Less than 20 km from Ashgabat you will find the area and the city of Nisa – the former capital of the Parthian Empire, which began 300 years ago. With its location in the middle of the Silk Road, Nisa was an important trading hub and the area had great historical significance until the Parthian empire fall in the year 224 AD – after many years of conflict with the Roman Empire. Nisa at the time had an area of 14 hectares and contained 43 watchtowers to protect against uninvited guests. The population was supplied with water from the mountains via four water reservoirs.
Today, Nisa has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, and excavations are still taking place in the area, primarily in Turkmenistan, Russia and Italy. However, there is still a long way to go, as only 35 percent of the excavation work is complete. UNESCO has plans to build a museum, but no date has yet been set for how they expect it to open.