Location It is located near Orhangazi, 20 km / 12.5 miles from Yalova on the way to Bursa
Surface area 298 km² / 115 sq miles. The biggest lake in the Marmara region
Width Elliptical in shape. 12 km / 7.5 miles
Length 32 km / 20 miles
Depth 30 m / 100 ft. One of the deepest lakes. The deepest part is 65 m / 210 ft
Altitude 85 m / 280 ft
Formation Tectonic
Water Freshwater

It is surrounded by olive trees, grapes and fruit gardens. The excess of water is carried to the Gemlik Bay.

More than 20 kinds of fish including mainly carp, pike and crawfish live in the lake.


Nicaea, an important city of the Hellenistic-Roman Kingdom of Bithynia, was founded in the 4C BC by the Macedonian King Antigonus I and was later expanded by King Lysimachus. Lying astride busy trade routes to Galatia and Phrygia, Nicaea flourished as a commercial and cultural center.

The city achieved fame as the site of two ecumenical councils in the Byzantine period and later for its tiles during the Ottoman Empire.

Councils of Nicaea

The two councils of Nicaea were ecumenical councils of the Christian church held in 325 and 787, respectively. The First Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council held by the church, is best known for its formulation of the Nicene Creed, the earliest dogmatic statement of Christian orthodoxy. The council also made explicit the relationship between the emperor and the Church: he was head of the Church as well as head of the state. The council was convened in 325 by the Roman Emperor Constantine I.

The Second Council of Nicaea, the seventh ecumenical council of the Christian church, was convoked by the Byzantine Empress Irene in 787 to rule on the use of saints’ images and icons in religious devotion. At that time a strong movement known as Iconoclasm, which opposed the pictorial representation of saints or of the Trinity, existed in the Greek church. Prompted by Irene, the council declared that whereas the veneration of images was legitimate and the intercession of saints efficacious, their veneration must be carefully distinguished from the worshipping of God alone.


Size 6th largest city in Turkey
Altitude 100 m / 328 ft
Industry Textiles, automobiles and glacé chestnuts
Agriculture Wheat, barley, corn, rice, sugar beet, tobacco, sunflowers, olives, peaches, strawberries, artichokes and peas
Animal husbandry Sheep, chickens and sericulture
History Bithynian, Pontus, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman, Turkish Republic

The ancient city called Prusa was founded in the 3C BC and named after the Bithynian King Prusias I. Today’s “Bursa” derives from Prusa. Bursa was the first capital of the Ottomans between 1326-1364. The city is also known as Yesil (green) Bursa because many of its 15C buildings are painted in this color. Bursa is very rich in thermal springs, most of which are in the Cekirge area. Bursa today is the center of the Turkish silk industry , producing silk not only for fabrics but for the world-famous Hereke silk carpets.

Yesil Kulliyesi (Green Complex)
This complex, which consists of a mosque, a medrese, a turbe and an imaret, was built by Sultan Mehmet I between the years 1419-1424. The medrese today is a museum of Turkish and Islamic arts.

Yesil Cami (Green Mosque)
Yesil Cami is a mosque of the Zaviye plan. Zaviye is a kind of multi-functional mosque having the inverted “T” plan with additional rooms for traveling dervishes. This style was mostly seen during the first years of the Ottoman Empire. In addition to the normal mosque chamber, there are two more chambers forming wings of the inverted “T” on both sides with rooms for dervishes. In the middle of the building there is a pool which provides drinking water and sadirvan. Above the entrance is the sultan’s lodge flanked by two balconies for the imperial family members.

By looking at the incomplete son cemaat yeri and missing inscriptions around the windows outside, it is possible to understand that it is an unfinished mosque. Two minarets are not original but from the 19C.

The name of the mosque comes from green tiles which at one time covered the dome and the tops of the minarets.

Yesil Turbe (Green Tomb)
It is the tomb of Sultan Mehmet I. It has a single octagonal chamber surmounted by a dome. Walls were covered with turquoise tiles and the entrance is through a monumental gate. Inside the building there are nine sarcophagi, the biggest belonging to Mehmet I and others to members of his family and court. Actually these are empty and symbolic as people were buried downstairs.

The mihrab of the tomb is so beautiful that it can be compared to the one in the Green Mosque.

Ulucami was the Great Mosque of Bursa which was built by Sultan Bayezit I between the years 1396-1400.

Ulucami was the first congregational mosque built by the Ottomans. Unlike many other mosques, this one does not have one big central dome. The area of the building is covered with 20 equally-sized domes which are carried by 12 pillars inside. Transitions from the legs to the domes are through pendentives.

