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Bishkek is also the country's financial center, with all of the country's 21 commercial banks headquartered there.
There are also thousands of smaller privately built houses, mostly outside the city centre.
In the last years of Kokhand rule, the Pishpek fortress was led by Atabek, the Datka.
In 1860, the fort was conquered and razed by the military forces of Colonel Zimmermann when Tsarist Russia annexed the area.
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".
The city's main street is the east–west Chui Avenue (Chuy Prospekti), named after the region's main river. Along or near it are many of the most important government buildings and universities. The westernmost section of the avenue is known as Deng Xiaoping Avenue.