Osh: city with 3000 years of history

Do you know a lot of cities, among which stands a mountain, considered one of the most important Muslim shrines? Want to see the colorful eastern markets and the centuries-old life of Uzbek neighborhoods? Then welcome to Osh – the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan.

The city is considered to be one of the oldest and famous cities on the Silk Road with numerous marketplaces. This city is 3000 years old, it is the oldest city in Kyrgyzstan. It is often said that Osh is «older than Rome». There are several legends about the origin of the city — including claims that it was founded by Solomon or Alexander the Great.


Sacred mountain Sulaiman-Too in Kyrgyzstan rises above the Fergana Valley against the backdrop of the city of Osh, located at the intersection of important routes of the Silk Roads of Central Asia. For more than a millennium and a half, Sulaiman has been a beacon for travelers who considered the mountain sacred. On its five peaks and mountain slopes are numerous ancient places of worship and caves with rock carvings, as well as largely rebuilt mosques from the 16th century.

One hundred and one places with rock carvings of people and animals, as well as geometric shapes, have been registered at the site. It is also home to a large number of places of worship, 17 of which are still in use today, scattered between mountain peaks and connected by hiking trails.


At the top of a short 20-minute climb is a flagpole and a mosque built in 1497 by 14-year-old Babur, the newly crowned king of the Ferghana Valley; he later became the founder of the Mughal dynasty in India; the mosque was twice destroyed and rebuilt, and is another center of pilgrimage. There is also a small archaeological and cultural museum, in the vicinity of which many ancient artifacts have been found.