About Bursa Grand Mosque

About bursa grand mosque
Photo: wikipedia

Bursa Ulu Mosque is a religious building built in Bursa between the years 1396-1400 by I. Bayezid.

One of the historical symbols of Bursa, the mosque is located in the city center of Bursa, on Atatürk Street. It is considered the most classic and monumental example of the multi-footed mosque scheme. Twenty-domed building, the interior is the largest mosque in Turkey congregation place. It is believed that the architect was Ali Neccar or Hacı İvaz. The pulpit of the mosque made with kundekari technique is a valuable work of art, which is considered one of the most important examples of the transition from Seljuk carving art to Ottoman wood carving art.

19 calligraphy and graffiti, written by different calligraphers in the second half of the 20th century and early 192th century, are among the original examples of calligraphy.

The fountain, inside the mosque's interior, under a dome with an open top, is one of the remarkable features of the Great Mosque.


The Great Mosque of Bursa was built by the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I upon his return from the Niğbolu Campaign. There is no inscription giving the date of the mosque's construction; however, the 802 (1399) date at the pulpit door is considered the construction date of the mosque.

Construction of the Grand Mosque of Bursa; it is considered both as a continuation of the state's efforts to impose itself on the world as a political, economic and cultural entity, and as a requirement of an effort to give an identity to the Ottoman society. At the opening of the mosque, it is narrated that Somuncu Baba, one of the important Sufis of the period, read the first sermon.

The mosque was regarded as highly respected by the society at the time of its construction and the teachers of other madrasahs found it an honor to teach here. In the following centuries, unusually large writings adorning the interior of the mosque became one of the reasons for social interest and reputation.

Shortly after its construction, after Yıldırım Bayezid was captured in the Ankara War, during the occupation of Bursa by Timur and during the Fetret Period, the mosque was tried to be burned by piling wood on the outer facades of Karamanoğlu Mehmed Bey's Bursa siege (1413). As a result of these fires, the siding was destroyed. The resulting rubble wall texture was built with thick plaster; this continued until the restoration in the 1950s. The plaster was removed during the renovation that he saw after the burning of the northern courtyard in the 1958 Great Bazaar fire.

The first repair document of the mosque, which was reopened in 1421 after the period of the interregnum, belongs to 1494. Until 1862, there are 23 other repair documents. The muezzin mahfil was built in 1549. The door cover of the Kaaba, which was brought by Yavuz Sultan Selim in 1517 when the conquest of Egypt and the caliphate passed to the Ottoman, was given to the Great Mosque by the sultan and hung to the left of the pulpit. The stone preacher opposite the muezzin mahfil was made in 1815.

The mosque was damaged in the great earthquake of 1855. Only the dome at the bottom of the western minaret of the mosque, whose eighteen domes had collapsed, and the front of the mihrab could survive. After the earthquake, he underwent a major repair. During this period, famous calligraphers sent from Istanbul with the order of Sultan Abdülmecid overhauled the great writings in the mosque. In addition, new lines were added.

In a fire in 1889, the wooden cones of the minarets were burned and then rebuilt as masonry.

Architectural features

The rectangular mosque is about 5000 square meters in size and is covered with 20 domes. Domes sitting on octagonal pulleys are arranged in five rows perpendicular to the mihrab wall. Pulleys are arranged lower each time as they move sideways with the highest on the mihrab axis. It is estimated that the two thick minarets built with brick material at both ends of the northern facade and the minarets belong to the Sultan Çelebi Mehmed period.

To alleviate the massive effect of thick body walls built with smooth cut stones, deaf pointed arches were built on the facades to align with each row of domes. There are two windows in each row in two arches. Their shapes and sizes are different on every front.

There are two minarets built on the north side of the building where there is no last congregation place. Neither of the minarets sits on the body wall, it starts from the ground. The minaret on the west corner was built by I. Bayezid. Its octagonal shaped rostrum is made entirely of marble and its body is made of brick. The square minaret minaret in the east corner, which is said to have been built by Mehmet I, is 1 meter apart from the body wall of the mosque. Cheers are the same in both minarets and decorated with brick muqarnas. When lead-covered cones disappeared in the fire in 1889, today's knotted stone cones were made.

The mosque, whose main door is in the north, has three doors with those in the east and west. In addition, a door to Hünkar Mahfili, which was later reserved for the Sultan to pray, was made by breaking through the window; Thus, the number of doors has increased to four.


The pulpit of Bursa Grand Mosque, made of hard walnut tree with kundekari technique, was made by an artist named Mehmed, son of Hacı Abdülaziz. There is not enough information in the sources about who is the master who made the pulpit, which is one of the important examples of the transition from Seljuk art to Ottoman wood carving. The name of the master was written on the right side of the pulpit with carved sulus script. The last word of the phrase he wrote his name was read in different ways; in some sources he was from Antep; In some sources it was stated that Tabriz was from Devak village.

Seljuk tradition prevails in terms of form in the pulpit. There are door wings at the entrance of the four-step pulpit. The triangular shaped pulpit crown is herbally decorated in the holework technique. The crown with the Rumis coming from the edges of the triangles has a wavy form. Aynalıkaltı is divided into 12 panels. In the side mirrors, the surface is divided into geometrical divisions with multi-armed stars and inside each piece is filled with floral motifs. Pulpit banister is different in both directions. In the east direction, the geometric composition consisting of eight-armed stars and octagons was placed in the whole railing in the holework technique. In the other direction, boards processed in floor carving and boring technique were used alternately. The inscription above the pulpit door contains the date of its construction and the name of its leader.

Some mysteries have been attributed to the Great Mosque pulpit. In 1980, the geometric composition in the east of the pulpit symbolized the sun and the planets around it; the distances between them are proportional to their actual extensions; The composition on the west is claimed to represent the galaxy system.


The fountain, located under the open-top dome in the middle of the twenty-domed building in the interior of the mosque, is one of the remarkable features of the Great Mosque. This feature, which is a continuation of the hill opening and the pool beneath it, which is common in the Seljuk structures, connects the mosque with the Seljuk tradition. The open dome under the fountain is now closed with glass.


Günceleme: 04/01/2023 09:13

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