Historical Bursa

Bursa was founded in the second century BC by the Bythinian king Prusius. The king followed the advice of the Carthaginian general Hannibal, who had taken refuge with Prusius after fleeing from the Roman army, to build the city on a hill where it could be protected with a mighty fortress wall. Over the years the name was corrupted to Bursa.

Bursa gained global importance as the most important end point on the silk road: silk weavers began congregating in the city in the 6th Century AD, and the city is still an important textile hub. Throughout the city you can still see historical hans, inns where traders would arrive and sell their goods in marketplaces above while their exhausted animals got some rest in stables below.

Bursa also became an important city for the early Ottoman state. Bursa became the capital of the Ottoman state for 28 years, a century before Istanbul (then Constantinople) was captured from the Byzantines, a fact reflected in the glorious shrine-like tombs of some of the first emperors found in the city.

Bursa the centre of Turkey’s automotive industry

The city also became the centre of Turkey’s automotive industry. Many young drivers still learn in an old Bursa-produced Tofaş car, the product of a partnership between local investors and Fiat of Italy. That partnership is soon to be revived, as the government has encouraged and sponsored the creation of a new generation of the iconic cheap and cheerful cars.

Bursa and football

Bursa is also known for its ebulliently nationalistic football fans – Bursaspor is the only team outside the “big four” to have ever won the Süper Lig, and it has very strong local support.


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