Bishkek's Beautiful Panfilov Park

Bishkek's Beautiful Panfilov Park
Sep 29, 2014
By Greg Stephenson

You’ve traveled a long distance and you’ve been moving quickly to see the amazing sites of Kyrgyzstan, or maybe you’ve been on an Uzbekistan tours and on the next stage of your trip you find yourself in Bishkek. You want to slow down a bit, take a deep breath, and just enjoy life for what it is. After all, how many times will you find yourself in Central Asia – the most beautiful part of the world? Most people enjoy the peaceful distractions of the park and in this Bishkek will not disappoint you. My highest recommendation encourages you to escape to Panfilov Park, perhaps the best one to visit in the city.

Initially, the park was opened in 1879 as a municipal garden for horticulture students and later it was renamed Red Star Park because the shape of the walkways represented, well, a five-pointed star. A little more about that later in this story.

Panfilov Park is named after the Soviet Union hero from World War II (Great Patriotic War), General Ivan Vasilyevich Panfilov, who was killed while defending Moscow from the Nazi’s invasion in 1941. Located in the heart of Bishkek near the Parliament building and the White House, it’s easily with walking distance of just about any hotel you’ll be staying. While strolling you’ll see the statue of the park’s namesake, or avail yourself to many of the park’s amenities. There are rides of varying excitement, karaoke to sing along to your favorite songs, ice cream stalls, and shashlyk(kabob) vendors filling the air with their delicious aroma. As for me, the best attraction is the Ferris wheel. For a small fee you can climb aboard and find yourself high above the trees to get a bird’s eye view of the tree-lined avenues of the city and the breathtaking mountains that dominate the horizon. It truly is one of the most beautiful sites that you can have while in Bishkek!

While many people enjoy visiting Kyrgyzstan and all of its beauty, others prefer to link this wonderful country with an Uzbekistan tours or Kazakhstan tours. The choice is yours!

As for the five-pointed star I mentioned earlier, a Kyrgyz politician recently announced that Panfilov Park’s unusual shape which, in his opinion, is the shape of a pentagram which is widely used by Satanists as their symbol. It’s an interesting point of view, but I don’t think the Soviets were thinking in these terms when the park was designed.

Greg Stephenson

Greg has lived and worked in Central Asia since 1997. His hands-on understanding of the people, culture, and tourist destinations provides our clients the opportunity to feel comfortable knowing that they are in good hands. His travels throughout Central Asia have given him the opportunity to interact with many professionals in the tourism industry that enables him to providing the highest quality of services anywhere in the world.

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