Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, formerly Frunze and Pishpek, city, capital of Kyrgyzstan. The cities name was changed to Bishkek by the Kyrgyz parliament in early 1991, before the country's declaration of independence.

Located in the irrigated Chu River valley, it is a transportation and industrial center. Manufactures include farm machinery, processed food, textiles, and construction materials.

Kyrgyz State University (1951), the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, a symphony orchestra, and several museums and theaters are in the city.

In the mid-19th century the Uzbek khan of Kokand (present-day Quqon) built a fortress here.

The stronghold was taken in 1862 by the Russians, who named it (and the surrounding community). Pishpek, a corruption of the original Bishbek.

In 1926 the city was renamed Frunze to honor the Soviet army commander M. V. Frunze.

Population (1996) 585,800.

Major cities near Bishkek:

Kabul Tashkent Almaty - Up