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On 4 September 1860, with the approval of the Kyrgyz, Russian forces led by Colonel Apollon Zimmermann destroyed the fortress.In 1868 a Russian settlement was established on the site of the fortress under its original name, "Pishpek".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.Colonel Zimmermann rebuilt the town over the destroyed fort and put field Poruchik Titov as head of a new Russian garrison.The site was redeveloped from 1877 onward by the Russian government, which encouraged the settlement of Russian peasants by giving them fertile land to develop.In 1926 the Communist Party of the Soviet Union renamed the city as Frunze, after the Bolshevik military leader Mikhail Frunze (1885–1925), who was born there.
In the past it was called Dzerzhinsky Boulevard, named after a Communist revolutionary, Felix Dzerzhinsky, and its northern continuation is still called Dzerzhinsky Street.
The province surrounds the city, although the city itself is not part of the province, but rather a province-level unit of Kyrgyzstan.
In 1825 Khokand authorities established the fortress of "Pishpek" in order to control local caravan-routes and to collect tribute from Kyrgyz tribes.
In 1991 the Kyrgyz parliament changed the capital's name to "Bishkek".
Bishkek is situated at an altitude of about 800 meters (2,600 ft), just off the northern fringe of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too range, an extension of the Tian Shan mountain range.
These mountains rise to a height of 4,855 meters (15,928 ft) and provide a backdrop to the city.