Muradiye Complex

Top choice historic site in Bursa

Set in a shady park, this Ottoman-era complex incorporates a handsome medrese (seminary; 1426) and the equally handsome Sultan Murat II (Muradiye) Camii (also 1426), but its most interesting elements are the 13 imperial türbes (tombs) in the cemetery. A number of these are exquisitely decorated with tiles, painted calligraphy and inlaid woodcarving. Don't miss the 14th-century tomb of Cem Sultan (the third son of Mehmet the Conqueror) and 16th-century tombs of Şehzades Mahmud and Ahmed, the sons of Beyazıt II.

Like other Islamic dynasties, the Ottomans did not practice primogeniture – any royal son could claim power upon his father's death, which, unsurprisingly, resulted in numerous bloodbaths. The tombs preserve this macabre legacy: all the şehzades (imperial sons) interred here were killed by close relatives. While many tombs are ornate and trimmed with beautiful İznik tiles, others are simple and stark, like that of the ascetic and part-time dervish Murat II.

The 15th-century Muradiye Medresesi was a tuberculosis clinic in the 1950s and still houses a medical centre. The Sultan Murat II Hamamı, which catered to the medrese students, is now a government building.

A taxi from the city centre will charge around ₺15 to get here.


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