pleasant Covered Market (Kapalı Çarşı) is
much smaller than Istanbul's 4000-shop
labyrinth, but it's only the centerpiece
of a much larger Bursa bazaar
with narrow streets, many of them covered
to protect shoppers from bad weather.
Wander through Bursa's Covered
Bazaar, just off the Koza
Park next to the Great
Mosque (Ulu Cami), and don't
miss the handsomest of the hans:
(Silk) Han, the Koza
(Cocoon) Han, and the Emir
The narrow streets harbor a dozen hans (caravanserais),
old Ottoman workshop-and-warehouse
complexes arranged around a courtyard
and sealed by massive armored doors.
Silk is the strong
point in many shops. Silk was Bursa's
prime cloth trade for centuries, and
although much of the silk now on sale
comes from elsewhere, the variety and
selection are still impressive.
When I first came to Turkey in the
1960s, silk was still being raised
in commercial quantities around Bursa.
In April the farmers would buy their
silkworms and set them to eating mulberry
By May or June they had spun their
cocoons (koza). Huge sacks
of the valuable cocoons would soon
fill the Koza Han to
be haggled over by farmers, brokers
Of special interest is the Eski
Aynalı Çarşı ("Old
Mirrored Market"), which was
actually built as a hamam (Turkish
bath), but later converted to shops.
Drop in at Karagöz
an antiques and handicrafts shop
that also carries Karagöz
(Silk) Han, center of the Bursa silk trade.
Below left, silk
for sale in a Koza