Tophane: The Oldest Part of Bursa

The citadel of Tophane is the oldest area in the city of Bursa and part of its UNESCO World Heritage listing. It sits on a hill above the historic old town, behind the remnants of the old Byzantine walls of the city. Bursa, which was once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, was known as Proussa (Προύσσα) during ancient Greek and Byzantine times. The Sultanat Kapısı seen below was the main gate on the walls. Click here for a virtual tour of the gate.

Sultanat Kapısı at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Sultanat Kapısı

Sultanat Kapısı at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Sultanat Kapısı

There are two ways to walk up to Tophane. One is to walk up a stairway along the front of the citadel. The other is to walk up a street that connects with the main road. See the map below for more details.

Old city walls at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Old city walls

The most important structures in Tophane are the tombs of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman Gazi (1258-1326), and his son, Orhan Gazi (1281-1361). They’re entombed in buildings opposite each other.

The Osman Gazi Türbesi holds Osman Gazi (Osman I) and many of his children. Click here for a virtual tour.

Osman Gazi Türbesi at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Osman Gazi Türbesi

Osman Gazi Türbesi at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Osman Gazi Türbesi

Osman Gazi Türbesi at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Osman Gazi Türbesi

The Orhan Gazi Türbesi holds Orhan Gazi, his wife, Nilüfer Hatun, and his children. Click here for a virtual tour.

Orhan Gazi Türbesi at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Orhan Gazi Türbesi

Orhan Gazi Türbesi at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Orhan Gazi Türbesi

Orhan Gazi Türbesi at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Orhan Gazi Türbesi

Near the tombs there’s a small park with cafés, trees, and excellent views of the entire city of Bursa.

Cannons at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Cannons

View of Bursa at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

View of Bursa

View of Bursa at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

View of Bursa

View of Bursa at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

View of Bursa

The Bursa Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower), built in 1906, stands in the park. It’s six stories and 65m tall. Click here for a virtual tour.

Bursa Saat Kulesi at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Bursa Saat Kulesi

Also at Tophane, you’ll find a street lined with colorful old Ottoman buildings. Many have been converted into restaurants and shops. The Şahadet Camii, a mosque built in 1365, is one of the more prominent buildings.

Ottoman buildings at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Ottoman buildings

Şahadet Camii at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Şahadet Camii

Following the road downhill away from the city center and towards the Muradiye complex is the old tobacco factory. A local man told me it has been restored, but I’m not sure what the purpose of the building is today. There are large photos of old Bursa on the walls in front of the factory.

Old tobacco factory at Tophane, Bursa, Turkey

Old tobacco factory

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