by own eyes.
In the course of tours in Turkmenistan, you will find the Russian Bazaar in Azadi Street, 72. You can use taxi as well as trolleybuses and buses, if you want to feel the local exotic. They are cheaper than taxi and speed is not that much fast.