Places to Visit in Bursa

Things to Know About Bursa

Bursa, a provincial-level center located in the Marmara Region, is renowned for its lush greenery and as a major fruit-growing region. With a population of over 3 million people, the city boasts numerous parks and gardens that add to its natural charm.

For food enthusiasts, Bursa is a must-visit destination, especially to try the famous Iskender Kebap, a mouth-watering dish considered one of the best in Turkish cuisine. The city’s candied chestnuts are also a delectable dessert that one should not miss.

Bursa is known for three notable commodities – peaches, urban legend, and the famous Turkish shadow puppets. The city has many religious monuments, including mosques, tombs (Turbe), and baths, which are highly regarded in Anatolia. One of the most remarkable monuments is the Yesil Cami (Green Mosque), which features a beautifully carved marble doorway and is a noteworthy piece of Anatolian architecture.

The Yesil Türbe is another significant building in Bursa, built in the new Turkish style. The Green Tomb is located right across from it and is decorated intricately with a green garden set against turquoise tiles. The Medrese complex is also situated nearby, housing the Ethnographical Museum, which is a must-visit attraction.

Bursa boasts an array of stunning architectural sites, each a masterpiece in its own right. The Yildirim Beyazit Mosque is particularly significant, as it was the first mosque built in the new Ottoman style, while the Emir Sultan Mosque lies in a serene setting. The Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque), constructed in the Seljuk style with exquisite calligraphic wall decorations, is another notable attraction.

The Muradiye Complex, featuring a mosque and tombs of important Ottomans, is a must-see site for visitors. The Ottoman Museum offers an insight into the customs and culture of people from that era through its lively exhibits.

Bursa also offers many amazing attractions, including warm mineral baths. Turkish baths (hamam) are a must-visit, with many options to choose from. The Karamustafa Pasa Baths offer some of the best hot mineral waters, while the Eski Kaplica (Old Spring) in the Çekirge district is not only the oldest in Bursa but also in Turkey.

After exploring the downtown area, visitors should make a point of visiting the Koza Han, an architectural marvel and former silk trade center from the Ottoman Empire. This building is a testament to Bursa’s rich history and is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

Places to Visit in Bursa

Koza Han (Silk Market)

Kozahan is a remarkable two-storey building situated between Bursa Grand Mosque and Orhan Mosque. Constructed in 1491 by the renowned architect Abdul Ula Bin Pulat Sah, this building has significant historical and cultural value as a representative example of Ottoman heritage.

In the past, Kozahan was a bustling marketplace for silk cocoons, which were used to produce high-quality fabrics worn by the affluent for centuries. This tradition, originating from Central Asia, spans nearly a millennium.

The ground floor of Kozahan houses a magnificent sadirvan (fountain) and 95 rooms surrounding a central courtyard. While silk trade is no longer organized here, the market still offers a range of affordable, high-quality silk products such as fabrics, shawls, and dowry items.

The architecture of Kozahan is typical of Ottoman style, featuring arched, covered passageways and a central courtyard. While the building has been recently renovated, it still retains its original charm and character. The establishment boasts a modern patio with century-old oak trees and comfortable seating arrangements, including low tables and sofas in niches opposite the shops.

Although there are stores selling silk garments, scarves, and some table silver, Kozahan may not offer the same level of silk trade as it once did. Nonetheless, it remains a must-visit destination for those interested in Ottoman heritage, architecture, and the history of silk production in Turkey.

The Muradiye Mosque Complex

The Muradiye Mosque complex is located in a beautiful neighborhood in Bursa and was constructed in 1426. The complex includes the Mosque of Sultan Murat II, which is the main structure, as well as the tombs of numerous early Ottoman princes and princesses, Muradiye Madrasa, Muradiye Bath, Muradiye Hospice, a fountain, epitaphs, and several other tombs.

The complex is also home to two old Ottoman houses, which have been converted into museums. Additionally, there is a historic Turkish bath within the complex.

The first project undertaken in the complex was the construction of the mosque, which was completed in 1426. The mosque features a simplified inverse T plan and has four large domes. The walls of the mosque are adorned with hexagonal tiles in shades of turquoise and dark blue.

The mosque also has two minarets, with the one on the right being older than the one on the left due to earthquake damage in the past. The mosque suffered fire damage early in its history, and when it was rebuilt, Rococo style was employed in 1904 to create intricate designs for both the interior and exterior of the religious building.

Several tombs can also be found within the complex, including the tomb of Sultan Murad II, Şehzade Ahmed, Cem Sultan, Şehzade Mahmud, Şehzade Osman, Şehzade Mustafa, Mahidevran Hatun, Şehzade Mehmed, Gülşah Hatun, Ebe Hatun, Hüma Hatun, Sittişah Hatun, the Saraylilar, and Şirin Hatun.

