“Bursa” The First Ottoman Capital Today – Fahmida Mehreen
Turkey, the Eurasian country, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. People from all around the world travel to different destinations in Turkey, including the modern-day capital of Istanbul, which hosts key attractions like the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque), Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and many more. Places in Turkey illustrate the elaborate history of Muslim reign in this region along with the significant rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire.
Besides Istanbul, one of the other major cities of attraction in Turkey is Bursa, located at the southeast of the Sea of Marmara and lies on the lower slopes of Mount Uluda?. Bursa is the first capital of the Ottoman Empire and has gotten its name from the founder King Prusias of Bithynia. From the Roman Empire, it became a part of the Ottoman Empire in 1326 under the leadership of Orhan Gazi.
Bursa is a green city, homage to many parks and gardens along with uncountable historical sites depicting imagery of the Ottoman rule. Because of the greenness of the city, the nickname of Bursa is “Ye?il Bursa” (Green Bursa). The city is well known for its fresh grown fruits like peaches and tomatoes. The silk from Bursa is also renowned for its exclusiveness and excellent quality. At the heart of the city, lies a Silk Market, locally called Koza Hani where products like silk shirts, shawls, rugs, mats and home-wares are available for a pick, along with other accessories and decoration pieces which are available for purchase for the visitors. This silk market is more popular among the tourists than the locals. Travellers from different parts of the globe, particularly from Europe, visit this silk market and get their baskets full.
The most convenient way to get to Bursa is to start the tour from Istanbul. It is approximately 2 hours by road from Istanbul to Bursa. One may take a day-tour package from one of the many travel agencies, or can decide on a couple of days’ stay at Bursa. Either ways, tourists can take bus from Istanbul, move across the sea by ferry, and land in the docks of Bursa, getting off at the city center. Alternatively, one can simple hop on the ferry and reach the docks in Bursa from where they can take a bus to Bursa main. In that case, fast ?DO car ferries travels speedily between Istanbul’s Yenikap? docks and Güzelyal? which is at the east of Mudanya and 30 kilometers i.e. 19 miles northwest of Bursa on the south shore of the Sea of Marmara. From docks at Yenikap? and Pendik with Yalova, buses can take you to Bursa.
The city tour can start from the east of the city with Ye?il Tu?rbe (Green Mausoleum) as the first attraction. It is more commonly known as the Green Tomb, where the fifth Ottoman ruler, Sultan, Mehmed I, is laid. There is a nicely maintained prayer area for Muslims to perform Salah and other forms of supplications, if they wish to. It is a very peaceful and quiet place under the shade of large trees and a neat park besides the mausoleum building. The striking Ottoman architecture of the building is truly mesmerizing. Even through it is called “Green Tomb” the building is blue in color. It gives a radiant look under the sun during the day and serene sensation at dusk.
Other historic sites to see in Bursa are the Tomb of Hazrat Osman (RA), Bursa Clocktower, Muradiye Complex, the Great Mosque, Uludag Ski Center, and many more. If you are an outdoor activity person, you can go for a barbeque lunch in one of the nearby parks. Based on your interest, that is whether you prefer religious sites, museums, historic sites, shopping, or food, you can browse through the internet and decide on your choices and make a travel itinerary. Usually, it is possible to cover the major attractions by a day-tour. However, if you wish to witness the tranquil and soothing atmosphere of the night in Bursa, you can book a hotel or a motel for a night’s stay.
In the evening, one can stroll down the pavements of Bursa and enjoy the evening breeze. By the roadside, he or she can sit down for a puff from waterpipe coupled with tempting Turkish Delights or Baklava, the traditional Turkish assortments. The holidaymaker can select one of the fine restaurants for dinning. Turkish kebabs are appreciated worldwide. For local cuisines, places such as Bursa Kebapcisi, By Ahtapotus, Zennup 1844 and Kayhan Koftecisi have been rated well on TripAdvisor. For running double-check, you can browse other sites or even ask the locals to suggest a place where they would love to eat. For cheap eats, you may eat from small shops and carts by the streets. On the bright side, no matter where you eat, you can be more or less convinced that the quality of the food is fair and it will not give you an upset stomach (unless you are intolerant to spicy foods). Turkish foods are usually spicy and are best enjoyed with waterpipe, followed by mouthwatering desserts after the main course. At night, you can stop for a cup of tea at a nearby tea stall and enjoy the coolness of this gorgeous Eurasian city.
Therefore, the city of 1.9 million populations is waiting to welcome you. Add it on your holiday list and when the Almighty wills, do not miss your opportunity to plan a trip to this enthralling city with your friends, family or beloved ones, or go one a solo-trip to relish the cozy summer in a cool town by the Sea of Marmara.