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Panoramic view of the city
Bursa is located in Turkey
Location of Bursa
Coordinates: 40°11′N 29°04′E / 40.183°N 29.067°E / 40.183; 29.067
Country  Turkey
Region Marmara
Province Bursa
Settled 202 BC
 - Mayor Recep Altepe (AKP)
 - Three districts 1,036 km2 (400 sq mi)
Elevation 100 m (328 ft)
Population (2009)[1]
 - City 3,150,447
 Density 1,508.52/km2 (3,907/sq mi)
 Urban 2,520,634
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 1600
Area code(s) (+90) 224
Licence plate 16

Bursa is a city in northwestern Turkey and the seat of Bursa Province. With a population of 2,562,828 in 2007,[1] it is Turkey's fourth largest city, as well as one of the most industrialized and culturally charged metropolitan centers in the country.

Bursa is settled on the northwestern slopes of Mount Uludağ in the southern Marmara Region. It is bordered by the Sea of Marmara and Yalova to the north; Kocaeli and Sakarya to the northeast; Bilecik to the east; and Kütahya and Balıkesir to the south.

The city is frequently cited as "Yeşil Bursa" (meaning "Green Bursa") in a reference to the parks and gardens located across its urban tissue, as well as to the vast forests in rich variety that extend in its surrounding region. The city is synonymous with Mount Uludağ which towers behind its core and which is also a famous ski resort. The mausoleums of early Ottoman sultans are located in Bursa and the numerous edifices built throughout the Ottoman period constitute the city's main landmarks. The surrounding fertile plain, its thermal baths, several interesting museums, notably a rich museum of archaeology, and a rather orderly urban growth are further principal elements that complete Bursa's overall picture.

Karagöz and Hacivat shadow play characters were historic personalities who lived and are buried in Bursa. Bursa is also home to some of the most famous Turkish dishes, especially candied chestnuts and İskender kebap. Its peaches are also well-renowned. Among its depending district centers, İznik, historic Nicaea, is especially notable for its long history and important edifices. Bursa is home to the Uludağ University, and its population attains one of the highest overall levels of education in Turkey. The city has traditionally been a pole of attraction, and was a major center for refugees from various ethnic backgrounds who immigrated to Anatolia from the Balkans during the loss of the Ottoman territories in Europe between the late 19th and early 20th centuries.



A miniature style painting of Bursa and Mount Uludağ
Statue of the Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the city government in the centrum
Main square and the shopping center in the Osmangazi region of the city

The earliest known site at this location was Cius, which Philip V of Macedonia granted to the Bithynian king Prusias I in 202 BC, for his help against Pergamum and Heraclea Pontica (modern Karadeniz Ereğli). Prusias renamed the city after himself, as Prusa.

Prusa evolved into one of the largest cities of Mysia and retained its importance for the region throughout the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. Its strategic location on the westernmost end of the famous Silk Road ensured Prusa to remain as one of the largest centers of silk trade throughout the Medieval period.

Bursa became the first major capital city of the early Ottoman Empire following its capture from the Byzantines in 1326. As a result, the city witnessed a considerable amount of urban growth throughout the 14th century. After conquering Edirne (Adrianople) in 1365 the Ottomans turned it into a joint capital city for governing their European realms, but Bursa remained the most important Anatolian administrative and commercial center even after it lost its status as the sole Ottoman capital. The Ottoman sultan Bayezid I built the Bayezid Külliyesi (Bayezid I theological complex) in Bursa between 1390 and 1395[2] and the Ulu Cami (Great Mosque) between 1396 and 1400.[3]

During the Ottoman period, Bursa continued to be the source of most royal silk products. Aside from the local silk production, the city imported raw silk from Iran, and occasionally from China, and was the main production center for the kaftans, pillows, embroidery and other silk products for the Ottoman palaces until the 17th century.

Another traditional artisanship in the city, among many others, is knife production, which still continues today. Historically, the city was a center for the production of horse carriages during the Ottoman period. In the latter half of the 20th century, Bursa became the largest center of motor vehicle production in Turkey.


Bursa International Textiles and Trade Center (BUTTIM)
Zafer Plaza shopping center

Bursa is the center of the Turkish automotive industry.[4][5] Factories of motor vehicle producers like FIAT and Renault, as well as automotive parts producers like Bosch and Mako have been active in the city for decades. The textile and food industries are equally strong, with Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and other beverage brands, as well as fresh and canned food industries being present in the city's organized industrial zones. The top 10 industry corporations in the Bursa province are as follows.[6]

Traditionally, Bursa was famous for being the largest center of silk trade in the Byzantine and later the Ottoman empires, during the period of the lucrative Silk Road. The city is still a major center for textiles in Turkey and is home to the Bursa International Textiles and Trade Center (Bursa Uluslararası Tekstil ve Ticaret Merkezi, or BUTTIM.) Bursa was also known for its fertile soil and agricultural activities, which have decreased in the recent decades due to the heavy industrialization of the city.

