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Bursa, Turkey.
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Photo: birasuegi.

The Great Mosque in Bursa, Turkey.
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The Great Mosque. Photo: birasuegi.

The Green mosque of Bursa, Turkey.
Bursa, Turkey.

Bursa, Turkey.
A clocktower in Bursa, Turkey.

City in Turkey with about 1.2 million inhabitants (2004 estimate), 25 km from the Sea of Marmara, along the northern foothills of Ulu Mountain, 2543 metres high. It is the capital of Bursa province with 2.1 million inhabitants (2004 estimate).
The economic base for Bursa is silk spinning and productions of towels and rugs made from cotton and wool. Other industries include canned foods, dairy products and machinery. Being one of Turkey's most important and beautiful cities, tourism is also of great importance.
Bursa has excellent road connections with other cities, but no railways. Izmit is 200 km northeast, Istanbul is 300 km north, Eskisehir km southeast, Ankara 400 km east and Izmir 350 km southwest. Bursa has a domestic airport with connections with Istanbul. Bursa has, in reality, a sea port on the Sea of Marmara, the small town of Mudanya, 25 km northwest, which has sea connections with Istanbul.
Bursa is characterized by ravines cutting the city into three regions, which are connected by bridges. Bursa is a city of great early Ottoman architecture, winding streets, orchards and mountain streams.
The Great Mosque from 1421 is a huge structure with 20 domes and adorned with superb calligraphic ornamentation. The Yesil mosque from the year 1424 is the first example of the unique Ottoman mosque style, even if it was never completed. Nearby is the Yesil Mausoleum, containing the tomb of Sultan Mehmed 1.
The Muradiye Mosque, begun in 1424, is surrounded by the tombs of sultans and their families. The tomb of Osman 1, the first Ottoman ruler, overlooks the city next to the tomb of son Orhan, the second Ottoman ruler.
There are also several baths using water from thermal springs, famous already in Roman times. The oldest historical structure is less visually impressive, a ruined castle on a rocky promontory in the centre. This is the site of ancient Prusa.
Bursa has a university, the Uludag University, founded in 1975. Bursa was formerly known as Brusa, an arabification of the original name Prusa.

Late 3rd century BCE: Founded by Prusias 1 of Bithynia, named Prusa and made the royal capital.
6th century CE: Becomes one of the richest cities in the Byzantine Empire. Silkworm culture is introduced.
11th century: Falls to the Seljuqs.
1204: Byzantium makes Bursa briefly their capital, following the Latin destruction of Constantinople.
1326: Conquered by the Ottoman Empire, and made into the capital of the kingdom.
1402: Sacked and briefly occupied by Timur Lenk. Reconquered by the Ottomans.
1413: Sultan Murad 1 makes Adrianople (Edirne) into his new capital. Many institutions had been moved decades earlier.
1607: Bursa is burned by Janissary troops during a rebellion.

By Tore Kjeilen