Its name (Ashkabad in Arabic) means the “city of love,” and Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, is definitely a place looking for love. From golden domed mosques to marble palaces, you could say Ashgabat seems like a city trying too hard to capture your attention. Its excess comes from a combination of the country’s oil and gas industry, but how it got to this point was a series of political unrest and natural disasters. Soviet rule came in 1917 and was quickly succeeded by a revolutionary revolt. Industrialism and growth came to the city, but all this was destroyed when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit in 1948, levelling the entire city and killing two-thirds of its population. Ashgabat was rebuilt, originally in the Soviet style of Stalin, but later morphed into the modern vision of capitalism that it flaunts today.