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Updated:Monday 13th October 2014

Bursa Definition

formerly Brusa ancient PrusaCity northwestern Turkey.Bursa was founded in the 3rd century BC, at the foot of the Mysian Mount Olympus near the southeastern shore of the Sea of Marmara, as the seat of the kings of Bithynia. It flourished under the Romans and later under the Byzantine Empire. After Crusaders conquered Constantinople (modern Istanbul) in 1204, it was a seat of Byzantine resistance. The Ottoman Empire took it in the early 14th century and made it their first great capital. Conquered by Timur in the early 15th century, it was later recovered by the Ottomans. Though the Ottoman capital was later moved to Istanbul, Bursa continued to prosper. Under the Republic of Turkey, it is a centre for agriculture and is noted for its carpets and many 15th-century mosques. (Wikipedia) - Bursa This article is about the city. For bursas in the human body, see Synovial bursa. For other uses, see Bursa (disambiguation). Bursa Bursa Metropolitan Municipality Country Region Province Settled Government  • Mayor Area  • City Elevation Population (2011)  • Metropolitan Municipality  • Density  • Metro Time zone  • Summer (DST) Postal code Area code(s) Licence plate Website Type: Criteria: Designated: Reference No. State Party: Region:
Metropolitan Municipality
Top left: City center, Top right: Zafer Plaza AVM; Middle left: Irgandı Bridge, Middle: Statue of Atatürk, Middle right: Bursa Clock Tower; Bottom left: Bursa Botanical Park, Bottom right: City center
BursaLocation of Bursa
Coordinates: 40°11′N 29°03′E / 40.183°N 29.050°E / 40.183; 29.050Coordinates: 40°11′N 29°03′E / 40.183°N 29.050°E / 40.183; 29.050
202 BC
Recep Altepe (AKP)
1,036 km2 (400 sq mi)
100 m (300 ft)
1,508.52/km2 (3,907.0/sq mi)
(+90) 224
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official name: Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire
i, ii, iii, iv, vi
2014 (38th session)
Europe and North America

Bursa (Turkish pronunciation: ) is a large city in Turkey, located in northwestern Anatolia, within the Marmara Region. It is the fourth most populous city in Turkey and one of the most industrialized metropolitan centers in the country. The city is also the administrative center of Bursa Province.

Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman State between 1335 and 1413. The city was referred to as Hüdavendigar (meaning "God''s gift") during the Ottoman period, while a more recent nickname is Yeşil Bursa (meaning "Green 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. The ski resort of Mount Uludağ towers over it. The mountain was called the Mysian Olympus by the Romans who lived there before. 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 and several museums, including a museum of archaeology.

The shadow play characters Karagöz and Hacivat are based on historic personalities who lived and died in Bursa. Bursa is also home to some of the most famous Turkish dishes such as İskender kebap, specially candied marron glacés, peaches and Turkish Delight. Bursa houses the Uludağ University, and its population can claim one of the highest overall levels of education in Turkey. The historic towns of İznik (Nicaea), Mudanya and Zeytinbağı are all situated in Bursa Province.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, in 2011 the city of Bursa had a population of 1,704,441 and its metropolitan municipality 1,948,744.

  • 1 History of Bursa
  • 2 Geography
    • 2.1 Climate
  • 3 Economy
  • 4 Transportation
  • 5 Education
  • 6 Sports
  • 7 Main sights
    • 7.1 Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque)
    • 7.2 Places of interest
      • 7.2.1 Mosques and külliye complexes
      • 7.2.2 Bazaars and caravanserais
      • 7.2.3 Other historic monuments
      • 7.2.4 Museums
      • 7.2.5 Parks and gardens
      • 7.2.6 Hot springs and thermal baths
      • 7.2.7 Beaches
  • 8 Images from Bursa
  • 9 Twin towns—Sister cities
  • 10 See also
  • 11 Notes and references
  • 12 External links

History of Bursa See also: Timeline of Bursa history Historical population Year Pop. ±% 1487 1927 1955 1980 2000
45,000 —    
61,451 +36.6%
128,875 +109.7%
487,604 +278.4%
1,184,144 +142.8%