Bursa is a major center for tourism. One of the most popular skiing resorts of Turkey is located at Uludağ just next to the city proper. Bursa's thermal baths have been used for therapeutical purposes since Roman times. Apart from the baths that are operated by hotels, Uludağ University has a physical therapy center which also makes use of thermal water.


Uludağ University is located in Bursa and is a prominent university in Turkey's Marmara Region. It was founded in 1975, first as the Bursa University, then re-named as the Uludağ University in 1982. In the 2005–06 academic year, the university had a student body of 47,000. Private Bilgi University has announced plans to open first a two-year and later a four-year university in Bursa within next four years.

Places of interest

Sarcophagus in the Bursa Archaeological Museum
Çelik Palas thermal bath in Bursa
Bursa Clock Tower in historic Tophane district
The contiguous tombs of Karagöz and Hacivat in Bursa
View from hictoric Tophane district in the old city.
Bursa castle
Mount Uludağ, the ancient Mysian Olympus, is one of the most popular skiing resorts in Turkey

A brief list of places of interest in and around Bursa is presented below. For a longer list, see places of interest in Bursa.

  • Irgandi Covered Bridge
  • Yeşil Cami or the Green Mosque
  • Uludağ National Park
  • Bursa city walls
  • Hot springs;
    • Çekirge
    • Armutlu
    • Oylat
    • Gemlik
  • Beaches;
  • Palace and Hipogeum
  • Yıldırım Bazaar
  • Museums;
    • Bursa Archeology Museum
    • Bursa City Museum [1]
    • Bursa Atatürk Museum
    • Bursa Turkish Architecture Museum
    • Islamic Works Museum
    • Mudanya Armistice
    • İznik Museum
  • Cumalıkızık village
  • Bursa Zoo and Botanical Garden (Bursa Hayvanat Bahçesi ve Botanik Parkı)

Ulu Cami (The Great Mosque)

Interior of Ulu Cami, showing the fountain (şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

Ulu Cami is the largest mosque in Bursa and a landmark of early Ottoman architecture, which carried many elements from the Seljuk architecture. Ordered by Sultan Bayezid I, the mosque was designed and built by architect Ali Neccar in 1396–1400. It is a large and rectangular building, with a total of twenty domes that are arranged in four rows of five, and are supported by twelve columns. Supposedly the twenty domes were built instead of the twenty separate mosques which Sultan Bayezid I had promised for winning the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396. The mosque has two minarets.

Inside the mosque there are 192 monumental wall inscriptions written by the famous calligraphers of that period. There is also a fountain (şadırvan) where worshipers can perform ritual ablutions before prayer; the dome over the şadırvan is capped by a skylight which creates a soft, serene light below; thus playing an important role in the illumination of the large building.

The horizontally spacious and dimly lit interior is designed to feel peaceful and contemplative. The subdivisions of space formed by multiple domes and pillars create a sense of privacy and even intimacy. This atmosphere contrasts with the later Ottoman mosques (see for example the works of Suleiman the Magnificent's chief architect Mimar Sinan.) The mosques that were built after the conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, and influenced by the design of the 6th century Byzantine basilica of Hagia Sophia, had increasingly elevated and large central domes, which create a vertical emphasis that is intended to be more overwhelming; in order to convey the divine power of Allah, the majesty of the Ottoman Sultan, and the governmental authority of the Ottoman State.

International relations


Twin towns—Sister cities

Bursa has twenty sister cities. Vinnitsa is the latest to become a sister city of Bursa.[7]

Notable residents

See also



External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Green Tomb at a winter night
Green Tomb at a winter night

Bursa is a city in the Asian part of Marmara Region, Turkey.


Bursa lies in the northwestern part of Turkey near the sea of Marmara. The city was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. It's the fourth largest city in Turkey after Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. It is famous for its peach, chestnut and silk, although lately, heavy industry located in the outskirts of the city has surpassed these traditional industries. As it was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, it has a lot of historical places to see. Furthermore, Uludağ -one of the highest mountains in the Turkey - lies very close to Bursa and is the main winter sports center of Turkey.

Get in

By plane

An airport serving domestic flights can be found in Bursa (Yenişehir Airport, IATA: YEI, ICAO: LTBR). However, in order to get to Bursa from another country by plane, you will have to take a transit flight via one of Turkey's international airports. In most cases, you will probably be arriving to Bursa from the following airports:

  • Istanbul Atatürk Airport
  • Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
  • Ankara Esenboğa International Airport
  • Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport

There are other international airports in Turkey, but these happen to be the biggest.

There are also flights from Antalya, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Izmir, and Trabzon provided by SunExpress [1].

By train

There is no railway in and around Bursa.

By bus

Buses from Istanbul take about 3 hours and cost about 10 euros.

There are bus services from all major cities to Bursa such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya. Prices vary from 10 to 50 Euros based on the distance.

By boat

This is the fastest option from Istanbul:

Take the Yenikapı-Bursa ferry from Istanbul Yenikapı terminal (in the European part of Istanbul near Sultanahmet) to Güzelyalı (80 minutes - 20 Lira).

