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History of the city of Osh

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Osh, Kyrgyzstan

The city of Osh is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan and one of the most ancient cities of Central Asia. The exact date of its occurrence is unknown. The written history of it is more than a millennium, and archaeological finds are generally three thousand years old.

Legends connect the foundation of the city with such characters of world history as the ancient Israelite king Solomon (Suleiman) and the Greek ruler Alexander of Macedon. For the first time Osh is mentioned in the Arabic sources of the 9th century. Scientists still can not come to a common opinion on the etymology of the city's name. Ministers of religious cults are trying to connect the origin of the city with legends, but none of the legends explains either the fact of the city's appearance or the etymology of its name.

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The main attraction of the city is Mount Tahti-Suleiman ("Throne of Solomon"), which since ancient times is considered one of the most important shrines of local Muslims - the second Mecca. On the southern slope of the Suleiman Mountains, evidence of the ancient cults of the Islamic period is kept, and ancient agricultural settlements of the Bronze Age are found. It is with them that the origin of the city of Osh is associated.

From the ancient city, almost nothing remained. According to archaeologists, in ancient times Osh was surrounded by a fortress wall, had three gates, inside it towered a citadel surrounded by shahristan. The cathedral mosque was located near the bazaar, near the Ak-Bura river. Osh was a major trade center on the Great Silk Road, linking the Mediterranean and the Middle East with the Pamirs, Tibet, China and India. Since ancient times Osh was famous for its bazaars and caravanserais. The main bazaar is located on the left bank of the Ak-Bura River, and is a classic example of the eastern covered market - tima. For more than two millennia the bazaar has been living its noisy and vibrant life, changing its buildings and expanding its borders, but remaining in the same place, chosen in ancient times.

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In Osh the museum "The Great Silk Road" is also open. Unique exhibits tell about the milestones in the development of the material world of the peoples of the region - from the Stone Age to the present. Basically, these are the finds of archaeologists, historians, ethnographers.

One of the interesting exhibits is a map dating from about 1953. The map displays various Kyrgyz clans and tribes (which is still a very important part of the Kyrgyz society). In the center of the city stands a monument to Kurmanzhan Datke - "South Queen", known for the confrontation of the Russian conquest. Her portrait adorns a banknote in 50 soms. And also a monument to Lenin, not far from the memorial dedicated to the Great Patriotic War with the inscription in the Kyrgyz and Russian languages "Nobody is forgotten - Nothing is forgotten".

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The Osh bazaar, which stretches for about a kilometer along the river, is described in many guidebooks, as the most colorful in all of Central Asia. Near the bazaar there is the largest mosque in Kyrgyzstan - the Shaid Tepa Mosque.

The original wooden building of the mosque was built in 1908-1910, but later it was closed by decree of the Soviet authorities and served as a stall and forge. The mosque was reopened only in 1943, as a sign of the religious tolerance of the Soviet government. In recent years, the mosque has undergone repairs, made with funds from Saudi Arabia and today it can accommodate up to 5,000 believers.

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Kyrgyzstan, Osh city
Prospect Razzakova 23

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Phone: (+996) 3222 83222,
(+996) 555 583222, (+996) 775 583222

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