Bishkek

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My first card from Kyrgyzstan comes from Anna. 🙂

Bishkek, formerly Pishpek and Frunze, is the capital and the largest city of Kyrgyzstan. The name is thought to derive from a Kyrgyz word for a churn used to make fermented mare’s milk (kumis), the Kyrgyz national drink. Founded in 1825 as a Khokand fortress of “Pishpek”, on 4 September 1860 the fortress was seized by Russian forces led by colonel Zimmermann. In 1926 the city was given name Frunze, after the Bolshevik military leader Mikhail Frunze. In 1991, the Kyrgyz parliament again changed the capital’s name to Bishkek.

Bishkek is a city of wide boulevards and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks surrounding interior courtyards and, especially outside the city centre, thousands of smaller privately built houses. It is laid out on a grid pattern, with most streets flanked on both sides by narrow irrigation channels that water the innumerable trees which provide shade in the hot summers.

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