Jurta - Kyrgyzstan

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Bishkek, formerly Pishpek and Frunze, is the capital and the largest city of Kyrgyzstan. Originally a caravan rest stop (possibly founded by the Sogdians) on one of the branches of the Silk Road through the Tien Shan range, the location was fortified in 1825 by the Uzbek khan of Kokhand with a mud fort.

The Kyrgyz legend says that the place was a burial site of the hero Bishkek, the local Kyrgyz war lord who fought for the Kyrgyz independence in the 18th century.

In 1862, the fort was conquered and razed when Tsarist Russia annexed the area. The site became a Russian garrison and was redeveloped and named "Pishpek" from 1877 onward by the Russian government, which encouraged the settlement of Russian peasants by giving them fertile black soil farms to develop. In 1926, the city became the capital of the newly established Kirghiz ASSR and was renamed "Frunze" after Mikhail Frunze, Lenin's close associate who was born in Bishkek and played key roles during the 1905 and 1917 revolutions and during the Russian civil war of the early 1920s. (wikipedia)

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Taken on December 1, 2007
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