Bursa

Bursa was the first capital city of Ottoman Empire in 13th century. The city is known as where Ottoman architects left behind the Seljuk Turkish architecture of the past and developed their own Ottoman mosque architecture which then you can see the most beautiful examples in Istanbul and Edirne. If you have interest in architecture and tiles, you should see Muradiye-Hüdavendigâr Mosque (1366) in Çekirge, the Seljuk-style Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque, 1399) and the early Ottoman Yesil Cami (Green Mosque, 1424).

Ulu Camii or Great Mosque (or Grand Mosque) is a prominent landmark in Bursa’s downtown. With its 2 towering minarets and 20 domes, the building is one of the most impressive and important in Bursa. Ulu Cami is considered the 5th most important mosque in Islam, after those in Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, and Damascus. Funded 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 walls and pillars are decorated by a total of 192 calligraphy samples written by 41 different calligraphers, making it one of the most important collections of Islamic calligraphy in the world. The doors and pulpit are made from skillfully carved walnut wood, and the pulpit contains an engraved scaled model of the solar system. East of the highly ornate mihrap, a centuries-old door curtain from the Mecca Kaaba is displayed in a glass case.

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Green Mosque is part of a large group of buildings located in the eastern side of the city, and these buildings are composed of a mosque, a shrine, a school, a kitchen and a public bath. The mosque is a wonderful blend of architecture and decorative art and was ordered to be built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed I, and opened in the month of January in 1420. The mosque was renovated completely in subsequent years by the Ottomans. Just across the mosque, you can see the Yesil Turbe (Green Tomb), which houses the tomb of Mehmet I and some members of his family.

Other picturesque and important mosques in the city are Yildirim Beyazit mosque (first one built in Ottoman style), Emir Sultan mosque and the Orhan Gazi mosque.

Cumalikizik is accepted as the first settlement and village of Ottoman Empire and it is located about 10-km away from Bursa center. The main attraction in Cumalikizik Village is the beauty of the 270 houses that are made out of adobe, rubble stones and wood. There is also a Byzantine church ruins that were discovered in 1969.

Uludag in Bursa is the most famous ski resort  in Turkey at an altitude of 2543 meters. The mountain is very famous in winters with its’ lovely skiing path and there are cable-cars that you can climb all the way up. You can also visit the mountain in summers if you would like to get some cool air in a hot day.

Bursa City Center and The Ottoman Village of Cumalikizik have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.

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