Green Mosque of Bursa is located in Yesil district of Bursa city. Yesil stands for green in the Turkish language. It is a well-deserved name for the district as it is named after the structures around the Green Mosque. Green Mosque is located in the middle of a Kulliye which is a complex housing multiple facilities. Kulliye complexes include mosques, soup kitchens, royal burials, schools and libraries. They are widely seen in almost all important Turkish settlements from CentralAsia to Europe. Bursa became the capital of the Ottoman Empire in 1326. Even though Edirne became the capital of the Ottomans 39 years later, the palace continued to build beautiful structures to Bursa.
The Kulliye of Green Mosque consists of royal tombs, madrasah, kitchen and a Turkish bath. The construction of the mosque finished in 1419 according to the inscription inside the mosque. The beautiful tile works and intricate pen work were completed in 1424. I Mehmet commissioned the construction of the Green Mosque. Unfortunately, he could not see the end of the project as he passed away in 1421. The mosque was finished by his son II Murad who also built the Green Tomb across the mosque as a Royal Tomb to his father and his family members. Green Tomb deserves another blog post just because of its phenomenal tile works and you can read it now.
The Green Mosque of Bursa was built by Haci Ivaz Pasha. He was a commander in the Ottoman Army and fought with I Mehmet. The impressive pen work in the domes and tiles embellishing the walls were made by Nakkas Ali who was the most famous artist of Turkish Islamic Architecture in the 15th Century. He supervised a group of artists from Tebriz which was a very important city of art in Iran. They are referred to in a Persian inscription on the altar of the mosque as Masters of Tebriz. Many scholars and artists ran away from Iran because of the invasions of Tamerlane and his successors in the 14th and 15th Centuries.
The Green Mosque was used as a Government House and a court. The structure has an inverted T-plan with an extension in the south. There is an anteroom accessible with a few stairs before the main prayer hall. This central hall extends from north to south and has two openings in the East and the West. There is an octagonal pool underneath the main dome of the mosque. The domes are 13 meters wide and 25 meters high. The marble was brought from Marmara Island in the Sea of Marmara which is still an active mine at present. The Green Mosque is the first marble structure of the Ottomans in Bursa city. Mecnun Mehmet is the artist of the impressive tiles of the Green Mosque. The best tiles are seen on the 10meter high 6,5-meter wide altar of the mosque. Some of the woodwork inside the mosque dates back to the 19th Century. The original minarets collapsed in the earthquake in 1855. They are believed to be covered by green tiles which gave a well-deserved name to the mosque. The minarets seen today were added in the late 19th Century. Today, you can visit the museum of Turkish And Islamic Arts located in the Green Mosque Kulliye as well as the Green Tomb and the two hans in the same place.
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