The significant commercial role of Bursa throughout history, which was created as the first capital of Ottoman Empire and shaped by kulliyes and villages, in the context of system formed according to early Ottoman architectural traditions, has been revealed with large caravanserais, bedesten, bazaars in the city. Caravanserais Area has been the heart of the city’s economy since 14th century.
The kulliyes, mosques, madrasahs, hammams and tombs having a significant role in the development of the Ottoman Bursa have survived till today without any deterioration. These kulliyes each being a center with social, cultural, religious and educational functions, determined the boundaries of the city are the most important component of the urbanization model and came to life with neighborhoods developed around them within the course of time.
The urbanization model of Bursa, as an outstanding example for Early Ottoman City, became a model for other Ottoman Turkish cities, which were established after Bursa.
Bursa, as the first capital of Ottoman Empire located on the north western slopes of Uludag Mountain, and Cumalikizik founded as a village during the same period, were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014.
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Places to visit
ULUDAG NATIONAL PARK
Uludag National Park, which is situated around 30 km south of Bursa province in the Marmara region of Turkey, was declared in 1961 as a national park. It covers about an area of 13.000 hectares, and is the highest point of the region with its 2543 m high.
Uludag, which was known as Olympos Mysios in ancient time, is the place from where Gods watched Trojan War in the mythology. The mountain is covered with snow between December and May, making it suitable for skiing, and it is one of the most popular winter sports centres in Turkey and Europe.
GRAND (GREAT) MOSQUE
Bursa Grand Mosque (or Great Mosque) is a prominent landmark in Bursa’s downtown. With its two towering minarets and 20 domes, the building is one of the most impressive and important in Bursa. Ulu Cami’i is considered the fifth most important mosque in Islam, after those in Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, and Damascus. It is also included in Bursa’s 2014 UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription.
Commissioned by Sultan Yıldırım Bayezid I, Bursa Grand Mosque was opened in 1399 and built in the Seljuk style of architecture, consisting of both Seljuk and early Ottoman elements. The mosque’s 20 domes are arranged in four rows of five and are supported by 12 columns. This arrangement divides the large, 2200-square meter rectangular room into sections, allowing for a sense of privacy in the midst of the building’s enormity.
Built in the 15th century by architect Haci Ivaz Pasha, the Green Mosque (Yesil Cami) in Bursa takes its name from the green-and-blue tiles that decorate its interior. The mosque is notable for its ornate decorative stonework. The Green Tomb, near the prayer building, contains the tomb of Sultan Mehmed I, who commissioned the building.
Koza Han was originally a major place of trade for silks and other rare goods on the famous ‘Silk Road‘. Here they would buy prominently silk items and use the gifts of a master craftsman they would make items to sell onwards. In modern times the market still sells silk goods and other unique items, at a much lesser amount. The central courtyard is now a popular tea and coffee destination, here customers taste the best homemade food and sweets.