The Turkmen Carpet Museum was opened in October 24, 1994. The museum showcases a vast collection of exquisite Turkmen carpets, which are renowned worldwide for their intricate designs, vibrant colors, and exceptional craftsmanship as well as the World largest handmade carpet registered in the Guinness Book of Records. Turkmenistan has a long history of carpet making, and the art of carpet weaving holds significant cultural and historical importance in the country.
The art of carpet making goes back into antiquity. It has not been established yet what came first – painted ceramics or carpets. During archeological excavations at Namazga-Depe/ 3d millenium BC/ painted ceramics were found. Some designs of this ceramics are very similar to the carpet symbols. In the 12c the Italian traveler Marco Polo found the Turkmen carpets as the most beautiful and thinnest in the world. In the 14th century two Italian Renaissance painters, Lippo Mernmo and Nicolo Buonarocso depicted the Turkmen carpets at their paintings. It is very interesting that German, Flemish and Italian painters were familiar with Turkmen carpets. The visitors could visit a small carpet work shop.
Upon entering the Turkmen Carpet Museum, visitors are greeted by a grand display of carpets, ranging from antique masterpieces to contemporary creations. The museum’s architecture itself is designed to resemble a rolled-up carpet, paying homage to this traditional art form. The interior exhibits provide a fascinating journey through time, offering insights into the evolution of Turkmen carpet weaving techniques and styles.
Each carpet on display represents the unique cultural identity of different Turkmen tribes, as they often incorporate specific motifs and symbols that hold symbolic meanings. The carpets feature intricate geometric patterns, floral designs, and symbolic representations of animals, elements from nature, and aspects of daily life.
The museum not only showcases carpets but also offers visitors an opportunity to learn about the various stages of carpet production. Interactive displays and informative panels demonstrate the intricate processes of dyeing, spinning, and weaving that are involved in creating these magnificent textiles.
Moreover, the Turkmen Carpet Museum serves as a platform for educational activities, workshops, and demonstrations, where visitors can engage with local artisans and learn about the traditional techniques firsthand. This commitment to education and cultural exchange ensures the preservation and continuation of Turkmen carpet weaving for future generations.
The Turkmen Carpet Museum in Ashgabat is a true treasure trove of Turkmenistan’s artistic and cultural heritage. It provides a captivating and immersive experience, allowing visitors to appreciate the mastery and artistry behind these magnificent carpets. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply curious about Turkmenistan’s cultural legacy, a visit to this museum is sure to leave a lasting impression.
The museum is open daily, except Sundays, from 9 AM till 6 PM; Saturdays from 9am till 1pm.