The earliest known settlement at this location was the ancient Greek city of Cius, which Philip V of Macedon granted to Prusias, the King of Bithynia, in 202 BC. Prusias rebuilt the city and renamed it Prusa (Ancient Greek: Προῦσα). After 128 years of Bithynian rule, Nicomedes IV, the last King of Bithynia, bequeathed the entire kingdom to the Roman Empire in 74 BC. An early Roman Treasure was found in the vicinity of Bursa in the early 20th century. Composed of a woman''s silver toilet articles, it is now in the British Museum.

A view of Bursa in the 1890sA view of Bursa in 2013

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 and the Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque) between 1396 and 1400. Bursa remained to be the most important administrative and commercial center in the empire until Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453. The population of Bursa was 45,000 in 1487.

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.

Following the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Bursa became one of the industrial centers of the country. The economic development of the city was followed by population growth and Bursa became the 4th most populous city 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. The most recent arrival of Balkan Turks took place in the 1940s until the 1990s, when the communist regime in Bulgaria expelled approximately 150,000 Bulgarian Turks to Turkey. About one-third of these 150,000 Bulgarian Turkish refugees eventually settled in Bursa.


Bursa is settled on the northwestern slopes of Mount Uludağ in the southern Marmara Region. It is the capital city of Bursa Province 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.


Bursa has a borderline Mediterranean/humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa/Cfa). The city has hot, humid summers that last from June until September. Winters are cold and damp, also containing the most rainfall. There can be snow on the ground which will last for a week or two. In the mountains; especially Uludağ, it is freezing and snows all winter. Summer in the mountains is pleasantly warm.

Climate data for Bursa Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) Average high °C (°F) Average low °C (°F) Record low °C (°F) Precipitation mm (inches) Avg. rainy days Avg. snowy days  % humidity Mean monthly sunshine hours
25.2 (77.4) 26.9 (80.4) 30.6 (87.1) 34.6 (94.3) 35.9 (96.6) 41.3 (106.3) 43.8 (110.8) 41.2 (106.2) 38.9 (102) 37.3 (99.1) 28.5 (83.3) 27.3 (81.1) 43.8 (110.8)
9.6 (49.3) 10.7 (51.3) 13.8 (56.8) 18.9 (66) 23.8 (74.8) 28.5 (83.3) 30.8 (87.4) 30.7 (87.3) 27.0 (80.6) 21.6 (70.9) 15.9 (60.6) 11.2 (52.2) 20.21 (68.38)
1.6 (34.9) 2.1 (35.8) 3.7 (38.7) 7.3 (45.1) 11.2 (52.2) 15.1 (59.2) 17.4 (63.3) 17.3 (63.1) 13.6 (56.5) 10.1 (50.2) 5.7 (42.3) 3.3 (37.9) 9.03 (48.27)
−11.8 (10.8) −16.4 (2.5) −8.0 (17.6) −3.1 (26.4) 1.6 (34.9) 5.2 (41.4) 9.6 (49.3) 10.1 (50.2) 5.0 (41) 0.2 (32.4) −4.4 (24.1) −8.4 (16.9) −16.4 (2.5)
79.5 (3.13) 72.2 (2.843) 66.8 (2.63) 65.6 (2.583) 44.6 (1.756) 34.6 (1.362) 17.7 (0.697) 18.9 (0.744) 43.2 (1.701) 75.3 (2.965) 83.2 (3.276) 100.9 (3.972) 702.5 (27.659)
13.9 13.0 12.5 11.8 8.2 6.0 3.4 3.8 5.8 9.7 11.4 14.0 113.5
4 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 14
75 75 75 72 72 67 65 65 67 73 75 76 71.4
96.1 89.6 130.2 168 251.1 303 334.8 306.9 234 167.4 120 89.9 2,291
Source: Turkish State Meteorological Service
EconomyKent Meydanı AVM shopping centerThe glass pyramid entrance of Zafer Plaza AVM shopping center

