|The city of Bursa,
southeast of the Sea of Marmara, lies on the lower slopes of Uludag (Mt.
Olympos of Mysia, 2443 meters). The city derives its name from its founder
Prusias, King of Bithynia.It subsequently came under Roman, then
rule before falling to Osman Bey in 1326 becoming the first capital of the
Ottoman Empire.Many important
Ottoman buildings remain.
Osman Gazi Street
|Known as "Green
Bursa", the city ,is filed with gardens and parks and overlooks a verdant
plain. It is at the center of an important fruit growing region. Bursa was,
and is still, famous for its silk trade,towel manufacture and thermal
springs. You must taste locally invented Iskender Kebab, a dish of bread,tomato
sauce, strips of grilled meat,melted butter and yoghurt. Candied chestnuts
are another regional speciality.
A tour of the city degins in tne eastern section at the Yesil Turbe (Green
Mausoleum). Set in a garden and distinguished by its paneling of blue
tiles, the mausoieum holds the tiled cenotaph of Sultan Menmet I. Across
the street, the Yesil Mosque of 1424 reflects the new
to Seljuk, aesthetic. A medrese nearby completes the complex which is also
home to the Ethnographical Museum. Before exploring this area, stop for a
glass of tea in one of the traditionai tea houses. Uphill, to the east,
you pass by the Emir Sultan Mosque in its delightful setting, and after
walking through a district of old houses you reach the Yildirim Beyazit
|Now make your way
to Cumhuriyet Square(known locally as Heykel) and stroll along
Avenue to Koza Park where outdoor cafes are set among flowers and
fountains. At the back of the park, a long building. the Koza Han (1490),
houses the trade in Silk cocoons. From here you proceed to the covered
bazaar area, with its narrow streets, caravanserais and bedesten. On the
other side of Koza Park stands the Orhan Gazi Mosque built in 1413 and one
of Bursa's oldest religious buildings. Nearby the large UIu Mosque was
constructed in the Seijuk style. A finely carved walnut mimber and
impressive calligraphic panels decorate the mosque. The sadirvan (ablutions
fountain) lies unusually within the mosque it self under the ceiling of
Walking west from the Ulu Mosque you arrive at Hisar,an old and
picturesque quarter of Bursa. In the park that overlooks the valley are
the mausoleums of Osman, the founder of the
Ottoman Empire, and his son
Orhan Gazi who commanded the army that conquered Bursa.The cafes of
Tophane offer a good place to stop for refreshment. Nearby in Ressamlar
Sokak (Artists Street) local artists work in the open air.
At the Yildiz Park Tea Gardens in the Muradiye quarter, you get a superb
view of the Muradiye Complex. The compound, in a tranquil park-like
setting, contains the Mosque of Sultan Murat II. (1426) built in the style
of the Yesil Mosque and the tombs of Murat II, Cem and Sehzade Mustafa.
These contain some of the loveliest decoration and tile work. The nearby
Ottoman House Museum in a restored 17th century dwelling provides an
interesting glimpse of the lives of wealthy
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|Other places of
interest in Bursa include the Culture Park with the Bursa Archaeological
Museum and the Ataturk Museum on the road to Cekirge.
The western suburb of Cekirge has been known since Roman times for its
warm, mineral-rich springs. Many modern hotels have thermal bath
facilities and you can as well visit the old hamams. Yeni Kaplica (New
Spring) was built by Suleyman the Magnificent's Grand Vizier, Rustem Pasa,
in 1552. The Eski Kaplica (Old Spring), built on the site of the original
Byzantine baths, is the oldest bath. The Karamustafa Pasa baths are
reputed to have the best hot mineral waters in Bursa. Buildings of
interest in Cekirge include the Mosque and Mausoleum of Murat I. and the
tomb of Suleyman Celebi, a religious poet. The monument to Karagoz
commemorates the character whose humorous antics are immortalized in
Turkish shadow puppet theater.
|UIudag is the
largest winter sports center in Turkey and offers a variety of activities,
accommodation and entertainment. Thirty-six kilometers from Bursa, the
slopes are easily reached by car or cable car (teleferik). December to May
are the best months for skiing, although the area, which is a national
park, is well worth a visit at any time of the year for the lovely views
and wonderful fresh air.
A seaside resort town 25 km from Bursa, Mudanya's fine fish restaurants
and nightclubs are popular with the residents of Bursa. The Armistice
Museum is worth a visit. Just 12 km from Mudanya, Zeytinbagi (Tirilye)
exemplifies the architecture and layout of a typical Turkish town.
The Gulf of Gemlik, 29 km from Bursa has wide sandy beaches; Armutlu and
Kumla are the favorites.
Uludag ski center
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