City in northwestern Turkey, southeast of the Sea of Marmara, situated on the lower slopes of Mt Uladag (2,443 m/8,015 ft), with a port at nearby Mudanya; population (2003 est) 1,288,900. It was the capital of the Ottoman Empire from 1326 until 1423. It is a commercial and industrial centre, as well as market centre for a rich agricultural region. It was noted for its silk textiles, but the industry collapsed in the 1970s due to competition from China. Bursa is now only involved in the printing and trading of silk. Industries include food processing, metalworks, motor vehicles, and, at nearby villages, fruit and vegetables. It is also a major tourist centre.
Bursa was founded at the end of the 3rd century BC by Prusias I, king of Bithynia, and was called Prusia ad Olympium, or Prusa (later Brusa or Brussa). The city's history is reflected in its Seljuk, Ottoman, and Byzantine architecture. Captured by the Ottoman Turks in 1326, it became the Ottoman capital and was embellished with mosques, baths, and a caravansary. Bursa also gives its name to ‘Bursa style’, an architectural style that incorporates both Ottoman and Byzantine techniques, and which is especially evident in the Yesil Mosque (1419). The city has many fine mosques, including the Green Mosque (1421) and the mosque of Beyazid I (1399).
Bursa had been the western terminus of the ancient Silk Road from China. The city was the main textile manufacturing centre of the Ottoman Empire, and by the early 1850s Bursa had 14 steam-driven textile mills.
Uladag, 36 km/22 mi from Bursa, is a popular ski resort, and has the largest winter sports centre in Turkey. Bursa was seriously affected by an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale in August 1999.