The Turkmen Carpet Museum or the National Carpet Museum of Turkmenistan is a huge impressive museum which houses 8000 exhibits, such as antique carpets, rugs, chuvals, khurjuns, torbas, etc. The museum was opened in 1994 to preserve and continue the national traditions of Turkmen carpet making.
Carpet weaving can be considered the most prominent part of arts and culture in Turkmenistan. According to archeologists carpet making existed in the region since the 6th century B. C. There are carpets found in Altai which have 2500 years old history. For Turkmen nomads carpets were an important part of everyday life used in yurts, covering the floors, walls, and protecting people from cold.
As Turkmenistan boasts with its Guinness records, it also had a record for the largest handmade carpet in the world. The massive carpet welcomes you right away when you enter the building. It covers 301 m2 (14m by 21.2 m). It was made in 2001 to commemorate independence from the Soviet Union. The museum is also notable for its huge Sarik and Tekke carpets.
You can buy carpets from the museum shop or the factory, Tolkucka Bazaar situated in the city outskirts. However there are restrictions on exporting the Turkmen carpets, so carpets must be inspected whether you’re a tourist or a Turkmen citizen. A receipt for export is issued and given to you if the carpet doesn’t have historical value and is not older than 30 years.
Address: Atamurat Niyazov sayoli 58, Ashgabat
Open: Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm
Closed on Sundays