Bursa is an exceptional natural and historical wonder. Its proximity to the sea, location on a fertile plain, rich mineral water springs, forests in Uludağ, and spa baths are peculiarities which first reflect its importance.
Bursa was first founded in Bithynia as a citadel surrounded by a ditch in the Roman period, and it was given the name “Proussa”. After the Byzantine period, it was captured by the Ottomans, made the first Ottoman capital and given its present name. The city’s glorious period started with the Ottomans. Thus, Bursa is one of the cities which are veritable museums of Ottoman edifices. The examples of Early Ottoman architecture; such as, the Zaviyeli Mosque, the Bedesten and hans (a group of shops and storehouses around courtyards), are in this city. The city, which was a political and cultural center, had great commercial importance because it was here that the Silk Road ended in Anatolia, so the Bedesten and the hans were built in the city center.
The Grand Mosque, the Bedesten and the hans around it, the tomb and mosque of Hudavendigar, the Old Spa, the Yıldırım Bayezid and Green Külliyes, Sultan Emir Hill and the Muradiye Külliye are the major monuments worth seeing. Moreover, the Archeological Museum, where several archeological relics from Hellenistic and Roman periods and a rich collection of coins are exibited, and the Turkish Islamic Museum can be visited. Besides the historic monuments, there are also natural monuments in the city; such as the 563-year-old plane tree in the courtyard of the mosque of Orhan and the 568-year-old one in Inkaya. The first and the only Forest Museum in Turkey is in Bursa, too.
Bursa is also the origin of the first example of the shadow theatre, Karagöz and Hacivat. The sepulchral monument built for Karagöz is on the road to Çekirge, opposite Dağınık Selviler. Behind the monument is the tomb of Karagöz on the right and the tomb of Hacivat on the left.