Belief in Bursa

In Bursa where the different religions have lived side by side and civilizations brought about neighbourliness, the Moslem, Jewish and Christian people can find something of them and experience the satisfaction of coming into contact with the memories of their ancestors. Bursa is known as the city of saints for Moslems. Iznik (Nicaea) which is a borough of Bursa is the 3rd holy city for Christians. The visitors who come to Bursa which is centre of 3 empires and the cradle of civilizations can see and experience the churches, madrasahs, synagogues, complex of buildings, mosques, castles, briefly whatever experienced in the history. .


The French Catholic Church ( Culture House )

The church, located in Osmangazi distirct, was built in 1880 and opened 1881.The church was decoreted by the Assomptionist set with the helps of Russian painter. The church was restored to be used as Culture House . 

 

The Gerush Synagogue

This synagogue is located Arap ��kr� Street in Altiparmak. It was constructed in beginnig of the 16th century, by Sultan Selim II, who had accepted the Jewish populance which had fled Spain. A segment of the first Jewish to arrive settled down in Bursa, Gerush means "Expelled" in Hebrew. The synagogue is in extremely good condition and is maintained on a regular basis.


The Mayor Synagogue

This synagogue was established by the Jewish refugees, who fled the island of Majorca during the early 16th century to settle in the Ottoman Empire. The name of the synagogue was taken from the island ( Majorca). It was erected in the late 15 centry and was in continual use every summer until 1975. Since than, it has fallen into a state of disrepair as only a small section can be utilized today.

 

The Ets Ahayim Synagogue

This synagouge is significant from the aspect of being the first one to have been constructed in the Ottoman Empire. Permission for the construction of the Ets Ahayim Synagouge, which means 'Life Tree ' in Hebrew, was granted through o decree issued during the regn of Orhan Gazi, the Sultan who conquered Bursa.

 

Ulu Cami (The Great Mosque)

The Great Mosque 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 twelve 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 (�ad�rvan) where worshipers can perform ritual ablutions before prayer; the dome over the �ad�rvan 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. .

 

The Yesil Mosque

The Yesil Mosque can be shown as the perfect blend between architecture and embellishment, the proof that such works of art were produced in a country where the battles between siblings had come to an end and peace had returned. It was commissioned by Sultan Mehmed I �elebi and completed in December 1419 or January 1420. The mosque was built between 1419�1421 by architect vezir Haci Ivaz Pasha. The artists of painted decorations were Ali bin Ilyas and Mehmed el Mecnun. Following the earthquake in 1855, the building underwent an extensive renovation led by architect L�on Parvill�e, as Ahmet Vefik Pasha, the Vali (governor) of Bursa, was unable to find a qualified Turkish architect. Parvill�e managed to save the mosque but he lacked experience of the Seljukian and early Ottoman architecture. He was also hampered by shortages of money and skilled labour. The original decorations of the vaults and the walls were not restored. But his whitewash was perhaps to be preferred over botched attempts at reproducing old paintwork.

The architectural style known as Bursa Style begins with Ye�il Cami. The mosque is based on a reverse T-plan with a vestibule at the entrance leading to a central hall flanked by eyvans on the east and west and a larger eyvan with mihrab niche on the south. Two small eyvans flank the entryway above which the royal box (h�nkar mahfili) is located. There are four rooms with fireplaces to the north and south of side eyvans accessed through the vestibule and the central hall respectively. Stairs on both sides of the vestibule lead to the upper floor where the royal lodge and two adjacent rooms for the royal women are located. Here, a passage opens to the balconies on the northern facade where the minaret steps begin. A portico was designed but never built, because, when the sultan died, work on his private mosque would stop.


The large entrance to the mosque is flanked by recessed marble sofas with twin cubby-holes (papu�luks) for the shoes. Above the door is a long Arabic inscription in bronze. The door is crowned by a half- dome with a cascade of moc�rabe (stalactites) that taper into a star. The flat face of the half-dome, set in a ribbed frame, is adorned with arabesques and inscriptions in Rumi scripts. Between the inscription and the moc�rabes is a small window that lights the floor of the foyer to the sultan's box. Above the niches on each side of the entrance door is an inscription dedicated to Hac� �vaz, son of Ahi Beazit who designed the mosque. As Ahi Beazit was the prefect and later the governor of Bursa, it not likely that he would have been the architect. But he would have concerned with overseeing the work. The builder would probably have relied on the teamwork and the craftsmanship of the Mason's Guild to execute his plans.

