Bursa, one of the developed cities in Turkey, was surrounded by walls in Bithynia king Prusais I (232-192 B.C.). The first name was the city was also Prusa. Bursa came under domination of Roman Empire after Bithynia Kingdom adhered to Roman Empire in 74 B.C.
Bursa/ Purassa History
Bursa, has been established on the western outskirts of Olympus / Uludağ, whic rises towards the east of the Sea of Marmara. During the Byzantine period, the city was famed for its healing waters and baths, spas and palaces were built here. The town was exposed to Arab raids in the 7th century, captured by Suleiman Kutalmışoğlu, and then again connected to the Byzantine by Alexsios Konneos. Taken by the Ottoman Turks in 1326, Bursa was made the capital of the Ottoman Empire. At the head of the most important historical remains from Prussa is the Fortress of Bursa, buil by the Bthniyans, to which the Ottomans added a Sultanate gate to the east. The Tekfur Palace which had previously been built within the fortress, was restored by the Ottomans and re-named the Palace of Bursa. The Balancık Fortress to the east of the city, and old Byzantine castle, was restored by Osman Gazi. In addition, remains of the Grek Episcopal Place and Church from the Byzantine era and the ruins of an Armenian Church can be seen. The most important Ottoman work in the city centre is teh Great MOsque (Ulu Cami), with two minarets. The mosque built by Yıldırım Beyazit in 1400, with hewn stone walls and has 20 domes. The Green Mosque and complex built in 1419 are uniquely lined with the finest examples of green tiles and marble stones. Th Green Inn (Yeşil Han), soup kitchen and bath house are in ruins. Within the complex is a wide and high walled classroom chamber with two small side rooms, and a Green theological school consisting of 13 rooms, today used as a museum of antiquities. Bursa Archaeological Museum, is inside the Cultural Park. The Çelebi Mehmet Mausoleum in the Orhan Gazi Mosque, the theological school in the Murat mosque, the six-domed Emir Sultan Mosque, the Grand Bazaar and Muradiye Mosque and Mauseleums, the Hamza Bey Mosque and the Timurtas Mosque are other works. Bursa has been famous for hot springs since teh ancient period Spa baths were built during several eras, espicially the Roman period. Some of them were restored during the Turkish periods, as well as new bath being built. The ancient Thermal Spa (Eski Kaplica) is the largest in Bursa. The New Thermal Spa (Yeni Kaplıca) was built in 1552 by Rustem Pasha, and consists of three sections Olympos was the name of today’s rest, touristic and ski resort, Uludağ in the ancient period. The 2500-meter-high mountain of is formed of granite, marble and silt, and covered with dense forests. We go to the ski resort from the city with a cable car. There are 13 pistes, 8 chair-lifts and 7 teleski lifts at Uludağ. The activities are Alpine and Nordic skiing and snowboarding with helicopters, big foot, ice skating, and snowmobiles. Here, the touristic accomosation facilities and restaurants serve bıth domestic and international tourist throughout both the summer and the winter. Uludağ is also ideal for trekking and hiking tours. Bursa is also Türkiye’s centre of the automotive production. Further, there are textile yarn and fabric dyeing and production to world standars, and authentic shops and modern shopping malls are available in the city.
Known for: Bursa is the home of the Iskender Doner Kebab. The Inegöl meat-balls are also world famous. Candied chestnuts and chocolate covered chesnuts are unique in the world.
Today, Bursa is one of the most important towns of Türkiye with its Çekirge and Eski thermal springs, its touristic thermal hotels, its woven and textile products, its silk, and the skiing and holiday resorts at Uudağ.
GREAT MOSQUE OF BURSA
It is in the city center, next to Grand Bazaar. It was built with the spoils obtained from Battle of Nicopolis in years between 1396 and 1400 by Bayezit the Thunderbolt. It is a monumental example of multilegged and multi-domed mosque common in the first period of Ottomans. 20 domes cover the main venue in size of 50 to 63 meters.
Also, the fountain is inside the mosque as a feature of the period. There is a fountain as a shape of pool with a sprinkler inside which is close to the center of interior venue.
Pulpit is a very valuable work of art which was made in carpentry (meshing) technique. Pulpit, made by Mehmet Usta in 1571, reflects the rich stonework of the period.
GREEN MOSQUE AND GREEN MAUSOLEUM
The mosque which is in Yeşil District was built by Architect Hacı Ivaz Pasha in years between 1419 and 1424 in request of Mehmet I Çelebi. Worship place with a rectangular plan is divided in two with Bursa arch, and these two areas are covered with domes with 12.5 meters in diameter. Ivans open to worship place in direction of east and west. Two minarets of the mosque which’s fountain is under the central dome are renewed.
It contains rich examples of Stone carving and tile arts. Tiles covering interior walls and maksoorahs found life in niche with the most beautiful examples of the period.
Green Mausoleum where Mehmet I Çelebi and royal family members lie is in the south of the mosque. Mausoleum covered with turquoise colored tiles is entered from crown door. Interior walls, niche and sarcophagus of Mehmet I Çelebi is covered with tiles.
Madrasa building (Yeşil Madrasa, Sultaniye Madrasa) in the west of the mosque serves as Turk Islamic Art Museum.
MURADİYE (MURAT II) MOSQUE
Külliye, which was built by Murat II who also gave the name of the mosque in years between 1425 and 1426, consists of madrasa, cultivation, bath and mousoleums besides the mosque. Worship area is covered with two domes and it has a rectangular plan. Niche wall is covered with tiled panels for two meters.
12 mausoleums in the garden of the Muradiye Külliye lie under plane trees belong the sultan and princes. Mausoleum of Murat II is also in here and the other mausoleums of the princes are; Prince Mustafa who was killed by his father Suleiman the Magnificent, and Prince Cem Sultan who was son of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror died in Italy on his exile.
Çekirge region is the region where natural hot spring waters which heal many diseases come out. During the Justinian (527-565) period, baths were built to balance the temperature of hot water. Theodora, spouse of Justinian, came and organized entertainments with her 4000 personage in Çekirge.
Hot spring tourism of this region has developed because of the easy transportation possibilities from Istanbul .
Uludağ National Park located 32 km south of Bursa is one of the important winter sports and winter tourism center of Turkey with the height of over 2500 meters. Ski resorts and sufficient accommodation opportunities give an indispensible holiday region to Uludağ. It is an attraction point in all seasons, for ski season in winters between December 20 and March 20, and for camping and picnic purposes in summers. It is 40 km away from Bursa, and 60 km away from the airport.
OTTOMAN VİLLAGE: CUMALIKIZIK
This historic village 10 km away from Bursa was established on the slopes of Uludağ. Cumalıkızık Village which protected the civil architectural pattern of Ottoman period was established in the 14th century when Ottomans settled around Bursa and İznik. Existing buildings which have 300 years past is an important settlement example without many examples has come to today away from fire.
Stone-paved roads of Cumalıkızık where spring waters flow are too tight in some areas not to allow vehicle passage.
Ground floor of two or three-storey houses were built with wooden horizontal beamed rubbles, while upper floors were built with mud-filled wooden skeleton system.
In the museum at the village square, many goods are on display belonging to the past of the village. Cumalıkızık which is the focus of attention of local and foreign tourists with its historical houses, mosque and even cemetery, can be reached in half an hour with minibuses and city buses.