Mihrab, the prayer niche, is a fine example of the Ottoman stone work and dates from 1571. The 15C minber, the pulpit is made of walnut with representations of heavenly bodies. It does not have a typical courtyard. The sadirvan is in the shape of a pool inside the mosque. Like many other buildings in Bursa, Ulucami also underwent many restorations due to earthquakes and fires. The features which give the mosque the quality of a calligraphy museum are the beautiful hand writings dating from the 19C.

Koza Han
It is silk cocoon han which was built in 1451. After passing through many restorations, the Koza Han still survives today and continues to be the center of the silk industry. The courtyard in the middle is surrounded by two stories of shops. Each year in June or early July, silkworm farmers who have nurtured the silkworms for 6 weeks bring sacks of white cocoons which are ready for spinning. At this time of the year the atmosphere in the Koza Han is vividly hectic.

Silkworms were domesticated in China 5,000 years ago. The Chinese kept the secret of it in their monopoly till two monks, during the reign of Justinian II in the 6C AD, smuggled silkworm eggs inside a hollow cane from China and cultivation of silk was begun in Constantinople.

The Byzantines were interested in this industry and the cultivation of silk became a state industry. The Ottoman Turks also encouraged the industry in two bases, one for production and the other for trade. The two major centers were Bursa and Edirne; two capitals of the early Ottoman Empire.

The process of sericulture
Silkworm eggs are very small; the weight of 2,000 eggs is not more than one gram / 15 grains. 20,000 eggs which are also called seeds, are put in standard boxes and left in the appropriate temperature. In 11-14 days, the worms emerge and start eating mulberry leaves. The continuous consumption of mulberry leaves for one box of silkworms weighs more than 500 kg / 1,100 pounds. The mulberry tree is the main factor in this process because without mulberry leaves sericulture is impossible. When the first eggs were smuggled to Europe, mulberry trees did not grow there. Therefore it was also necessary to bring the seeds of the tree to Europe. Worms complete their development in 24-28 days and start spinning cocoons for themselves with gossamer threads coming from their mouths in 48-72 hours. Each cocoon weighs about 1.5 g / 23 grains. The length of the thread coming from each cocoon is between 1,000-2,000 m / 3,280-6,560 ft. Nearly 80% of this can be obtained in the process. If development is allowed to continue normally, in about 2 weeks the chrysalis will break through the cocoon filament and emerge as a moth and live only a few days. Females lay 300-500 eggs before they die. Eggs lie in wait for the following spring.

In order to obtain silk, the cocoons are passed through hot steam to kill the butterflies before they break through the cocoons. The next stage is to put silk threads onto cones by machine in factories. The production of raw silk can take place only where the climate is warm and mulberry leaves are abundant.

China produces most of the world’s silk with Turkey being eleventh. Until the 1980s most of the production in Turkey was exported. However, after the development of the silk carpet production in the country, exports nearly stopped. The cultivation of silkworms is diminishing because it is chancy and troublesome and villagers prefer to deal with sure-profit crops.

Properties of silk
Silk is the strongest of all natural fibers, ranked in strength with the synthetic fiber nylon. Woven into material silk is lightweight but retains warmth and is valued as an insulating liner in gloves and footwear. Nevertheless, it is the coolest of hot-weather fabrics and it can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling wet. The fiber is remarkably resistant to heat and will burn for only as long as a flame is directly applied to its surface. Its low conductivity makes it an excellent material for electric-wire insulation. Until the introduction of nylon, silk was the only fiber light and strong enough to be used for parachutes, sheer hosiery and surgical sutures.


Karatepe (peak) 2,543 m / 8,340 ft
Sarialan; last stop of cable 1,621 m / 5,315 ft
Kadiyayla; first stop of cable 1,235 m / 4,050 ft

Also named Kesis (monk) Dagi in the Ottoman period till 1925. The location is between the Marmara and Aegean regions. Bursa is located on the foothill of Uludag.


Up to 500 m / 1,640 ft chestnut and pine trees
600-1,600 m / 1,970-5,250 ft beech-trees
1,600 m / 5,250 ft and above fir trees and junipers

There are also Wolfram (Tungsten) mines on top of the mountain.

Uludag is Turkey’s most popular skiing center where there are 11 state and 14 private sector complexes with a 3,000 bed capacity.

Other Skiing Centers

Kartalkaya (Bolu), Erciyas (Kayseri), Palandoken(Erzurum), Sarikamis (Kars), Saklikent (Antalya), Ilgaz (Kastamonu).