The first stationary circus in the region opened in 1877 in St. Petersburg and soon after the Russian Revolution developed from entertainment for the aristocracy to a high art form that could be compared to the opera or the famous Russian ballet. The Russian Circus gained recognition all over the world and in bigger cities across the Soviet Union it became common to build structures for accommodating the circus.
This UFO-like structure in Bishkek is one of these buildings. It was built in 1976. Two years later, in 1978, the first the residents of Bishkek could attend the first show and is one of the few circuses that still functions as a circus today. Every weekend, performers from all over Kyrgyzstan and the world are entertaining their guests with artistical shows, comedy performances, but also controversial shows with wild animals, which have been heavily criticized by animal rights activists.
Tip: You find the Circus at the far edge of Victory Square in central Bishkek close to the Wedding Palace – which is well worth a visit, too!