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Bursa Travel Guide, Turkey

Bursa, Turkey is ramping up to become a major tourist destination and it seems that this effort has been a success. The 2018 Winter Olympics have already been scheduled in Bursa and the city has geared up to handle the event and the accompanying crowds,.

Bursa has been a tourist destination since the time of the Roman Empire when the first Roman Baths were built to make use of the rich mineral water. Since then, the Turkish Baths have grown in number and popularity. A physiotherapy center that uses the same famous water has been established at the Uludag University that is located here.

The ski resort, Uludag in the mountains near Bursa, is being enlarged and improved to handle the Winter Olympic events and the large number of anticipated spectators. It is easily accessed by cable car from the city and features a refreshment complex together with several World Class ski runs.

Also situated near a fertile plain, Bursa has been an agricultural center for centuries, but this mainstay is declining in prominence as more industry establishes itself here. The food processing and canning factories that grew up around the farming region remain and Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola bottling plants and several food-related industries have located their plants here to take advantage of the transport facilities already in place. Renault, Fiat and other automobile manufacturers have settled here and the region has historically long been been famed for textile, particularly silk, production.

But Bursa has primarily thrived on Tourism and has many hotels, most featuring their own Turkish Baths and spa areas and restaurants to service and rejuvenate visitors. Bursa was once a capital of the Ottoman Empire and an important city in the Byzantine Empire; both of these influences are represented in the city's architecture, which features several fine Mosques and Bathhouses. It has from necessity become a contemporary city; Bursa survived both earthquake and fire during the 19th century that reduced the number of ancient buildings, which have been replaced with buildings that represent the graceful lifestyle of the Grand Epoch.

It's historically a textile producing city and silks were made here to service successive Royal households. This industry began when silk cocoons were imorted from china in the middle ages and is still important. Local shops and outdoor markets feature exotic robes, yardage, pillows and clothing a great variety of patterns all fashioned from luxurious silk. Some of the locally woven silks have fine gold and silver threads woven into them. Shops feature these textiles and also replicas of the famed Karagoz & Hacivat shadow puppets.

Bursa, like most Turkish cities, is also known for sport and cuisine. There is a local soccer team and and several Turkish food specialities originated here. Iskender Kebap is a hand held concoction of flatbread, sauces and sliced marinated and grilled lamb. Chestnut candy is made fresh locally and the peaches grown nearby are unique.

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