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Lower Fort and the Larger City


Ottoman Gardens
Nurhan Atasoy; Seyit Ali Kahraman
17th century 19th century


  • Travel Account, 17th century

Garden Description

While passing through Mudanya, Evliya Çelebi mentions the abundance of vineyards and gardens and the famed figs, grapes, grape juice, and vinegar. Arriving in Bursa, he observes its sites and their characteristics such as Uludag, the rivers that flow through houses and palaces by way of canals, springs that water all the buildings, numerous pools, fountains and şadırvans, house hamams, vineyards, orchards, and the fountains which water them. He writes: Over the shops on the hundreds of streets of Bursa, grapevines hang like chandeliers. These streets, which have become places of shade, are marketplaces decorated with grapevines. In some small squares, there are streets lined with large sycamores and weeping willows. For this city, like the Garden of Eden, is city of heavenly gardens, written to have 47,000 lush vineyards, gardens, and orchards. All the houses of the lower city have their own garden like the Garden of Eden, and each has its pool and şadirvan also.

Evliya describes the city as green Bursa. The city’s fecundity was even more evident at the time, when it had 366 recreational spaces, each which had many wild flowers and was a garden unto itself.