to Bursa, due south of Istanbul across
of Marmara (map), for its beautiful mosques and
other early Ottoman
architecture, for its silk-filled bazaars,
spa baths and hotels.
can visit Bursa to see the top sights on a day-trip excursion from Istanbul, although an overnight in Bursa is more comfortable and rewarding. That way you can also see the ancient
town of İznik (Nicaea) on
the way to Bursa,
and you may even have time to go to the top of Uludağ (OO-loo-dah,
2543 meters, 8343 feet), the mountain
behind the city. More...
the first capital (late 1200s-early
1300s) of the Ottoman
Empire. The two founding sultans, Orhan and Osman,
are buried here, and this is where
the empire's great architectural
style was first developed.
city clings to the slopes of Uludağ,
the Bithynian Mount Olympus, and
thus got its nickname Green
the surrounding forests. Now a large,
bustling city of 2 million people, much of the greenery
has disappeared beneath the concrete and macadam urban
sprawl. Bursa's traditional
industries of silk weaving and fruit
processing have long since
been supplemented by motor vehicle
manufacturing (it's "Turkey's
Detroit") and other industry, large and small.
Bursa's western outskirts is Çekirge,
spa resort since Roman times,
with many spa hotels and bathing
people come for İskender
kebap, slices of grilled
lamb dressed with savory tomato sauce
and browned butter.
(On that subject, here's a funny
ferryboat (hızlı feribot)
routes take you from Istanbul to Güzelyalı, Mudanya or Yalova on
the southern shore of the Sea
of Marmara (map).
From Güzelyalı or Mudanya you can get to Bursa by bus and Bursaray (Metro). More...
Yalova, take a bus to
Bursa, or a minibus to İznik.
touring İznik, you can catch a minibus
onward to Bursa.
—by Tom Brosnahan