Address: Chuy Ave, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Ala-Too Square is the central square in Bishkek. It was built in 1984 to celebrate the establishment of the Kirghiz Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic almost 60 years ago. Originally, a statue of Lenin was placed in the square's centre, but it was taken over by a new statue called Erkindik (meaning Freedom). In 2011 - the 20th anniversary of Kyrgyzstan’s independence - the statue was replaced by a statue of Manas, Kyrgyzstan’s national hero.
The square also houses the Monument of Independence. Today, the square serves as a venue for state events, celebrations as well as a daily ceremony of guards changing.
In 2005, more than 15,000 people gathered in the square to protest against the results of the parliamentary election, in which malpractice was suspected, which finally forced Askar Akayev, who was in power for 15 years, to step down. The whole movement is known as the "Tulip Revolution", or "First Kyrgyz Revolution".
It was not until the "Second Kyrgyz Revolution" in 2010 that the Kyrgyz achieved a more comprehensive democratic electoral system since the "Tulip Revolution". Ala-Too Square is still regarded as the cradle of democratic aspirations.
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