Overall, the Muradiye Mosque complex is a remarkable testament to the Ottoman architectural style and the history of Bursa, making it a must-visit for those interested in history and culture.The Muradiye Mosque complex in Bursa includes the Muradiye Mosque, Madrasa, Bath, Hospice, and several tombs of early Ottoman princes and princesses. The Mosque, built in 1426 by Murad II, follows a simplified inverse T plan and is adorned with hexagonal tiles in turquoise and dark blue. It has four major domes and a minaret on the right, which is older than the one on the left. After suffering damage from a fire, the mosque was reconstructed in Rococo style in 1904 with intricate designs both inside and out.

To the west of the mosque lies the Madrasa, built in brick and stone, featuring a central courtyard surrounded by student rooms and a classroom at the back, covered by a dome. The exterior entrance is adorned with brick. The madrasa has undergone several restorations, and thus does not have its own construction inscription. The mosque, on the other hand, has an elaborate inscription indicating its construction in 1426 by Murad II. Dark blue and turquoise tiles decorate the interior of the mosque.

The tomb of Murad II is situated in the complex and features a square plan topped with a dome left open at the top. The construction date is unclear, with some sources indicating it was built before his death in 1451 and others suggesting it was commissioned by his son Mehmed II in accordance with Murad II’s will. The building is constructed using bricks and stone, with a vaulted gallery surrounding the dome resting on Byzantine capitals. The entrance is adorned with an impressive wooden canopy carved in relief and embellished in star patterns. An annex contains four additional tombs, while the remaining eleven tombs belong to the rest of the Sultan’s family and are decorated in tiles. In the 1950s, the Madrasa was converted into a tuberculosis clinic and is currently a medical center.

The Grand Mosque (Ulu Camii)

Bursa’s Ulu Cami, also known as “The Grand Mosque,” is an iconic building that dates back to the late 14th century. Yıldırım Bayezid commissioned the mosque in 1396-99, following his victory at Nicopolis the previous year, as a symbol of gratitude. Originally, Bayezid planned to build 20 masjids in the city, but his mentor Emir Sultan advised him to build just one in a grand manner instead. As a result, the Grand Mosque became the largest example of multi-domed architecture in Ottoman style and is considered one of the holiest sites in Islam, ranked fifth among other holy places including Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, and Damascus.

The Grand Mosque has a rectangular plan and three entrances: one on each of its eastern, western, and northern facades. The northern entrance, which is made of marble, is more elaborate than the other two. The mosque’s interior is adorned with intricate calligraphy, stained glass windows, and over 200 monumental columns that support the 20 domes. The mosque’s central dome is the largest and is supported by four massive pillars. The mosque also features a fountain and a large courtyard that can accommodate thousands of worshippers.

The mosque, boasting 20 domes each with a diameter of 11 meters, is supported by pendatives and arches. The interior features 12 pillars which stretch along the square-shaped inner walls and a central dome measuring 17×17 meters that is covered in glass. In the center of the mosque, beneath the glass dome, is a fountain consisting of 16 different compartments for washing hands before prayer.

The walls are adorned with 129 inscriptions by renowned calligraphists, including Abdulfettah Efendi, Mustafa Izzet Efendi, Sami Efendi, and Sheik Effendi, showcasing different calligraphy styles. These writings display the 99 names of Allah written in “celi sulus” and “kufi” script on all of the pillars. Additionally, Sultan Mahmud II contributed a calligraphic writing to the mosque’s decorations.

The mosque’s pulpit was created using “kundekari” technique without nails or any other joining elements, making it a remarkable piece of artwork. It was constructed by Hadji Muhammed bin Abdulaziz bin Ibnu’d-Devaki. The eastern and western reliefs on the pulpit represent the solar system and Milky Way galaxy, respectively. Above the pulpit’s door, an epitaph board confirms that the mosque was constructed in 1399 under the order of Yıldırım Beyazid. Vav ‘و’ shapes with tulip designs, symbolizing Allah (cc) God, can be found in every corner of the mosque.

Green Mosque & Tomb

The Green Mosque, located in Bursa, Turkey, was constructed by the renowned architect Hacı Ivaz Pasha upon the request of Ottoman Sultan Celebi Mehmet, between 1415 and 1419. The mosque’s interior ornamentations and handiwork were made by period painters Haci Ali and Ilyas Ali. Famous artist Mehmet Mecnun furnished the mosque with splendid tiles as well. Along with the mosque, there is also a mausoleum, a madrasah, and Turkish Baths.

The mihrab in the Green Mosque is a magnificent example of tile art. Its bluish-green tiles are adorned with turquoise ornaments, and the mosque takes its name from this mihrab. The Green Mosque is well-known for its tile mosaics, which decorate the muezzin’s pulpit and Sultan’s dais.

