Palace of happiness

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Yes, there is such a palace in Ashgabat – Bagt koshgi (in Turkmen ‘palace of happiness’) or the Wedding Palace. This complex for wedding ceremonies is an excellent example of the state-of-the-art monumental architecture that plays an important role in modern life and culture of Turkmenistan. Located on a hill in the south-western part of the city, it can be seen from almost any place in Ashgabat. The palace is framed by the fountains sparkling in the sun's rays with myriads of diamond splashes. The palace is especially magnificent at night, when the original lighting is turned on, shimmering with all colours of the rainbow.

The eleven-storey building of the Wedding Palace is a three-tier structure; and each side of this structure has the form of an eight-pointed star. A cube that towers over large columns forms its upper tier and incorporates a ball with a diameter of 32 meters – a symbolic planet Earth with the titanium image of Turkmenistan. According to the authors of the project, the architectural design of the Wedding Palace embodies the unity, reliability and strength of the family ties.

The spacious foyer of the palace connects four entrances to the building, symbolizing the four cardinal points. Its golden and mirrored decoration welcomes the newlyweds and their guests with the solemn refinement and grandeur, emphasizing the importance of the forthcoming event – the beginning of a new family. Seven couples of newlyweds can be married in the palace at the same time owing to the seven halls for solemn registration of marriage. The largest is the Golden Wedding Hall, called ‘Shamchyrag’. It is located on the ninth floor in the central part of the building. The round-shaped hall delights with the luxurious interior. The walls of the hall are decorated with golden threads, reminiscent of the national jewellery called ‘shelpe’, and ‘golden’ images of the carpet patterns in the design of all details. The real decoration of the Golden Wedding Hall is a large spiral crystal chandelier. The vault of the hall is made in the form of a starry sky with sparkling constellations. A special place is provided for musicians and a stand-up party.

20 couples of newlyweds from Ashgabat and Velayats married simultaneously in this hall on the opening day of the Wedding Palace. The number of couples entering into marriage in this beautiful hall symbolically corresponded to the 20-year anniversary of independence of Turkmenistan. The opening of Bagt koshgi was timed to this date. On the same day, planting a tree next to the Wedding Palace to celebrate the wedding has become a tradition. To date, the largest park in Ashgabat is located here.

The rich interior decoration and design in the national style is characteristic of all premises of Bagt koshgi, the total area of which is over 38.000 m2. The palace includes seven banquet halls, three wedding halls for celebrations, a shopping centre with 36 shops, a bride's room, a waiting room, two cafes, wedding service points, and a hotel with 22 comfortable rooms.

On the third floor, a cultural and methodological centre was created to promote the national traditions of wedding and family celebrations. The centre has a library, where people can find a variety of books, illustrated magazines, and publications dedicated to wedding celebrations, as well as the classical Turkmen literature.

The centre is equipped with technical means to conduct special classes on organizing the wedding ceremonies, including in the training sessions for masters of ceremonies, camera operators, speakers, and photographers. People can find out a wide variety of information about holding the wedding and other family celebrations and order services for their organization.

Next to the Wedding Palace, there is an observation deck with a magnificent panorama of the Turkmen capital and the Kopetdag Mountains.

In 2012, the Bagt koshgi project received a ‘Five Star’ award in the Public Service Architecture category of the 2012 European Property Awards.

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8 days
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