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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.
We all enjoy a good fact or two - here are a few useful ones about Bishkek:
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