I paid $8.50 for a ferry ticket from Istanbul to Bursa, a city a few hours south of Istanbul which was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site last year:
“This property is a serial nomination of eight component sites in the City of Bursa and the nearby village of Cumalikizik, in the southern Marmara region. The site illustrates the creation of an urban and rural system establishing the Ottoman Empire in the early 14th century.”
Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque)
The main attraction is Ulu Cami, the Grand Mosque of Bursa, featuring 20 domes, two minarets, and a large water fountain in the middle.
This monumental mosque was built between 1396 – 1399 and is famous for its Islamic calligraphy.
Yesil Mosque (Green Mosque)
Another excellent example of early Ottoman architecture is the Green Mosque, which was built from 1419 – 1421.
Similar to how the Blue Mosque in Istanbul was named after the blue tiles used inside, the Green Mosque features blue and green tile work.
Yesil Turbe (Green Tomb)
More interesting to me was the Green Tomb, a mausoleum where Ottoman Sultan Mehmed I was laid to rest in 1421. It was ordered by the Sultan’s son and designed by the same architect as the Green Mosque.
Unlike the mosque, however, the mausoleum features colorful tiles on the exterior as well as the interior.
Bursa and Cumalikizik: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. Click here for the full list of UNESCO sites Dave has visited.