Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, is located in the Chui Valley (the Chui region) at the northern foot of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too at an altitude of 700-900 meters above sea level. Bishkek’s predecessor was the Pishpek Fortress, built in 1825. This fortress protected caravan routes that stretched from Tashkent through the Chui Valley to Lake Issyk Kul.
This fortress was destroyed after the battle with the Russian troops and the Kokand invaders and became the property of the Russian Empire. In 1897 there were only 6.5 thousand inhabitants in Pishpek. The pre-revolutionary Pishpek looked like an ordinary village with mud houses, and only with the beginning of the Soviet Union the town began to develop.
In 1926 the town was renamed after the revolutionary Mikhail Vasilievich Frunse, who was born here. In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the city got back its former name in a new interpretation – Bishkek. As the experts say, “Bishkek” means – a stick for beating kumys. Kumys is a national drink made from mare’s milk.
Bishkek is the largest city in Kyrgyzstan with over 1 million inhabitants. It is home to more than 80 nationalities and ethnic groups. The main language of inter-ethnic communication is Russian.
There are many interesting places to visit in the city. There are several large museums in Bishkek. These are museums like the Historical Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Frunse Museum. In the city centre there is the Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Russian Drama Theatre Aitmatov, the Kyrgyz Drama Theatre, the Bishkek Municipal Drama Theatre, the State Philharmonic Theatre named after M.V. Frunze, and State Philharmonic Orchestra T.Satylganov.
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