Beneath the central dome, the sculted white marble fountain within an octagonal pool adds to the beauty of the mosque. On one's left and right side are two large eyvans (a vaulted recess open on one side). The walls of the inner vestibule are covered with dark green tiles and, on each side, a great circle filled with blue, white and golden-yellow arabesques of tendrils and flowers. The interior of the mosque is decorated with a mosaic of blue-green tiles on the walls and ceiling of the eyvans, from which it gets its name. (The exteriors with its domes, now clad with lead, were once also adorned with blue-green tiles in cuerda seca style).


One ascends from the vestibule to prayer hall via three steps. This stair is flanked on each side by three cubby-holes (papu�luk) for slippers. This shows the vestibule was paved and not carpeted as nowadays. Opposite stands the mihrab, the gate to paradise, with its moulded tile frame. Its niche is crowned by twelve rows of moc�rabe, coming together in a six-ribbed shell on top. The intricate pattern of the tiles, full of flowers and entwining stems, was achieved through the cuerda seca technique, followed by ingenious gilding patterns.

Recessed on each side of the vestibule are mahfils (tribune for m�ezzins), richly decorated with tiles and whose ceilings are filled with complex roseate arabesques. The deep blue hexagonal wainscot tiles are somewhat less intricate, with traces of gold embedded. The two tabhane (lodging rooms for travellers) rooms, beyond the eyvans, contain niches and ocaks (fireplaces with a tall hood). A calligraphic inscription in three lines is put in an arch over one of its doors.


The northern eyvans, the royal lodge and the mihrab are embellished with tiles bearing polychromic flower motifs and scriptures in relief. There are many 19th century replacements among the tiles. There is also little left of the polychromic paintwork that used to embellish the rooms. The doors and window shutters are adorned with interlaced motifs carved on wood. Light reaches the dim interior through windows pierced into drums in the domes as well as through windows on exterior walls. An oculus above the ablution basin in the central hall was enclosed with a lantern at the time of restoration. A scripture in the mihrab area acknowledges "the work of Masters of Tabriz" on the tiles, and the name Nakkas Ali bin Ilyas Ali appears above the royal box as designer of the entire decorative scheme.

The mosque is built out of sandstone and clad with marble panels, a majority of which was replaced in the nineteenth century. Flower designs and scriptures carved in marble frame the entry and the windows, with a different design featured in tympana of every window. The grand entrance and the mihrab niches on the northern facade are crowned with marble moc�rabe half-domes. The iron parts used on the door, windows and cupboards of the mosque are proof of excellent workmanship. The two minarets are later additions to the building. They were both rebuilt on an old base by Parvill�e. They have been fitted with stone spires carved in the baroque manner at the time of renovation. They can only be accessed through the sultan's apartments and the climbing up the winding stairs to the attics.

 

The Muradiye Complex or the Complex of Sultan Murat II

The Muradiye Complex or the Complex of Sultan Murat II, the Ottoman sultan who ruled 1421-1451, is located in the city of Bursa in Turkey. Sultan Murat II was the last of the Ottoman sultans to reign in the original Ottoman capitol of Bursa, previous to the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. There are twelve tombs (t�rbe) in the complex, all belonging to relatives of this sultan. Construction of the complex began after the completion of the Ye�il Mosque, which is in the eastern area of Bursa. A large earthquake in 1855 damaged much of the Muradiye complex, and restorations have since been completed. The large complex is composed of the Muradiye Mosque, Muradiye Madrasa, Muradiye Bath, Muradiye Hospice, a fountain, epitaphs, Sultan Murat II's tomb, �ehzade Ahmed's tomb, Cem Sultan's tomb, �ehzade Mahmud's tomb, �ehzade Mustafa's tomb, G�l�ah Sultan's tomb, Ebe Hatun�s tomb, H�na Hatun-Ak Tomb, Mukrime Hatun's tomb, the Saraylilar tomb, G�lrah Sultan�s tomb and Sirin Hatun's tomb. The Mosque was the first project in the complex, completed in 1426. The mosque is built in a simplified inverse T plan with a domed portico in front, constructed of brick and with four major domes. Hexagonal tiles in turquoise and dark blue decorate the interior. There are two minarets, one that is old and one that is new due to collapse from the 19th century earthquake and was rebuilt in 1904. A fire damaged the mosque in the early 18th century, and so the mihrab was also rebuilt, in the rococo style. The madrasa is located to the west of the mosque. It is composed of a central courtyard surrounded by student rooms and a classroom to the back, covered by a dome. The exterior is brick and stone. While the madrasa itself does not have a construction inscription due to numerous restorations, the inscription on the mosque says the madrasa was also constructed in 1426 by Murat II. Dark blue and turquoise tiles decorate the interior, while brick decorates the exterior entrance. Sources conflict on the date of construction for the tomb of Murat II, either before his death in 1427 or after in 1451 commissioned by his son Mehmed II in accordance with his will. The building is constructed of brick and stone, in a square plan topped with a dome that is left open at the top. A vaulted gallery surrounds the dome, resting on Byzantine capitols. A large impressive wooden canopy over the entrance is carved in relief and embellished in star patterns. An annex contains four additional tombs, Alaaddin (whom the annex is named after, �Mausoleum of Alaaddin�), �ezade Ahmet, Orhan and �ezade Hatun. The remaining eleven tombs belong to the rest of the sultan�s family to the south of the mosque and the madrasa. They are decorated with polychrome glazed tiles mostly in blue, except for the tomb of �ezade Mustafa which is decorated in painted Iznik tiles from the 16th century in the polychrome technique. .

