Saturday, July 7, 2012

Another Guinness Record Goes to...Turkmenistan

May 18th is annually celebrated in Central Asia as the Day of Revival, Unity and Poetry. Turkmenistan is no outsider to these celebrations. In 2012, the day was even more special: as part of the celebration, the planet's largest ferris wheel in an enclosed space (setting a new Guinness record) was unveiled in the country's capital (which also happens to be my home) city, Ashgabat. Inside a massive glass/white steel casing decorated with a giant 8-point star, lies a 47.6-meter-structure that holds (and spins, of course) 24 six-seat cabins. This structure is part of a new entertainment complex called "Anem" (translated from Turkmen as "the universe") that was opened to the public along with the new ferris wheel. I had the chance to see the place for myself a month ago (June 2012). It is truly nothing like one would have ever seen before and is surrounded by a great park area with fountains. At night, it's filled with young people as it is beautifully lit and is currently "the next big thing", so to speak, not only for tourists but also the city residents themselves. Like me. Came with my family and loved it.
It should be known that Turkmenistan is no newcomer to the Guinness Book of Records. On the Day of Revival, Unity and Poetry of 2011 (last year), Turkmenistan unveiled its answer to the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. An 185-meter pillar devoted to the country's constitution was presented in the Ashgabat city.
The "Arch of Constitution" is now one of the most memorable sights in the capital city - decorated with 5 Turkmen national ornaments in gold, it is also surrounded by beautiful fountains, a great park and has 2 viewing decks.
Besides the 2 world records described already, Turkmenistan boasts to have the world's tallest flagpole, the longest carpet, the "largest star-shaped architectural feature" and the "largest cluster of fountains in a public space". Personally, the fountain record makes most sense to me because my home city has so many fountains that on a hot summer afternoon one will see that there are more fountains per square kilometer than people.

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