Muradiye Mosque & Tombs, Bursa

The Muradiye Hüdavendigâr mosque complex is in a quiet Bursa neighborhood that includes the Mosque of Sultan Murat II (the “Muradiye,” 1426), the tombs of many early Ottoman princes, princesses, sultans and sultanas, a medieval health center still in use (now modernized), a soup kitchen that’s now an Ottoman-style restaurant, a historic Turkish bathand two old Ottoman houses that are now museums.

The Muradiye Mosque is similar in style to Bursa’s Green Mosque, which was completed just two years earlier.

On the west side of the mosque is a shady garden filled with a dozen domed tombs. It would be nice to think that all these imperial princes (şehzade) died in old age, content with their courses through life, but because the early Ottoman Empire did not recognize primogeniture(entitlement of the first-born to inherit the throne), many of them were purposefully murdered by thei relatives—usually their brothers—to prevent civil wars of succession to the throne.

Here are the most interesting tombs:

Tomb of Murat II

The porch of the II. Murat Türbesi is fancy, but the rest of the sultan’s tomb is severely plain. A hole in the dome allows rain to fall on the sultan’s uncovered tomb, as he wished.

Tomb of Prince Cem

The youngest son of the mighty Sultan Mehmet II the Conqueror, upon his father’s death Prince Cem (pronounced JEHM) fled to Europe to avoid capture and murder by his older brother Beyazit II. Held hostage by the pope and European powers, he was used as a diplomatic pawn in the European struggle with the Ottoman Empire.

Imperial Tombs, Muradiye, Bursa, Turkey
Gravestones & tombs at Muradiye

Prince Mustafa Tomb

Şehzade Mustafa, the promising son of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, was murdered by order of his father the sultan who was led to suspect him of treason. Soon after Mustafa’s death, Süleyman bitterly regretted his error. The tomb has extremely fine İznik tiles from the great era of their artistry.

17th-century Ottoman House Museum

The 17. Y. Y. Osmanlı Evi Müzesi is across the park from the front of the Muradiye Mosque.

Murat II Hamam

Across the busy street to the west is the II. Murat Hamami, or Turkish bath of Murat II, still in operation and open to the public.

Hüsnü Züber House

Uphill behind the hamam (follow the signs) is the Hüsnü Züber Evi, another, later, Ottoman house museum.

—by Tom Brosnahan


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