Bursa’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Yıldırım Küllyesi | ©  Haluk Comertel/Wikimedia Commons
Yıldırım Küllyesi | © Haluk Comertel/Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
9 February 2017

Having officially taken its place in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 2014, the Turkish city of Bursa is recognized as the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire. Even though it wasn’t the empire’s capital, it was the city where the Ottoman social framework developed, helping to lay the foundation for its social and cultural infrastructure. As such, the city is full of important monuments, especially a number of külliye, a structure of social and religious value usually composed of a mosque, tomb, hamam, soup kitchen, a religious school, and a health clinic. Here is a look at the UNESCO sites in Bursa that must be visited.

Orhan Gazi Külliye and Central Bazaar Area

When Orhan Gazi conquered Bursa, he promoted the urbanization of the foothills at the base of the Uludağ Mountain. Completed around 1340, the project included a mosque, hamam, and a commercial trade center. Nowadays, the külliye continues to serve its purpose, except that the hamam was converted into a bazaar called the Aynalı Çarşı, featuring antique and souvenir shops.

Orhan Gazi Külliye, Nalbantoğlu, Bursa, Turkey


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Osman and Orhan Gazi Tombs

The mausoleum of Orhan Gazi and his father Osman Gazi stand side by side inside the gates of Tophane Park, which is located in an old citadel on top of a hill. Unlike most sultans who were buried in their külliye, Gazi rests in what was once a Byzantine monastery, which also has a 19th-century clock tower overlooking the city.

Orhan Gazi Türbesi, Yiğitler Caddesi, Bursa, Turkey

Orhangazi Türbesi #orhangazitürbesi

A photo posted by Demirbaş Cemil (@demirbas.cemil) on

Yıldırım Külliye of Sultan Bayezid I

This külliye, built by Yıldırım Bayezid in the 1390s, pushed the city’s expansion eastward due to its position. Consisting of a mosque, hamam, han, madrassahs, soup kitchens, stables, and houses, this structure is especially notable for having also housed the first public hospital in the Ottoman Empire. Bayezid is also known for building two of the city’s most important sights: Ulu Camii and Koza Han.

Yıldırım Külliyesi, Yıldırım, Bursa, Turkey

Muradiye Külliye of Sultan Murad II

Built in 1426 by Sultan Murad II, this külliye pushed the city toward the west end due to its westward positioning. The last külliye to be built by the Ottoman sultans and certainly the city’s largest, the Muradiye complex is beautifully ornamented and originally housed a mosque, hamam, madrassah, a soup kitchen, and health clinic, as well as fountains, tombs, and cemeteries.

Muradiye Külliyesi, Sedat Sokak, Bursa, Turkey

#comlexmaraduiye #muradiyekulliyesi #muradiye увидеть комплекс мурадье – done

A photo posted by Ms. Chirina (@lanabursa) on

Village of Cumalıkızık

This beautifully preserved 700-year-old village on the Uludağ mountainside is the only UNESCO site that is not in the city center. An excellent example of early Ottoman rural life, the area also represents how sultans would build commercial trade centers and villages in order to generate income for the construction of their külliye. Cumalıkızık is especially important in this regard because it generated income directly for the Orhan Gazi Külliye.

Cumalıkızık Köyü, Bursa, Turkey

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