Bursa and Cumalıkızık: centuries-old Ottoman heritage protected by UNESCO

Baku, April 18, AZERTAC

Cumalıkızık, carrying the traces of the Ottoman Empire to this day, with 700-year-old Ottoman civilian architecture vivid and sturdy to the present day in the northwestern province of Bursa, is located in the Turkish city of Bursa and the nearby village of Cumalıkızık, in the southern Marmara region.

“Bursa and Cumalıkızık: The Birth of the Ottoman Empire,” which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014, consists of six components including the Hanlar Region that covers Orhangazi Complex and its surroundings, Hüdavendigar (I. Murad) Complex, Yıldırım (Bayezid I) Complex, Green (Mehmed I) Külliye, Muradiye (Murad II) Complex and Cumalıkızık.

The site illustrates the creation of an urban and rural system establishing the Ottoman Empire in the early 14th century.

The property embodies the key functions of the social and economic organization of the new capital, which evolved around a civic centre. These include commercial districts of khans, kulliyes (religious institutions) integrating mosques, religious schools, public baths and a kitchen for the poor, as well as the tomb of Orhan Ghazi, founder of the Ottoman dynasty.

Bursa and Cumalıkızık represent the creation of an urban and rural system establishing the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire and the Sultan’s seat in the early 14th century.

In the empire’s establishment process, Bursa became the first city, which was shaped by kulliyes, in the context of waqf (public endowments) system determining the expansion of the city and its architectural and stylistic traditions.

Bursa and Cumalıkızık illustrate the first capital of the Ottoman Sultans, rulers of an Empire reaching from Anatolia to Yemen and including parts of Europe and North Africa for hundreds of years, which developed a unique architectural plan called “Bursa style” or “inverted T plan”.

In the first stage, the inverted T planned mosques, with guest rooms, were able to meet the functions of independent buildings such as public kitchen and madrasah, which were constructed in the complexes as separate buildings, in later stages.

Kulliyes, as social units, meeting the requirements of the society and facilitating life, shaped the city by taking the multifunctional structure of this plan type as an example. In other words, the multifunctional inverted T plan is an exceptional building type which illustrates uniquely the city planning system in Bursa. These kulliyes, with their individual buildings constitute the urban nuclei of this system and characteristically shape the urban landscape of Bursa. While individual architectural components in Bursa can be considered as outstanding examples of architectural type, this criterion is met through the ensembles, created by these components (khans, bedesten, mosques, madrasahs, tombs, hamams, and houses).

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