Güzelyalı is about 20km from Bursa so buses meet the ferry to take passengers to Organize Sanayi metro station (30mins - 3 Lira) in the outer suburbs of the city.

Take the metro to downtown Bursa - get off at Şehre Küstü station for the old section of the city close to the market area (30mins - 2 Lira). The whole journey from Istanbul to the centre of Bursa will take about 2.5 to 3 hours.

All of the ferries are operated by İDO [2]. Tickets can be booked online.

Get around

The city has a metro line connecting downtown with suburbs in the northwest. There is also an extensive bus and dolmuş network. The dolmuşes in Bursa are more likely to be a normal looking white car with a sign on the roof rather than the yellow minibuses that are common in Istanbul.

The Bursa Metro is called Bursaray - for information in Turkish: Bursaray and a map



  • Ulucami, (in downtown), [3]. The "great mosque" of Bursa. Built in early Ottoman period, in 1399, it resembles more of earlier Seljuq buildings of inland Anatolia than the typical Ottoman mosques such as Blue Mosque of Istanbul built later.  edit
  • Orhan Camii ve Külliyesi (Orhan Mosque)
  • Yeşil Camii(Green Mosquee)
  • Muradiye Camii
  • Hüdavendigar Camii
  • Yıldırım Camii
  • Koca Sinan Paşa
  • İshak Paşa Külliyeleri
  • Celal Bayar Müzesi


  • Yeşil Türbe(Green Tomb) is the tomb of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed I (1412-1420) and is the iconic monument of the city.
  • Silk - one of the major industries of Bursa in the past, this is still one of the major draws of Bursa.
  • Koza Han (Silk Bazaar), (in downtown, very near Ulucami), [4]. M-Sa 8AM-8PM. Silk bazaar dating back to 1491. Think of a very historical mall devoted only to silk.  edit


Try the İskender kebap, a dish originated from Bursa. İskender consists of roasted, sliced lamb spread atop diced bread pieces, topped with tomato sauce, served with yoghurt.A similar dish, meatballs instead of sliced lamb only, would be Pideli Kofte which is definetely cheaper and perhaps more delicious.Go to Kayhan Carsisi, very close to Heykel, for best options.

Great place for İskender kebap in Bursa is Pidecioglu, loacted in Bozkurt caddesi, just off Altiparmak caddesi (near the Bursaspor stadium).

  • Cesmeli Hotel, Gümüşçeken Cad. 6, +90 224 224 15 11 - 12. Old and not very clean. Not good value for money. € 25/person with breakfast included.  edit
  • Safran Otel, Ortapazar Cadessi, Arka Sok, 4 (just inside Sultanat Kapi (old city wall gates)), 224-7216. Very nice small hotel in a recently renovated old house close to the centre of town. Staff are very friendly and helpful. Rooms on the ground floor tend to be a little noisy. Note that Googlemaps has this hotel listed twice with one incorrect location. The correct location is just inside the city gate closest to the covered markets. 140TL double with breakfast.  edit

The best budget hotel you can stay is "Hotel Gonluferah", around EUR 70 per night, but having rooms with great views of the city as the hotel is located on the way to the Uludag mountain.


The telephone code of the city is (+90) 224.

Stay safe

Bursa is a safe city. But of course you should always be cautious if you're wandering alone in late night.

Get out

Other sites and places near the city include

  • Uludağ Milli Parkı(Uludag National Park)
  • Çekirge
  • Oylat (Turkish Baths)
  • Gemlik Kaplıcaları(Turkish Baths)
  • Kumla(Beach)
  • Kurşunlu Plajları(Beach)
  • Prusa Kenti Surları(City Wall)
  • Miletopolis (Karacabey)
  • Mirlea (Mudanya)
  • Kirmastı (Mustafa Kemal Paşa)
  • Atranos (Orhaneli)
  • Neopolis (Yenişehir)
  • Ayasofya (Hagia Sofia), Koimesis, Hagios Kiliseleri (Churches)
  • Nikaia Nekropolü,
  • Yıldırım Bedesteni (Yildirim Bazaar)
  • Bursa Arkeoloji Müzesi (Bursa Archelogy Museum)
  • Bursa Atatürk Müzesi (Bursa Atatürk Museum)
  • Bursa Türk İslam Eserleri Müzesi (Bursa Turk Islamic Works Museum)
  • Mudanya Mütareke Müzesi (Mudanya Armistice Museum)
Routes through Bursa
CanakkaleBandirma  W noframe E  EskişehirAnkara
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Simple English

Bursa is a city innorthwestern Turkey and the seat of the Bursa provience.The population of city is about 2 million. Bursa is the fourth largest city,and also one of the most industrializated city in the country.Sometimes the city calls "Yeşil Bursa" which means "Green Bursa" because of the large parks, forests and gardens in the urban area of the city.Bursa is home of Uludağ University. Uludağ is an important ski resort in Turkey.The city has a national park in Uludağ to protect the nature life in the mountinous area.

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