Bishkek (بیشکەک), formerly Pishpek and Frunze (Фрунзе), is the capital and largest city of Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz Republic). Bishkek is also the administrative centre of the Chuy Region. The province surrounds the city, although the city itself is not part of the province, but rather a province-level unit of Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek is situated near the Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan border.
Bishkek is situated at an altitude of about 800 metres (2,600 ft), just off the northern fringe of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too Range, an extension of the Tian Shan mountain range. North of the city, a fertile and gently undulating steppe extends far north into neighbouring Kazakhstan. The Chui River drains most of the area. Bishkek is connected to the Turkestan–Siberia Railway by a spur line.
Bishkek is a city of wide boulevards and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks surrounding interior courtyards. There are also thousands of smaller privately built houses, mostly outside the city centre. Streets follow a grid pattern, with most flanked on both sides by narrow irrigation channels, watering innumerable trees to provide shade in the hot summers.
Bishkek uses the Kyrgyzstan currency, the som. The economy in Bishkek is primarily agricultural, and agricultural products are sometimes bartered in the outlying regions. The streets of Bishkek are regularly lined with produce vendors in a market style venue. In most of the downtown area there is a more urban cityscape with banks, stores, markets and malls. Sought-after goods include hand-crafted artisan pieces, such as statues, carvings, paintings and many nature-based sculptures.
Bishkek is rated Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.
Bishkek has a population of over 1,054,000 people.
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