Once home to great civilizations, Bursa cherishes rich history, heritage

Once home to great civilizations, Bursa cherishes rich history, heritage

BURSA – Anadolu Agency
Once home to great civilizations, Bursa cherishes rich history, heritage

Adorned with a rich historic and cultural heritage, the northwestern Turkish city of Bursa still carries the traces of seven centuries of Ottoman history, including some 30 years as its capital.

Known for its natural, cultural and historical atmosphere, the city also shows Turkish soil as the cradle of civilizations, as it has played home to Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans over the millennia.

From the sultan complexes to its beautifully designed mosques, from its greenery to its unique culinary dishes, all these features have made the city a top destination for tourists from both Turkey and abroad.

Including the city’s historical gems on its World Heritage List, UNESCO cited the city’s role in the Ottoman Empire becoming a major world player in the 14th century.

The 700-year-old village of Cumalıkızık still shows this ages-old historic character and atmosphere.

The city also boasts public complexes with mosques, thermal saunas, kitchens, schools, and hospitals built by the Ottoman sultans Orhan Ghazi, Murad I, Yıldırım Bayezid, Çelebi Mehmed, and Murad II.

The tombs of the sultans and antique bazaars are also major attractions.

Among these complexes, Yeşil Küliye built by Sultan Murad II draws visitors worldwide with its gardens and natural splendor.

The Ulu Mosque, with architecture incorporating Ottoman and earlier Byzantine elements, is also a site carrying great significance. 

“Bursa is directly associated with important historical events, myths, ideas, and traditions from the early Ottoman period,” says UNESCO in its description of Bursa on the heritage list, stressing that its complexes are living examples of the urbanization of its time.

“The exceptional city planning methodology is expressed in the relationship of the five sultan kulliyes, one of which constitutes the core of the city’s commercial center, and Cumalikızık, which is the best-preserved waqf village in Bursa,” it added.

Bursa is also known for its breathtaking views from the top of Mt. Uludağ, accessible by cable car, offering unforgettable memories with skiing and other winter sports.

The delicacy of Iskender Kebap, a specialty of the area, has left an indelible mark on both regional and world cuisine. 

Bursa is an ever-present witness to the dawn of a great civilization with its attractions showing the religious, cultural, and technological advancements of the time.

With its myriad attractions, Bursa is only one of the sterling sites drawing visitors worldwide to Turkey.

Turkey attracted 32.4 million foreign visitors in 2017, up from 25.3 million in 2016, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), with 40 million tourists expected this year.

UNESCO World Heritage Site,