The Green Mosque was intentionally built in a reverse T-plan, and its facades were made with marble. There are four adorned windows in the mosque, each containing two mihrabs and four niches with railings where incomplete scriptures are engraved around the center of each window. Its interesting architecture and ornamental stonework make it one of the most beautiful mosques in Bursa.

The construction of the Green Mosque’s impressive stalactite gateway took three years to complete, and it presents a monumental sight. Visitors can learn about the mosque’s construction history from the 2-3 meter long inscription on the gateway. Within the vestibule, two Byzantine columns can be found. From there, the vestibule opens up to side rooms on the eastern and western parts, which have groined vaults and low entrances leading to the middle chamber.

The mosque’s masterpiece is undoubtedly the tile-adorned mihrab painting, which features intricate geometric patterns. Iron accents, doors, windows, and cabinets throughout the mosque were also expertly crafted. As the Green Mosque remains unfinished, it is believed to have been used for meetings by various officials at some point in its history, perhaps due to the sudden death of the Sultan or because of the rise of new power in Istanbul during this period.

Green Tomb

The Green Tomb, situated in Bursa, was established in 1421 by Sultan Çelebi Mehmet and it is positioned above the Green Mosque. The building’s design is attributed to the skilled architect Haci Ivaz Pasha and is considered a fine example of Ottoman architecture.

The Green Tomb is one of the most significant mausoleums in Bursa, renowned for its green tiles. Its octagonal design features a burial vault, with the Seljuk-style dome located on the lowest floor. The tomb’s eight compartments feature magnificent windows, decorated with verses from the Koran and Prophet Mohammad’s deeds on their window pediments made from bullet-shaped tiles, evoking an image of heaven above.

The tile-work mihrab in this tomb is truly fascinating and is regarded as an artistic masterpiece. Inside the octagonal structure, there are several sarcophagi corresponding to Çelebi Sultan Mehmet, his sons and daughters. Poems, written on white, blue, yellow, and navy tiles, also adorn the interior of the Green Tomb, adding to its magnificence.


Cumalıkızık is a charming village located in the Yıldırım district of Turkey, just 10 kilometers east of Bursa. This village boasts a rich history dating back to the Ottoman Empire’s founding, and it features a number of well-preserved examples of Ottoman architecture.

As one of 14 villages that end in -kızık, Cumalıkızık was initially established to provide income for the Orhan Gazi Mosque located in Bursa’s historic city center. Its name comes from the fact that people from surrounding villages would gather here for Friday prayers, with “Cuma” meaning “Friday” in Turkish. Today, only a handful of these Kızık villages remain, including Değirmenlikızık, Fidyekızık, Derekızık, and Hamamlıkizik – the villages that once had hamams.

There are 270 Ottoman-era houses still standing in Cumalıkızık, with about 180 of them still inhabited and many having undergone restoration. These houses are typically two to three stories tall and constructed of wood, rubble stones, and adobe. The narrow cobblestone streets feature gutters down the center to channel rainwater, adding to the village’s old-world charm.

While there aren’t specific attractions in Cumalıkızık, it’s a wonderful place to wander the streets and soak in the authentic atmosphere of the past. This region is rich with historical villages, and many of them are included in Bursa’s UNESCO World Heritage listing.

The Historic Town of Iznik (Nicaea)

Located in northwestern Turkey, Iznik is a historic town situated on the shore of Lake Iznik, just 77 kilometers northeast of central Bursa. With its significance in early Christian history, Iznik, formerly known as Nicaea, was the site of the First and Second Councils of Nicaea which set the foundations of Christianity, including the Nicene Creed and the role of icons in Christianity.

Throughout its history, Iznik played an important role in the hands of various empires. It was claimed by one of Alexander the Great’s generals in 316 BC, served as the capital of the Seljuk Turks for a brief period in the 11th century, and was the Byzantine emperors’ capital-in-exile in the 13th century when Constantinople was under Crusader rule. The Ottomans captured Iznik in 1331 and its popularity grew with the production of colorful tiles that remain unmatched to this day.

While the town may not appeal to all travelers as a site-seeing destination, those with an appreciation for the remnants of Western culture will be delighted. Visitors can explore the preserved segments of the Roman-Byzantine walls that once surrounded the entire town, and view the various gates and portions of the embattlements that still exist today, such as the Istanbul gate located in the northern section of town.

Another must-see attraction in Iznik is the Aya Sofya, a church converted into a mosque during the Justinian era, which still contains some preserved mosaics and frescoes inside.

During the Ottoman era, Iznik became renowned for its remarkable tile art, which was used in many famous mosques in Istanbul and other cities. Today, the town’s ceramic industry has been revived and visitors can browse handmade tiles and other crafts in shops located in the town center.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

There are no posts to show right now.