Bursa’s dungeons reveal ancient violence
Zindan (dungeon) Gate, which was built in the Bithynia Kingdom 2,500 years ago, has been unearthed in the northwestern province of Bursa and is set to open to visitors next year.
Restoration work has been ongoing at Zindan Gate, located in the last part of Bursa’s dungeons in the Alacahırka neighborhood. The dungeon is made up of a “bloody well,” “torture room” and “corridors connected to the tower.”
Bursa is on the UNESCO list with its seven different regions. “The city offers heritage not only from the Ottoman era but also from the Byzantine, Roman and Bithynia eras. The walls of the Bithynia era are still here. An area of one million square meters are surrounded with four kilometer walls,” said Bursa Metropolitan Mayor Recep Altepe.
Altepe said traces of those who had spent their life in Bursa before the Ottomans and Turks, have been unearthed one by one.
“The walls could not be seen in the past. The ruined walls were covered with grass. Most of the walls were demolished and houses were built in their places. With expropriation and cleaning work, now the entire city walls are being unearthed and are being restored,” the mayor said.
Within the scope of the work to unearth the walls, the mayor said they have started restoring the Saltanat Gate. “Next will be Fetih [Conquest] Gate, Yer [Ground] Gate, Tahtakale Yokuş Street Gate, Zindan Gate and Kaplıca Gate after that. We are now working on Zindan Gate. Zindan Gate was surrounded with buildings in the past. Moreover, there was an apartment building in the center of its three towers. There were weaving shops around the apartment building. Its surroundings have been cleaned from the buildings. The details of the walls and life inside the walls have begun to come to light. There are dungeons and ‘bloody wells.’ After the Yedikule Dungeons in Istanbul, the one in Bursa is the second example,” he explained.
Altepe said once the restoration is finished, the region will turn into a nice area for tourism with cafes and sitting areas.
“The city walls, which were not even visible 15 years ago, have now come to light. Zindan Gate, with its towers with three bastions, walls and dungeons will be ready after the New Year. It will be finished within a short time and add great value to Bursa,” the mayor said.