The Great Mosque of Bursa, one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture and the largest and most magnificent structure in Bursa, was constructed by the brilliant architect Ali Neccar at the request of Ottoman Sultan Bayezid between 1396-1400.
Features of the Grand Mosque:
Bursa Great Mosque boasts walls with an approximate thickness of 2 meters and covers an interior space of 3165.5 square meters. Initially, it had three main doors, but an additional door, the “Hunkar Door,” was added in 1740. The mosque also has a spacious area for serving up to 5,000 people. It comprises five sections, each with four domes, all of similar size except for the central dome which was designed to be hypaethral. This dome was originally constructed with a wire fence to allow rainwater to fall into a pool beneath and provide natural light to the mosque. Today, it is covered with glass and serves as a unique feature that adds to the beauty of the mosque. The water tank and fountain beneath the central dome have 18 corners and provide a stunning atmosphere. This pool, which can be used for ritual washing, is illuminated by fascinating glasswork.
The Great Mosque, a masterpiece of its time both in terms of craftsmanship and architecture, was built using smoothly cut stones and features pointed arches for all domes at the facades to reduce the massive impact of the thick walls. Each arch contains double-lined windows, and there are many charming windows on all facades. The mosque has two minarets, both with minaret balconies furnished with brick muqarnas. The octagonal pedestal is made of marble, while the body is constructed from brick.
Today, visitors flock to the Great Mosque for its 192 unique wall inscriptions, valuable clocks, and candelabras. The structure captivates visitors with its mystical quality and is a must-visit destination in Bursa.
HÜSNÜ-HAT TESHIRGAHI (EXHIBITION)
This section features precious plaques displaying the 99 names of God (Allah in Arabic), verses from the Koran, Hadiths, and words of wisdom that symbolize faith, religion, generosity, self-sacrifice, justice, prayer, and pilgrimage.
WATER-TANK WITH A FOUNTAIN (SADIRVAN)
The refreshing pool was built by Kara Celebizade Abdulaziz Efendi and was mentioned by Evliya Celebi (a traveler) as having many salmon in it. The water from the sadırvan flows into the pool from 33 separate bubbling sources, symbolizing the worship of God. The dome above the sadırvan is made of glass to illuminate the mosque and the top is open air, creating a refreshing environment through air circulation.
THE FAMOUS LETTER ‘’و (VAV)’’
The letter vav with precious tulip decorations can be seen everywhere in the mosque and symbolizes Allah (cc) God. There is a story about this symbol: Somuncu Baba once saw the prophet Hızır in the mosque distributing bread to the workers and threatened to reveal his identity if he didn’t visit the building. Prophet Hızır responded that he would visit, but not state when. It is believed that he performed salaat in front of the famed letter vav.
THE SECRET OF THE MIMBAR
Built by Ottoman Sultan Yıldırım Bayezid Khan in 1402, the mysterious mimbar of the Great Mosque is intriguing as it represents the universe. The wooden mimbar is carved with the solar system, with the planets depicted in proportion to their distance from the sun. This has led people to wonder about its meaning.
Bursa Ulu Cami, also known as the Grand Mosque of Bursa, is a remarkable example of Ottoman architecture and is one of the most impressive structures in the city of Bursa. This magnificent mosque was built in the late 14th century by the talented architect Ali Neccar, at the request of Ottoman Sultan Bayezid. Its grand size, elegant domes, and intricate calligraphy make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Islamic architecture or Turkish history.
One of the unique features of the Great Mosque is its 20 domes, which are arranged in five segments of four domes each. The center dome is hypaethral, meaning that it has an open roof, and was designed to allow light to enter the mosque and rainwater to collect in the pool underneath. Although the dome is now covered with glass, it remains an awe-inspiring feature of the mosque. The pool is also a notable feature, as it is furnished with beautiful glass and serves as a place for ritual washing.
In addition to its architectural beauty, the Great Mosque is also home to many valuable and fascinating artifacts. Visitors can admire the 192 unique wall inscriptions, including verses from the Quran, Hadiths, and words of wisdom that symbolize the values of faith, religion, generosity, self-sacrifice, justice, prayer, and pilgrimage. There is also a letter “و” (vav) that is prominently displayed throughout the mosque, symbolizing Allah (God). According to legend, Prophet Hizir once performed the salaat in front of this famous letter.
Another fascinating aspect of the Great Mosque is its mimbar, or pulpit, which was built by Ottoman Sultan Yildirim Bayezid Khan in 1402. The wooden mimbar is carved with the solar system and planets, and is considered to represent the universe. It continues to captivate visitors with its mysterious quality and is a must-see part of the mosque.
In addition to its architectural and cultural significance, visiting Bursa Ulu Cami is also an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich history and atmosphere of the city of Bursa. Bursa was once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and the Great Mosque is just one of many historic and cultural sites in the city. Bursa is also known for its hot springs, its rich cuisine, and its stunning natural beauty, making it a well-rounded destination for travelers.
Visiting Bursa Grand Mosque is a truly unforgettable experience, and one that is not to be missed. Tour Maker Turkey is dedicated to providing the best possible travel experiences in Turkey, and we would be honored to take you on a tour of Bursa Ulu Cami and the surrounding city. Our knowledgeable guides will provide you with in-depth information about the mosque and its history, as well as about the many other sights and attractions in Bursa.
Don’t miss your chance to experience the beauty and wonder of Bursa Ulu Cami for yourself. Contact us today to book your tour!