Bursa is the center of the Turkish automotive industry. Factories of motor vehicle producers like Fiat, Renault and Karsan, as well as automotive parts producers like Bosch, Mako, Valeo, Johnson Controls and Delphi 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:

  • Oyak Renault
  • Tofaş Fiat
  • Bosch
  • Borçelik
  • Türk Prysmian Kablo
  • Sütaş Dairy Products
  • Bis Enerji
  • Zorlu Enerji
  • Borusan Mannesmann Boru
  • Componenta Döktaş

Apart from its large automotive industry, Bursa also produces a substantial amount of dairy products (by Sütaş''), processed food (by Tat), and beverages (by Uludağ).

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 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 center which also makes use of thermal water.


Bursa has a metro (Bursaray), tram 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 center. The citizens of Bursa also prefer Istanbul''s airports such as Atatürk International 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. Prices of bus tickets can be seen in Otobusbileti

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.

EducationUludağ University

Bursa has two public universities and one private university. Uludağ University, founded in 1975, is the oldest institution of higher education in the city. Founded first as the Bursa University then renamed Uludağ University in 1982, the university has a student body of 47,000, one of the largest in Turkey. Bursa Technical University is the second public university of Bursa and was established in 2010, beginning education in the 2011–2012 academic year.

The first private university of Bursa is the Bursa Orhangazi University, which started education in the 2012–2013 academic year. Istanbul Commerce University has opened graduate programs in the city in 2013.

SportsBursa Atatürk Stadium

The city has one professional football club, Bursaspor, which competes in the Turkish Super League, the top-tier of Turkish football. Bursaspor has won its first league title in the 2009–10 Turkish Super League season, becoming the second Anatolian club to ever win the league title after Trabzonspor. Bursaspor is today considered one of the five biggest football clubs in Turkey along with Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor.

The city had a professional basketball team in the Turkish Basketball League, Tofaş S.K., which was among the most successful teams; until it stopped participating in the league following a decision by the automobile manufacturer Tofaş, its sponsor and parent company.

Main sights Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque)Interior of the Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque), 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 12 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.

Places of interest

A brief list of places of interest in and around Bursa is presented below. For a longer list, see 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 Center
Bazaars and caravanserais
  • Yıldırım Bazaar
  • Koza Han
  • Pirinç Han
Other historic monuments
  • Bursa Castle
  • Irgandı Bridge
  • Bursa Archaeology Museum
  • Bursa City Museum
  • Bursa Atatürk Museum
  • Bursa Turkish Architecture Museum
  • Bursa Islamic Works Museum
  • Armistice of Mudanya Museum
  • İznik Museum
Parks and gardens
  • Uludağ National Park
  • Bursa Zoo and Botanical Garden
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
Images from Bursa
  • Statue of Atatürk and the Governorate of Bursa

  • Koza Han (Silk Bazaar) in Bursa

  • Entrance gate of the Yeşil Cami (Green Mosque)

  • Bursa Castle

  • Muradiye Mosque and Külliye in Bursa

  • Governorate of Bursa

  • Ottoman era traditional houses in the Mudanya district of Bursa Province

  • Port of Mudanya

  • Mt. Uludağ is a popular winter sports destination

  • Bursa aerial tramway

  • Irgandı Bridge (1442)

  • Atatürk Museum

  • Şehreküstü Mosque

  • Orhan Gazi Mosque

  • Emir Sultan Mosque

Twin towns—Sister cities See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Turkey

Bursa is twinned with:

  • Muaskar, Algeria, since 1998
  • Kulmbach, Germany, since 1998
  • Pleven, Bulgaria, since 1998
  • Plovdiv, Bulgaria, since 1998
  • Pristina, Kosovo
  • Tirana, Albania, since 1998
  • Košice, Slovakia, since 2000
  • Vinnitsa, Ukraine, since 2004
  • Van, Turkey, since 2008
  • Rabat, Morocco, since 2010
  • Bakhchysaray, Republic of Crimea, since 2010
  • Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea, since 2011
  • Bakhchysarai, Ukraine

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