Bursa Province

Bursa is a city in northwestern Turkey and the administrative center of Bursa Province. The fourth-most populous city in Turkey and second-most populous in the Marmara Region, Bursa is one of the industrial centers of the country. Most of Turkey's automotive production takes place in Bursa.

As of 2019, the Metropolitan Province was home to 3,056,120 inhabitants, 2,161,990 of whom lived in the 3 city urban districts (Osmangazi, Yildirim and Nilufer) plus Gursu and Kestel, largely conurbated.

Bursa was the first major and second overall capital of the Ottoman State between 1335 and 1363. The city was referred to as Hüdavendigar meaning "God's Gift" in Ottoman Turkish, during the Ottoman period, while a more recent nickname is Yeşil Bursa  in reference to the parks and gardens located across its urban fabric, as well as to the vast and richly varied forests of the surrounding region. Mount Uludağ, the ancient Mysian Olympus, towers over it, and has a well-known ski resort. Bursa has rather orderly urban growth and borders a fertile plain.

The mausoleums of the early Ottoman sultans are located in Bursa, and the city's main landmarks include numerous edifices built throughout the Ottoman period. Bursa also has thermal baths, old Ottoman mansions, palaces, and several museums.

The shadow play characters Karagöz and Hacivat are based on historic personalities who lived and died in Bursa in the 14th century.

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 such as the building of hospitals, caravanserais and madrasas throughout the 14th century, with the first official Ottoman mint established in the city.After conquering Edirne (Adrianople) in East Thrace, the Ottomans turned it into the new capital city in 1363, but Bursa retained its spiritual and commercial importance in the Ottoman Empire.

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 centre for the kaftans, pillows, embroidery and other silk products for the Ottoman palaces until the 17th century. Devshirme system was also implemented in Bursa and its surroundings where it was negotiated between the authorities and locals. For example, during the 1603-4 levy, the villagers of a Christian village called Eğerciler, in Bursa, declared that they were responsible for providing sheep to the capital, and the children of the village were very much needed as shepherds.

They asserted that even though they were not obliged to give any children for the army, the officers took some anyway, and that they should be returned. The villagers’ claim that it was in tremendous need of future shepherds was taken seriously by the state, and a decree commanded the return of the children.

 Bursa was also notable for its numerous hammams (bath) built during the reign of Suleiman such as the Yeni Kaplıca. As it was a significant cultural and trade hub, traders, most of whom were Armenians, became very wealthy.

 However, this legacy of cultural pluralism in Bursa almost entirely ended due to the events that took place from 1895 to 1925, namely the Hamidian massacres, the Armenian genocide, and the population exchange.

Following the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Bursa became one of the industrial centres of the country. The economic development of the city was followed by population growth and Bursa became the 4th most populous city in Turkey.


Ottoman architecture in Bursa

The city has traditionally been a pole of attraction, and was a major centre 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. The most recent arrival of Balkan Turks took place between the 1940s and 1990s, when the People's Republic of Bulgaria expelled approximately


150,000 Bulgarian Turks to Turkey. About one-third of these 150,000 Bulgarian Turkish refugees eventually settled in Bursa (especially in the Hürriyet neighborhood). With the construction of new industrial zones in the period between 1980 and 2000, many people from the eastern provinces of Turkey came and settled in Bursa.


Bursa stands on the northwestern slopes of Mount Uludağ on the banks of the Nilüfer River, in the southern Marmara Region. It is the capital city of Bursa Province, which borders 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.

Bursa has a Mediterranean climate under the Köppen classification, and dry-hot summer subtropical climate (Csa) under the Trewartha classification. The city has hot, dry summers that last from June until September. Winters are cool and damp, also containing the most rainfall. There can be snow on the ground which will last for a week or two. Air pollution is a chronic problem in Bursa.

Traditionally, Bursa was famous for being the largest centre 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 centre for textiles in Turkey and is home to the Bursa International Textiles and Trade Centre (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 centre for tourism. One of the most popular skiing resorts of Turkey is located at Mount 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 centre which also makes use of thermal water.

Bursa has a metro (Bursaray), trams] and bus system for inner-city public transport, while taxi cabs are also available. Bursa's Yenişehir Airport is 20 mi (32 km) away from the city centre. The citizens of Bursa also prefer Istanbul's airports such as Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport for flights to foreign countries, due to Istanbul's proximity to Bursa. There are numerous daily bus and ferry services between the two cities.


Bursa – Mt. Uludağ gondola lift

The 8.8 km (5.5 mi) long Bursa Uludağ Gondola (Turkish: Teleferik) connects Bursa with the ski resort areas 1,870 m (6,140 ft) high on the mountain Uludağ.

The only railway station in Bursa is the Harmancık station on the Balıkesir-Kütahya railway, which was opened in 1930.

The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Bursa, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 62 min. 12% of public transit riders ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 18 min, while 31% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 8.1 km (5.0 mi), while 17% travel for over 12 km (7.5 mi) in a single direction.


Places of interest

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

Mosques and külliye complexes

•             Bursa Grand Mosque and külliye

•             Yeşil Mosque and külliye

•             Bayezid I Mosque and külliye

•             Muradiye Mosque and külliye

•             Emir Sultan Mosque and külliye

•             Orhan Gazi Mosque and külliye

•             Hüdavendigar Mosque and külliye

•             Koca Sinan Paşa Mosque and külliye

•             İshak Paşa Mosque and külliye

•             Karacabey Grand Mosque

•             Karabaş-i Veli Cultural Centre

•             Somuncu Baba Mosque

•             Üftade Tekkesi Mosque and complex

•             Babasultan Mosque and complex



•             Yıldırım Bazaar (bedesten)

•             Koza Han

•             Pirinç Han

•             İpek Han


Other historic monuments

•             Bursa Castle

•             Irgandı Bridge

•             İnkaya Sycamore, very big and impressive 600-year-old tree



•             Bursa Archaeological Museum

•             Bursa Atatürk Museum,

•             Bursa City Museum,

•             Bursa Energy Museum

•             Bursa Forestry Museum

•             Bursa Karagöz Museum

•             Bursa Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art

•             Bursa Turkish Architecture Museum

•             İznik Museum

•             Mudanya Armistice House

•             Museum of Ottoman House

•             Tofaş Museum of Cars and Anatolian Carriages


Parks and gardens

•             Uludağ National Park

•             Bursa Zoo and Botanical Garden

•             Bursa Hüdavendigar Kent Park


Hot springs and thermal baths

•             Keramet hot spring

•             Çekirge hot spring

•             Armutlu hot spring

•             Oylat hot spring

•             Gemlik hot spring

•             Çelik Palas thermal bath



•             Armutlu beach

•             Kumla beach

•             Kurşunlu beach

•             Orhangazi beach

•             Mudanya beach