Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain

3 June 2011

Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain of Kyrgyzstan on UNESCOs World Heritage List

On 1 June, 2011 in Osh Sergey Lazarev, UNESCO Representative to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, gives certificate of inscription of Sacred Mountain Sulaiman-Too in UNESCO World Heritage List to Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva.

"This sacred mountain has for centuries impacted the worldview of our people. Legend has it that Prophet Sulayman (in the Bible: Prophet Solomon) lived here, and now that it has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, it will be revered over the world," said Roza Otunbayeva.

Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain dominates the Fergana Valley and forms the backdrop to the city of Osh, at the crossroads of important routes on the Central Asian Silk Roads. For more than one and a half millennia, Sulaiman was a beacon for travellers revered as a sacred mountain. Its five peaks and slopes contain numerous ancient places of worship and caves with petroglyphs as well as two largely reconstructed 16th century mosques.

One hundred and one sites with petroglyphs representing humans and animals as well as geometrical forms have been indexed in the property so far. The site numbers 17 places of worship, which are still in use, and many that are not. Dispersed around the mountain peaks they are connected by footpaths. The cult sites are believed to provide cures for barrenness, headaches, and back pain and give the blessing of longevity. Veneration for the mountain blends pre-Islamic and Islamic beliefs. The site is believed to represent the most complete example of a sacred mountain anywhere in Central Asia, worshipped over several millennia.

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