Kyrgyz State Memorial Frunze House Museum, Bishkek

The Frunze House Museum was the first proper museum in Bishkek, opening in 1925 to document the life and accomplishments of Mikhail Frunze.

Mikhail Vasilevich Frunze was born on February 2, 1885, in what was then called Pishpek. Long popular among revolutionaries and communists, he became a commander in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. He was most famous for capturing Khiva and Bukhara from the White Army on the Eastern Front, and Crimea from Pyotr Wrangel, all in 1920. In 1921, Frunze represented the Ukrainian SSR on a diplomatic trip to Turkey, where he established diplomatic relations between the new Turkish Republic and the Soviet Union. He died in 1925, and is buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. After his death, Pishpek was renamed Frunze, and in 1991, was renamed as Bishkek.

The original museum was held inside the thatch-roofed hut where Frunze was born, and was opened in 1925. The new building was built over the hut in 1967, and includes 1,760 sq meters (18,945 sq feet) more exhibition space, plus the entire original hut. Though most of the labels and explanations are only in Kyrgyz and Russian, the museum is worth visiting, especially to walk through Frunze’s first home.

There are over 6,000 exhibits in the museum, including papers, photos, and other artifacts. There are even articles of clothing and furniture from Frunze’s friends and family, including his tableware and library. Guests can walk through the hut on the first floor, which is an excellent example of a typical Russian peasant hut from the 19th and early 20th centuries.