The Turkmenbashi Mausoleum is located in the capital Ashgabat, and houses the former president, Saparmurat Niyazov, who died in 2006. Niyazov began his leadership of Turkmenistan in 1985 and was declared President for Life in 1999. He gave himself the title of “Türkmenbaşy”, meaning Head of the Turkmen. He ruled during Turkmenistan’s transition from a Soviet republic to an independent nation-state. One of his main priorities was the development of Turkmenistan’s culture which he accomplished by introducing a new Turkmen alphabet and renaming months and days of the week after famous cultural figures of Turkmenistan, including himself. Although he was often criticized for violating human rights, one of his earliest actions was to abolish the death penalty. A few strange decrees he instituted included: outlawing opera, banning lip singing, and banishing dogs from the capital Ashgabat.
The president himself was instrumental in the construction of the Turkmenbashi Mausoleum before his death, and the building is located in his birthplace, Gypjak, 7 km west of Ashghabat. Next to the tomb are symbolic headstones for some of his family members. The mausoleum itself, like so much else in Ashgabat, is built in white marble and a large amount of gold. It is located next to Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque, which you can read more about here.