One of the oldest cities in central Asia
Osh is situated on the south of Kyrgyzstan in Fergana Valley. It is the oldest and second largest city in Kyrgyzstan. First fact about this city is that it is more than 3000 years old. The city is the administrative centre of the Osh region. In this area specifically there is a vast heterogeneous mixture of cultures. The variety include Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Russians, Tajiks, and other ethnic groups. A trip from Bishkek is 600 km and the mountains they slightly isolate Osh from the capital city. This could be why the southern culture is a little bit different from the northern culture which has larger russification. Religious rules are more important for people from the Osh region than for the people in Bishkek.
There is a legend that Osh is older than Rome
The main sight of the town is the Sulaiman Too mountain. Sulaiman Too means Throne of Solomon. There you will find an old Muslim cemetery, a new mosque built in 2012, an old mosque on top of the mountain from 1497, and several caves in the mountain. If you were to climb to the top, you will see the whole city around you. It would be an unforgettable moment.
Inside the mountain is a museum where you will find a lot of information about Osh and the history of south Kyrgyzstan. There are many artifacts from Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, and from Zoroastrians.Next, you can see animals which you can find in the Kyrgyzstan and for example life in jurta.
Beautiful city between two worlds
Osh lies at a crossroads along ancient trading routes. This allowed the city to become a very important settlement on the Silk Road. This road has helped connect the cultures of East and West. The time period between the 10th and the 12th centuries it was the third largest city in the Ferghana Valley. In 1762 Osh joined the Khanate of Kokand to became one of the six trading centres of the Khanate. When assimilated into Tsarist Russia in the 19th century the city expanded onto the left bank of the river. With this fusion, European style houses started to appear.
The very rich history is the main reason why there are so many ethnic groups. For example Uzbeks are 50% of the population in the city and this has caused problems with the Kyrgyz. Two cases of violence between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks are known. In 1990 and again in 2010 which was caused by a former president. Nowadays it is relatively peaceful and safe.
You can visit this beautiful city without much concern.