Welcome to Bursa
Bursa is an industrial center of about two million inhabitants. It is famed for its hot springs, glazed chestnuts, and karagöz shadow puppet theater. Mostly though, Bursa has many great works of early Ottoman architecture. Like other heritage sites across Turkey, these monuments are scrupulously well maintained and open to the public.Bursa was the first capital of the Ottomans. At the time of its capture by the Ottomans in 1326, ancient “Prusa” was a small hillside fortress, the hisar, built on a spur on the lower slope of the Ulu Dağ. Upon capturing the city, Orhan Gazi (reigned 1326-1359) moved his court into its existing citadel and transformed its church into a mosque. He and his father Osman (reigned 1288-1326) were both buried next to the mosque. This first dynastic complex was destroyed by the 1855 earthquake. Only the two royal türbes (mausolea) were rebuilt. The rest of the site is now a public park and affords views over the city below.
the bazar district
After moving to Bursa, Orhan Gazi began construction of a new city center outside the walls of the hisar, at the foot of its eastern gate. The new center consisted of his mosque complex—only the Orhan Camii survives—the Emir Hani (wholesaling center/hostels for merchants) and pazars (covered retail shopping streets).
Interior of the Ulu Cami (built 1400). 19th-century calligraphy panels hang from every wall and pillar. The art of “hurufiye” (esoteric and symbolic use of calligraphy) flourished in Ottoman lands in the second half of the 19th century. (ph. Jeremy Gunn)
The Yıldırım complex was built by “Yıldırım” (“Thunder & Lightning”) Beyazit I (reigned 1389-1402).