When you’ll get tired of magnificence of Ashgabat with its white marble, there’s one of the most significant Turkmenian monuments 18 km away from the capital – Nisa city. It’s an ancient settlement that consists of two hill-forts: Old Nisa and New Nisa. The city used to be the capital of the Parthian Empire that existed from 1st century BC until 3rd century BC. New Nisa served as the capital, while Old Nisa was a residency for ruling dynasty. The legend says that the Arabs wanted to invade Nisa city, but changed their mind after finding out that the city was inhabited only by women; the name of the city is translated as “women” from Arabic.
Visiting Nisa city is like winning a lottery, you get to see not one, but two historical monuments! Yes, the do form one historical complex, but, still, Old Nisa and New Nisa have major differences. New Nisa was abandoned in 19th century, but Old Nisa much earlier. Old Nisa was a large fortress with 8-metre walls and dozens of towers that protected royal palace, but was destroyed in 3rd century BC under the rule of the Sasanids. New Nisa managed to revive after being ruined by the Sasanids; it played a big role in development of the region and was destroyed in the end of 13th century by the Mongols.
Archaeological excavations revealed more artefacts of ancient civilizations in Old Nisa rather than in New Nisa. Old Nisa consisted of temples and palaces that were divided into two architectural complexes one of which doesn’t exist anymore. The preserved part of the complex is comprised of 3 objects: the only preserved two-storey building, remnants of giant columns, and “Round hall”. Architectural style of the city is never seen before mixture Greek, Roman, and Oriental architectural trends. New Nisa is an ancient hill-fort full of residencies of nobility and gardens.