Sunday 14 January 2024


 Bursa is the fourth biggest city in Turkey and was the capital of the Ottoman state. It also has the most colourful city sign ever seen. 

Our first attraction today was the Grand Mosque in the centre of the city. It was commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid the first in 1399 to celebrate him winning a great battle. To celebrate the win he promised the people of Bursa that he would build 20 new mosques in the town, but his accountant warned him that he didn't have enough money to do this, so instead he built one big mosque with 20 domes. 

That seems quite a cop out to me, and it's not recorded what the locals thought at the time. 

It is a very attractive mosque though with particularly lovely calligraphy. 

It also has a very nice fountain in the centre, which is a completely unique feature. 

Then we went to visit the Mausoleum of the early Ottoman Sultans. This is an attractive building known as the green dome, however it is definitely all blue. 

Inside are tombs of past Sultans and also some smaller tombs of unfortunate relatives. 

Apparently when the existing Sultan died then one of his sons was chosen as the next Sultan. His first action on becoming the new Sultan was to kill all of his brothers, and if they had sons then to kill them too. 

With this shocking tale in mind, we then carried on with our journey back to Istanbul.

One final thing that I have wanted to mention for days, but didn't have room to before was the community dogs.  

Everywhere we went we saw lots of dogs and they all had a tag on their ear which shows that they are vaccinated. They are fed and fussed over by people in the community and by the tourists. 

They don't go inside people's homes and people don't keep them as pets, but they wander and laze about everywhere outside. They are very friendly and calm, and often quite fat from all of the treats that come their way.

Even I quite liked them, although I preferred to keep my distance. 

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