Muzey Sulayman Too – Osh, Kyrgyzstan - Atlas Obscura

Muzey Sulayman Too

Osh, Kyrgyzstan

An outstanding piece of retro Sci-Fi architecture built into a sacred mountain. 


With a bonnet-like facade protruding from the face of a cliff along a sacred mountain, this location would have been the perfect setting for a Bond villain, if Soviet movie makers had made the Russian equivalent of Bond movies, or perhaps a settlement on a newly discovered planet in the Star Trek series.

Muzey Sulayman Too (also spelled Sulaiman-Too) is housed within a combination of natural and human-made caves that accommodate a total of 13 exhibition rooms. The museum is unique in that the building is just as—if not more—interesting than the exhibits in it. 

On display are a mismatch of natural and archaeological items, along with a handful of religious artifacts that border on new-age spirituality. Ancient pots, a modern statue of the Buddha, stuffed animals, plastic figures of a prehistoric human, black and white pictures from the Soviet era, and a chamber for spiritual healing sit incongruously (yet intriguingly) side by side. An overwhelming number of plastic chandeliers light the way for the visitors.

Muzey Sulayman Too is actually the most recent evolution of this location, which was first used in 1949 to house the Museum of Local Lore. The museum in its current form opened in 2004, but the building as can be seen today was completed in 1978 to celebrate Osh’s 3,000th anniversary.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The museum offers great views of the city.

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