THE LOCATION AND IMPORTANCE OF BURSA
Bursa, a wonder of nature with its lakes, rivers, mountains, curative termal waters, large and fertile plains, and especially with its rich flora, is located in the northern-south of Anatolian peninsula, northern- west of the foots of Uluda¤ mountain, and southern- east of Marmara Sea. Bursa, a modern city which did not confined itself to its natural beauties God has bestowed upon it, has advanced its industry and technology to the same level with the other developed countries and now it is the fourth biggest city of Turkey with its population exceeding 2,5 million. Bursa is surrounded by Bilecik, Adapazar› to the east; ‹zmit, Yalova, ‹stanbul, and Marmara Sea to the North; Eskiflehir, Kütahya to the South; Bal›kesir to the west and it is a city full of culture and history as well which conveys the architectural and cultural features of Byzantine, Ottoman, and Republican eras to present-day. Bursa, dazzling its visitors with the richness of its unique monuments belonging to Byzantine and Ottoman periods, is one of the most important tourism cities of Turkey after ‹stanbul in terms of “cultural tourism potential”. Bursa houses 27 archaelogic, 3 urban, and 1 natural SIT area, and more than 2000 cultural, historical, monumental architecture pieces which need to be protected. Besides, it is the largest winter and natural sports centre in Turkey with closely situated Uluda¤. Bursa, constructed again by “woods of soul” is the spiritual capital of Turkey with; “the voice of Qu’ran diffused in the green ornamental tiles (çini)” the hyms of Christian Saints”, “the redbuds of Emirsultan” “miracle of monks and dervishes”. 1 1 FROM PRUSA TO BURSA THE LOCATION AND IMPORTANCE OF BURSA This city, which has been the capital of Ottoman empire for a certain time, houses the third important sacred centre of christianity after Vatican and Jerusalem in the boundaries of ‹znik. And Uluda¤, aka. mount Olympos, is known as a settlement area in which christian monks were used to seclude themselves. Bursa covers an area of 11.043 km2 and has been flourished rapidly especially when it was the capital of Ottoman empire. The city was situated on the itinerary of the road to western civilisations “Historical Silk Road”, and had become one of the main cities of culture, trade, and industry in the 15th century. Thus, the population of the city in this period was known to be exceeding 100.000. Bursa was a hermitage place in which Ottoman intellectuals tired of the intrigues of palace environment could find an atmosphere of peace as in the Roman and Byzantium periods, thus we can call Bursa as a “city of Imm›grants” and “a city of exile”. It became “a realm of tolerance” due to all of these features. Bursa, renowned as “Green Bursa” due to its natural richness, greeneries, 833 monumental trees varying between ages of 100-600, and curative thermal springs, has been a focus of interest for many historians and travellers as it is today. Example; Dr. Bernard, upon coming to Bursa in 1940’s describes the city as follows: “Bursa is a corner where most beautiful nature of our world is presented. The greenery and freshness of spring, the sheer beauty of the plains and fields, the beauty of its waters and air, fills one with joy. The heat of the sun lessens with the cool breezes of mountains. The Air of Bursa is very mild because plains and fields are bathed with water flowing down from the foots of the mountains.” Richard Pockocke describes the view he had seen in Bursa in these words: “This mixture, composed of trees and mulberry trees generates the most beautiful view of the world”. Carsten Niebuhr expressed his feelings about Bursa as: “Towards bursa, you see a wonderful sight embracing the fertile plain ahead of you”. Ida Preiffer confesses her feelings whilst she thinks she was surrounded with an unbelievable beauty: “I had seen a beauty like that in Switzerland as well”.