Bishkek, Kyrgystan

Bishkek is located where the steppe meets the foothills of the snow-capped Tien Shan mountains.

Bishkek was founded in the 19th century after the Kokand conquerors established a citadel in order to protect the caravans that would pass through to Kashgar in China. The city has many public parks and is truly a green city. In the game between the Russian and British empires in the 19th century for hegemony over Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan came under the hegemony of imperial Russia so then at the time of the Bolshevik revolution it came under Soviet influence. The tour of the city is a tour of Soviet architecture. For example this monument to the victims of World War Two.

The Opera House

The Opera House

This is a monument to those slain in the first World War.

 

The first soviet movie theater

235557 This monument is dedicated to the victims of the revolution several years ago against government corruption. The guide pointed out that the white stone symbolizes good and the people pushing away the evil symbolized by the black stone.

Those who were slain in the square are memorialized on these plaques.

Kyrgy010807We then proceeded to drive to Ala Archa which is an accessible gorge south of Bishkek. The views are spectacular.

The guide pointed this plant out which is popular with the locals who dry it then burn it around their cars and houses to ward off evil spirits.

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There is a small museum of stuffed animals and this is called the Marco Polo mountain goat.

I have included a few photos so you can appreciate the beauty of the area.
Kyrgy013451Kyrgy021159And of course the fields of poppies and red tulips are beginning to blossom.

In the evening we were given a concert of local music.