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Osh

Osh

Osh is the second-largest city of Kyrgyzstan – the "southern capital", the city located in the east of Ferghana valley, at the height of more than 1000 m above the sea level. Today this ancient city is an administrative centre of the Osh area. It is a large economic and cultural centre with the population approximately 250 thousand people who has kept unique charm of the ancient East.

From three sides Osh is surrounded with hills and low rocky spurs of Alay ridge. But the main testimony of thei presence is, certainly, the five-domed Suleiman mountain (Suleiman-Too) towering in the city centre. It is one of the spurs of Alay ridge. But the main testimony of their presence is, certainly, the five-domed Suleiman mountain (Suleiman-Too) towering in the city centre. It is one of the spurs of Alay ridge looking as more than 100m high rock. The sacred Suleiman mountain or Tahti-Suleiman ("Throne of Suleiman") is named in honor of legendary bible king Solomon. There is a legend, that once he visited the city and mountain. The mountain Tahti-Suleiman in the early Middle Ages had a cult value for all believers and especially for fire-worshippers. There is even an assumption that Zaratushtra (Zoroastr), the prophet of zoroastrizm and the founder of "Avesta" sacred book lived and created his creed in the cave, that was on Suleiman Mountain. Here there was one of the earliest temples of zoroastrizm water – fire cult (the temple of the Oshho river,Yahsha – Osh and fire). Probably, the name of the city occurs from these words. The Suleiman mountain keeps the most valuable information material in its caves and granites, on slopes and rocks. Hundreds petrogliphs are carved on rocky mountain outputs, stone plates, cave walls and grottoes. Buddhism, one of the world religions was distributed to all Far East via Osh. National tales allocate the mountain with ability to cure any illnesses of pilgrims. And the museum-reserve is situated directly inside the mountain, conditionally consisting of two pieces – artificial and natural caves. Particularly curious members of tourist groups can climb on mountain, where the excellent panorama on Osh reveals. Here the city is seen as being on palm, it is possible to stand and admire magnificent landscape: below it is a boiling city life, in the distance there are Great Mountains breathing with calmness and confidence.

There is another sight of the mountain. It is the unidirectional mosque Tahti-Suleiman. The building is the monument of ancient orient architecture that was built in unique place. It is located on the altitude of almost 150 m of the east peak of the mountain Suleiman-Too. Last decades, the construction has been concerned with the name of Mohammad Zakhiriddin Bobur. Who is the descendant of Amir Timur (Tamerlan). It is named after him and known as the house of Bobur.

At the foot of the mountain are located the most outstanding mosques of the city ( the mausoleum Asaf-ibn-Burkhia (XI -XVIII), the mosque Ravat – Abdullakhan (XVII – XVIII), and the mosque Muhammad Yusuf Baikhozhi- Oghli (1909)). In accordance with folk legends, the mausoleum was named after the mythical helper Asaf ibn Bukhria of the king Suleiman (Solomon). He bequeathed to bury him at the foot of the mountain. His will was fulfilled after his death.

Along with monuments of Muslim religion, in the central square of the city is located the unique monument of Russian orthodox architecture. It is the church of Archangel Michael (XX century).This historical building had came through all hardships of the "cultural revolution" of the Soviet authority and was returned to an orthodox community.

It is a thousand pities that here is no more Osh of old times. We never again see the walls of impregnable fortress with three admitting gates. We never again see citizens praying in the cathedral mosque next to an old bazaar. They all sank into oblivion along with other important symbols of the city that has more then 2000 years of history. But the bazaar can be found on the place of its ancient predecessor.


Osh photos

Osh on map

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