Oak Park, Bishkek
Park named after Chingiz Aytmatov - the oldest park in Bishkek
Bishkek is a small but green city. There are over 20 parks, apart from the reserves located within the city limits. Amidst this entire shady splendor there stands out Oak Park - the central and the oldest park in Bishkek with more than a century-old history.
Oak Park is almost of the same age as the city itself. The first oak trees in the future park in the area of 2,5 ha were planted as far back as 1890 by Agricultural School students, directed by botanist A. Fetisov, who came to Pishpek (Bishkek old name) from Russia.
The oaks have been growing over many decades: under their thick foliage. Bishkek citizens and its guests take rest in summer, while their spreading branches are home to red nimble squirrels jumping on them. In winter, the Park alleys are covered with thick snow, and in autumn – swept with variegated deciduous leaves.
In 2010, Oak Park was renamed to Park named after Chingiz Aytmatov, however Bishkek residents still continue to call it Oak Park.
Oak Park is divided into two parts: the first is a garden to take walk amidst the mighty oaks, and the second is a cultural site, hosting monuments, sculptures and historic buildings. Thus the park has St. Nicholas Church – monument of Tsarist architecture. Today its building is used to host major vernissages and exhibitions of the Union of artists of Kyrgyzstan. Also, the park has the Russian Drama Theatre, near which the people take walk in waiting the beginning of evening performances.
Other attractions of the park is Twelve Bowls Fountain, an 11-meter granite obelisk in the mass graves of Red Army soldiers, killed in suppression of the Belovodskoye uprising of 1919, Eternal Flame in memory of those who died in the Great Patriotic War, Alley of Kyrgyzstan statesmen and the Sculpture Museum in the open air.
There is a story about the sculptures. The first sculptures appeared there in 1984. Mostly, they were metal, concrete and wooden sculptures brought by the participants of the all-Union Symposium of Sculptors, held in Frunze. All of them were collected in an open-air Museum of Sculptures which was opened five years later. Since then, the museum periodically is replenished with new exhibits. The last of them - the Kurmandjan Datka sculpture replacing the monument to Dzerzhinsky, was established in 2004.