Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bursa is an experience that is an integral part of its history and culture. Registered in 2014, eight sites are now under conservation status within Bursa and the surrounding village of Cumalikizik to conserve them for future generations. Their official status often encourages awareness of their life and represents their significance.
Where is Bursa in Turkey?
Bursa is in Northern Turkey, the UNESCO status has improved the tourism industry of Bursa, although it has been a firm favourite for Istanbul locals for many decades. But it is worth looking at the conditions that gave them entry to the World Heritage List to understand why the UNESCO sites are so important.
UNESCO stands for Educational, Science, and Cultural Organisation of the United Nations. They claim it must demonstrate universal status and meet at least one out of ten conditions for them to include any site worldwide. Representing artistic genius, sharing human values, advances in architecture or technology, and representing a particular culture are only a few examples. Bursa does all this and more. The Turkish real estate market is flourishing in Bursa.
Birthplace of the Ottoman Empire
The nickname of Bursa is the Ottoman Empire’s birthplace, but that is not the case. Before then, the reigning Ottoman sultans had occupied areas, but they rode in and took Bursa from the Byzantine Empire in 1326. In years to come, when they invested in Bursa, the empire flourished in every area of life because of its proximity to Istanbul. As they constructed grand mosques, kitchens, and schools, architecture came to the forefront.
Set up as the capital from which they ruled their territories before Mehmed the Conqueror entered Constantinople in 1453, it retained great significance and renown. The city also excelled in silk production during this period and was a popular trading port for people worldwide. Many of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed buildings date from this time.
Bursa’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Five locations are kulliyes; Orhan Gazi, Hudavendigar, Yildrim, Yesil, and Muradiye. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire and during their time in Bursa, this ancient type of architecture gained popularity. The idea of a kulliye is a mosque that is used for several functions; therefore, it also includes schools, kitchens, public baths, and other buildings serving society members in need. Notable examples of this now-defunct architectural style are the Kulliyes of Bursa.
Of all these, the first includes the famous Grand Mosque of Bursa with its many domes. The sultan’s tombs sit in the kulliye they commissioned on several occasions, but with Orhan Gazi, his tomb is different, making up the sixth site of UNESCO. Sitting within Tophane Park, they restored the tombs after a destructive earthquake in the 19th century. Similarly, the seventh location, the eighth site of Hudavendigar, the village of Cumalikizik.
What is Bursa famous for?
If you are planning to see the UNESCO sites of Bursa, extend your trip because there is far more to boast of in the large city and district. Turks call the city “Green Bursa” because there are numerous green spaces and parks everywhere in climate, fertile soil, and well thought out urban planning. Plan a trip to Uludag Mountain to keep up with the great outdoors.
Many foreigners equate it with skiing because it is one of Turkey’s most established resorts, the cable car is open year-round and is an excellent place from spring to autumn for hiking, trekking, and picnics. Head to the nearest restaurant for a famous Iskender kebab. This dish blends thin grilled lamb slices, spread over pita bread with tomato sauce, hot butter, and yoghurt, taking its name from the same man who invented it in the 19th century.
Skiing in Uludag
Sun, sea, and sand are synonymous with Turkey by many people, but it has a developed ski industry where Bursa is a prominent member.
Sightseeing in Bursa
Several other places delight visitors and locals alike, besides Bursa’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. There are museums, hot springs, waterfalls, villages, and much more to see; visit the above areas to see Bursa in all its glory.