A Glimpse into Ottoman History

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Towards the end of the eleventh century, Brusa came under the control of the Seljuk Turks. However, they abandoned the city following the Crusaders’ capture of Nicsea in 1097 A.D. During Theodore Lascaris’s retreat to Brusa after the Latin capture of Constantinople, the town faced an unsuccessful siege in 1204 A.D. by around 100 French forces led by Pierre de Bracheux and Payen d’Orleans. In 1326, the Turks, under Orkhan I., successfully took Brusa after a ten-year siege, establishing it as the capital of their Empire. Brusa thrived under Turkish rule, attracting poets, tile-makers, and dervishes from various parts of Asia. Many churches and monasteries were transformed into mosques and mausoleums, while new charitable institutions, public buildings, and mosques were constructed. Notably, Brusa was where the formidable Janissaries were first organized during Osman’s reign.

Modern Brusa is the principal town in the Hudavendighiar province, governed by a Yali (Governor-General). The population is approximately 70,000, with about 35,000 Muslims Discovering Brusa, the rest being Christians, including some 2,000 Jews. The European community in Brusa comprises around 500 individuals, mostly French and Italians. The town boasts excellent roads in the surroundings, and most streets are reasonably well-paved and maintained. Carriages are available for hire at 50 piastres (8s. 4d.) per day.

Hotels

Hotel d’Anatolie

Telegraphing for rooms during the season is advisable. Board costs 12 fr. per day, inclusive of local wine.

Hotel Belle Vue.

To make the most of the sights in and around Brusa, it is recommended to start the day between 8 and 9 A.M. Begin by driving to Ulu Jami, then to Yeshil Jami (Green Mosque), followed by a visit to Bunar-Bachi, a valley adorned with plane-trees and weeping willows, with a spring sourced from Mount Olympus. Return through the ancient walls of Lascaris to the citadel, offering a panoramic view of the city. Explore the tombs of Sultan Osman and Orkhan within the citadel. On the return journey, consider visiting one of the silk mills, and if time permits, explore the tombs near Muradieh Mosque Private Balkan Trip. In the afternoon, venture to the Bazaars, ferruginous and sulphur baths, and proceed to the courtyard of Hudavendighiar Mosque for another splendid view of Brusa’s surroundings. If you visited the Muradieh tombs in the morning, there may be time in the afternoon for a donkey or carriage ride to Injaya, approximately 5 miles beyond the town, providing excellent views of Lake Apollonia, Brusa, and its environs on the return journey.

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