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The capital of Kyrgyzstan has a population of just under one million. The city developed in the early 19th century when the Kokand Khanate created a fortress on this site.
By 1864 the Russians had captured the fortress and in 1878, founded the city of Bishkek. Modern Bishkek is a city of wide boulevards and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks, laid out on a grid pattern. At the heart of the city lies Ala-Too Square, a monumental open area built in 1984 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Era.
Today the square serves as a site for state events. Its main centrepiece is a statue of the mythical Kyrgyz hero Manas, built to celebrate the 20th anniversary of independence. The city is close to the Ala-Too mountains and Ala Archa National Park, with their glaciers and magnificent wildlife trails.
No trip to Bishkek would be complete without seeing one of the wonders listed below.
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