Bursa, Turkey's fourth most populous city, is one of the most livable cities in terms of economy, socio-cultural and natural aspects. As it is a very old settlement area, it carries traces from various civilizations. The city was founded during the Bithynians and Prusians period. Therefore, it was called Bitinya and Prusa at first. The city was founded in the area where İznik Lake is located today. Muslims and Turks came to the region, which was conquered by many civilizations, during the Abbasid and Anatolian Seljuk periods. İznik was even the capital of the Anatolian Seljuk State for a period of time. After the Crusades, it was taken over by the Crusaders and later became the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

The founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman Bey, came very close to the city during his war with the Byzantines, and Orhan Bey took over the city in 1326. İznik was chosen as the capital for 5 years after the establishment of the Ottoman Empire. Bursa lived its golden age during the time of Yıldırım Bayezid. The most beautiful examples of Ottoman architecture were implemented in Bursa and have been preserved as historical structures and works of art. Bursa has always had a great importance for the Ottoman Empire, and even though the city was in the background after Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquered Istanbul, it always maintained its strategic importance. In the years of the Republic, large investments were made in the city, and it has quickly risen to become one of the most attractive cities in Turkey.

Historical Places in Bursa

In an area like Bursa, which will be made the capital after being conquered and will become one of the most important cities of civilizations, there are plenty of traces from history. However, the Ottoman Empire was a significant turning point for the city's future. The newly established state and the imperial structure that followed ensured the city's integration with this culture. The most beautiful mosques, caravanserais, and complexes that remained from the Ottoman era can be found in every corner of Bursa. The Ulu Mosque, built by Yıldırım Bayezid, is one of the most important examples of these structures. The materials used in the mosque and the galaxy symbols inside have resulted in a unique structure. The depiction of the entire universe in ashes is also ironic and beautiful. The exterior of the structure is captivating, and when you enter, it leaves you in awe. It's like entering into a larger structure. It is an epic journey.

The Green Mosque, which is one of the examples of Ottoman architecture in Bursa, was built by Çandarlı Halil İbrahim Pasha and later by his son Çandarlı Ali after his death. The Seljuk influence can be seen in some parts of the mosque, which is named after the green tiles and bricks used. It has a single dome and is covered with lead and marble stones. The structure, which was restored again in 2015, is one of the must-see places to visit in İznik.

For someone who is constantly coming to Bursa or has never been here, one of the first things that come to mind are the bazaars. One of the most beautiful examples of bazaars that still try to adhere to the traditions of the past is Koza Han. Besides the historical texture of the han, you can dine at the restaurants or buy Bursa's local flavors from the shops in the bazaar. The bazaar was built during the Yıldırım Bayezid period. Silk cocoon pods were sold, especially in the years it was built.

The Orhangazi Mosque, which has religious value and is also a historical place for Bursa, was built by Orhan Gazi, as the name suggests. Cut and piled stones, bricks were used in the construction of the mosque. When the construction of the mosque was completed, it also had areas such as a madrasa, hammam, and ashane.

Tirilye is one of the most beautiful places in Bursa. It is one of the sweet towns of Mudanya, a magnificent district. If you come across Tirilye, we recommend you not leave without seeing the famous Tirilye houses. The houses made of adobe and wood do not allow anyone to leave without admiring them. The Byzantine-influenced houses are three-story and have managed to preserve their historical texture. 

Bursa's Natural Beauties

Bursa, one of the most beautiful cities in the country, is so special that it cannot be explored in a short period of time. Each of its districts is beautiful in its own way. It is generous in offering hot springs, canyons, lakes, sea and other natural beauties. Gölyazı, located in the Nilüfer district, has been attracting attention in recent years with its beauty and tranquility. It is an ideal place for a more peaceful and nature-oriented life. Gölyazı, which is located next to a natural wonder, Ulubat Lake, is actually a fishing village. This village, where Greeks used to fish, has lost its importance in fishing after the exchange years. Gölyazı is so small and enchanting that it gives you the feeling of being in a fairy tale. When you wander around the village a little, you will come across a gigantic plane tree.

For someone who is traveling to Bursa, İznik is a must-visit destination. İznik, which has been an important center in every period of history, is like the capital of the beauty of nature. Sansarak Cove and İznik Lake are places that should be on the must-visit list. While traveling towards the canyon through the stream, you will come across beauties such as waterfalls and ponds. It will be a long journey, so we recommend that you eat fish especially at one of the restaurants in the canyon afterwards. İznik Lake is the fifth largest lake in Turkey. The beauty of İznik Lake is complemented by vineyards and orchards surrounding it.

Bursa is rich in terms of lakes. Ulubat Lake is not only valuable in terms of water but also has a unique view. It is under protection. The village of Eskikaraağaç, which is sweet as honey, is placed right next to it. It is also called Stork Village. Because especially in the spring months, stork invasion begins all over the village. If you come to Bursa and Ulubat Lake, we recommend you to visit this village that looks like it came out of fairytale movies.

Sports and Adventure in Bursa

When it comes to sports in Bursa, skiing is undoubtedly the first thing that comes to mind. Uludağ is one of the most important ski resorts in Turkey, located between two hills named Fatintepe and Kuşaklıkaya. The ski resort, which is half an hour away from the city center, is one of the leading winter tourism destinations in the country and worldwide. After the Roman Empire accepted Christianity, monasteries were established on these hills where monks withdrew to seclusion.

What to Eat and Drink in Bursa?

İskender kebab, İnegöl meatballs, chestnut candy, cantık, and pideli köfte are some of the dishes that a person from Bursa knows must be tasted in Bursa. Similarly, someone who tries these delicacies in Bursa will understand the difference. İskender kebab is not a classic doner kebab for Bursa. The meat used in Bursa's İskenders comes from the goats living on the slopes of Uludağ. Quality yogurts and tomatoes accompany this lean meat.

İnegöl meatballs, which first appeared in İnegöl and spread throughout the country, are made with beef and lamb meat. Therefore, you cannot get the same taste you had in İnegöl in every city. Pideli köfte, which is the continuation of the İskender culture, also goes through a similar process. However, the only difference is that the meatballs replace the doner meat. Pideli köfte is made with yeast in Bursa.

Although it may not suit everyone's taste, chestnut candy, which some people are addicted to, has chestnuts collected from Uludağ. Boiled, cleaned chestnuts are dipped in syrup and wrapped in paper. It can be flavored with different tastes according to preference.

How to Get to Bursa?

It is easy to reach Bursa from anywhere in Turkey. Private vehicles or buses are usually preferred from Istanbul. Those who go to Bursa by private car from Istanbul can use car ferries or the Osmangazi Bridge, which was completed in recent years. Buses from all over Turkey arrive at Bursa Bus Station. For those who do not own a car but want to drive, there is also the option of renting a car. Although not well-known, Yenişehir Airport also serves the city. However, there are not many flights or services available. It is also possible to reach the city by sea via Mudanya Güzelyalı and Istanbul Yenikapı.

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