Ala-Too Square is the central square of Bishkek and the country’s main square. It is home to the White House, the State Historical Museum, a flagpole with the national flag, a monument to the victims of the 7 April revolution, a statue of Chingiz Aitmatov and a statue of Manas, the hero of the Kyrgyz folk epic.
The name of the square derives from the mountains of the central and western Tien Shan, which the nomadic Kyrgyz tribes called Ala-Too – translated “the colourful mountains”. The entire square, including the building of the History Museum, which was designed as the Lenin Museum, forms a unified architectural ensemble. A characteristic feature of the square is the marble and granite cladding of the buildings. Ala-Too Square was laid out relatively recently – in 1984 – and is crossed by several Bishkek streets: Chui Avenue and Kievskaya Street.
In the centre of the square is a statue of Manas the Gracious, erected in 2012. Previously, the Statue of Liberty, erected in 2003, stood on this spot, while the statue of Lenin, now located behind the Historical Museum, stood in the city’s Old Square.
Very close to the Manas Monument is a 45-metre flagpole with the national flag of the Kyrgyz Republic. Every day, a guard of honour is on duty near the flag, changing every few hours.
The main building of the square is of course the historical museum, which has a characteristic cube shape. The large square in front of the museum has fountains and flowerbeds.
The second part of the square opposite the museum has numerous fountains, including a large fountain of light and music in the middle, as well as many benches and flower beds.
In the southernmost part of the square is a statue of the great Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov.