Monday, March 29, 2010
Osku is a city in northwestern Iran in the East Azerbaijan province. It is located southwest of Tabriz and sits on the Sahand mountain range. Based on historical evidence it appears that Osku has replaced its predecessor city, Oshkaya. Osku consists of many gardens, a fact that can be confirmed based on the view from surrounding mountains. It was known as one of the more habitable spots in Azerbaijan and its residents were noted for joining forces with the people of Tabriz in protest of the Soviets during the days of the Constitutional Revolution of Iran.
Osku has a number of historical tourist attractions. It was home to the Susian Cemetery, believed to date back to the Sassanid era, which was demolished in the 80s to make way for a gym. A number of mosques and imamzadehs also add some historical value and local charm to Osku.
Of the pleasant natural attractions of Osku, one can take note of Osku Chay River which takes its source in the northern sector of Soltan Dagh in the mountainous region of Sahand Mountains. In its course it flows through a number of villages of which the picturesque villages of Kandovan and Kohanmoo are worth mentioning. Finally flowing into the Uromieh Lake areas surrounding the river provide places for recreation.
The general area around Osku has traditionally been known as having a very cultured and educated population. The oldest school in Osku is a solid structure located adjacent to the Jameh Mosque and has four chambers. Its exact date of construction is unclear although it is assumed to have been built the same time as the mosque. In 1289 of the Iranian calendar, a second floor was added too the chambers which enabled the founding of Osku’s first elementary school, Razavieh School. A few years after its opening, a plaque for it was produced which in part read “Knowledge or death”.
Dooshab, which in some aspects resembles doogh, and is made from grape or date extracts, is a common and unique treat of the area. Various nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts are also popular souvenirs from Osku. For the more adventurous a local treat called mianpor, made of pealed pears, sugar, apricots, plums and peaches is recommended.
In the proximity of Osku is Hillevar Historical Village, an underground historical village in Osku county near Kandovan. It is currently uninhabited. It is claimed it was built before the Islamic period while it was destroyed during the Mongol attack on Iran. Houses still remain intact. Different sections of the houses such as the kitchen or indoor holding places for animals are identifiable. Excavation operations are going on by the government to find out more about the village.