 

Emir Sultan Mosque

Emir Sultan Mosque is first built in the 14th century, it was rebuilt in 1804 upon the orders of the Ottoman Sultan Selim III, and re-built again in 1868, along slightly varying plans each time. Emir Sultan, also known as Semseddin Mehmed Ali el-H�seyin el Buhari, was a dervish and scholar from Bukhara and also the advisor and son-in-law of the Ottoman Sultan Sultan, Bayezid I. The present-day mosque, bearing his epithet Emir Sultan, and situated in Bursa quarter of the same name (although written contiguously, as 'Emirsultan'), was built after the collapse of the original 14th century monument in the 1766 earthquake. Although the materials and the location were maintained, the style was adjusted to reflect the baroque design that came into fashion in the Ottoman Empire during the 19th century. Following 1855 Bursa earthquake, the mosque and the mausoleum (Turkish: turbe) of Emir Sultan was rebuilt again in 1868 (1285 A.H) by Sultan Abd�laziz. The mosque and mausoleum stand on opposite sides of a large courtyard with large basin at the entrance. The courtyard entrances are on the east and the west and the mosque and mausoleum are accessed through the courtyard. A wooden arcade with pointed arches wraps around the courtyard and rises to form portals with tall domes at bays leading into the buildings. The mosque, on the south, is a tall single-unit prayer hall of masonry construction. There are two minarets at its corners on the north. The mausoleum, also on the south, is composed of a domed room in the center and smaller rooms to its sides and houses the tombs of Emir Sultan and his family. Other rooms on the north corner of the courtyard are for use by imams. An old cemetery covers the downside of the hill from the complex. Hundi Hatun, the wife of Emir Sultan and daughter of Bayezid I, built the hamam to the south of the mosque. There are numerous historic fountains scattered around the complex (k�lliye); the earliest dating from 1743. Semseddin Mehmed Ali el-H�seyin, a dervish and scholar from Bukhara, was the adviser and son-in-law of Bayezid I. The present mosque bearing his epithet, Emir Sultan, was built in 1804 (1219 A.H.) upon the orders of Selim III, after the collapse of the original fourteenth century monument in the 1766 earthquake. Although the materials and the location were maintained, the style was adjusted to reflect baroque design that came into fashion following the earthquake of 1855. The mausoleum (t�rbe) of Emir Sultan was rebuilt later in 1868 (1285 A.H) by Sultan Abd�laziz. The mosque and mausoleum stand on opposite sides of a large courtyard with large basin at the enter. The courtyard entrances are on the east and the west and the mosque and mausoleum are accessed through the courtyard. A wooden arcade with pointed arches wraps around the courtyard and rises to form portals with tall domes at bays leading into the buildings. The mosque, on the south, is a tall single-unit prayer hall of masonry construction. There are two minarets at its corners on the north. The mausoleum, also on the south, is composed of a domed room in the center and smaller rooms to its sides and houses the tombs of Emir Sultan and his family. Other rooms on the north corner of the courtyard are for use by imams. An old cemetery covers the downside of the hill from the complex. Hundi Hatun, the wife of Emir Sultan and daughter of Bayezid I, built the hamam to the south of the mosque. There are numerous historic fountains scattered around the complex; the earliest is from 1743.

 

The Orhan Mosque

This mosque was built by Orhan Gazi in the year 1339. It is one of the oldest mosques of Bursa. The damage inflicted by Karamanoglu Mehmet Bey in 1413 was repaired in 1417 bu Celebi Sultan Mehmet. The portico rests on piers of dressed stone. The cenral arch is high. The arches are made of brick. The walls alternate between three rows of brick and row of dressed stone. The two sides of the poritico are covered by vaults, the center by three domes. The entrance eyvan has a small dome. On the right at the left of this are two small cells covered by vaults. When entering the mosque, you attain the section covered by two consecutive domes placed on an octagonal rim. Attached are two small domed eyvans. On the west and east facades of the mosque the representation of the course of the sun, star shaped decorations, bellows forms and marble embellishments deserve attention. The mihrab is made of stucco and bears the unique ornamentation of a seven row stalactite cornice. The sides are decorated with rumi motifs in relief.