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Karakol town in Kyrgyzstan.

Cities at coast of lake Issyk Kul.

“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected” 

Roman Payne.

Tours to Karakol in Kyrgyzstan.

Karakol is at the eastern end of Lake Issyk Kul. The largest town and the administration center of the Issyk Kul oblast, the town was founded by Russian settlers in the 1869. The name translates as "black hand". In Soviet times it was called Prezhevalsk after the Russian explorer who made several journeys into Central Asia and almost reached the gates of Lhasa in Tibet, but who contracted an illness, perhaps ТВ (Consumption) or Typhoid, there seems to be some confusion, and settled in the area overlooking the lake to die.
There is a museum dedicated to him on the site of the house that he had built, a little less than ten kilometers from the center of the city, on the Mikhailovka inlet. Six years after his death in 1888, a monument and small chapel were built beside hisgrave,then in 1957 the Soviet authorities constructed the present museum and gardens.
Originally named Karakol, then in 1886 renamed Prezhervalsk, Lenin gave it back its original name in 1926 only to have Stalin renamed it Prezhevalsk again in 1935. Finally in 1991 it was renamed Karakol once more.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral is a fine example of a Russian Orthodox Church, which served as a dance hall under the Soviets, and a school during the Second World War. Built on the site of an earlier church, built in 1876, the current building was constructed between 1890 - 1895.
During the construction a yurt served as a church for the local population. The building consists of wooden walls on a stone foundation, and it is highly decorative. The five onion domes, which used to adorn it, were destroyed in the Soviet period. Inside are a number of icons including some saved from Svetly Myz, and a copy of one of Saint Troitzy by Andrei Rublev (who lived in the XIIIth century).
It has now been returned to active service as a church and some reconstruction was begun in 1961.
It is now being renovated again. There is also a Dungan (Chinese) mosque in the town built by a Chinese architect and twenty artisans between 1907 and 1910. It was built entirely of wood, without a single nail. The Dungans first arrived in Karakol, as refugees, in 1877 and created a small community.
The Bolsheviks closed the mosque from 1933 until 1943, but it was then reopened and has operated as a place of worship since then. The mosque is set into its own territory and the distinctive decoration (it is painted in bright colors - red, green and yellow - and bears reliefs depicting various types of flora and mythical animals such as dragons and the phoenix) that give it an original character.
There is a veranda by the entrance to the large central space. There is the Regional Museum with seven rooms: - A Russian room depicting the development of the town and early Russian settlers; - A Kyrgyz room depicting aspects of traditional national culture;
- An arts and music room with a fine collection of musical instruments; - A wildlife room with a variety of stuffed animalsfound in the region; - An archaeology and history exhibition; -A"Kumtor"room. The war memorial to the fallen in the Second World War, The Great Patriotic War, consists of two white columns with red stars above them and a sculpture of "Mother Russia", and bears 1300 names.
In the park there is also an alley of busts of the "Heroes of the Soviet Union". There is also a monument in Pushkin Park dedicated to eleven border guards who were killed in a clash with people crossing the border illegally in 1926.
The monument comprises a bronze statue of a border guard with a dog. Also in Pushkin Park is a memorial over the graves of soldiers of the Red Army who died in battles with the White Russians during the Civil War (in 1919). It takes theform offive stone columns.
The Sunday Animal Market attracts a large number of visitors. With its large number of colonial style buildings ("chocolate box cottages"); shady, poplar-lined streets; lively market; the oldest hippodrome in Central Asia, and overlooked by the Terksey ("shady") Ala-Too Mountains it can give an impression of a nineteenth century Russian Village.
However, Karakol is perhaps best known these days as a center for trekking with a large number of well-established routes in the valleys nearby. Nearest to the city is Djety Orguz with the Seven Bulls rock formation and the Valley of Flowers.
Many trekkers visit the Ak-Suu (Tepliyekluchenki), Altyn Arashan and Karakol valleys. Karakol is also the last city on the way to Enilchekand the mountains Khan Tengri and Peak Pobeda. There are a number of small guesthouses and hotels in Karakol and several local companies can offer services in and around Karakol.
Everything see Then open yourself to a cover Kyrgyzstan!


Photos by
Alexander Petrov.