A major landmark of early Ottoman architecture, the Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the city of Bursa. Designed and constructed at the end of the 14th century, the mosque features twenty domes supported by twelve large columns and two minarets. It is said that the twenty domes were built instead of the twenty separate mosques that Sultan Bayezid I had promised for winning the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396.
Nearly 200 inscriptions from major calligraphers of that time cover the walls inside the Grand Mosque and, despite its overall size, the interior is dimly lit and feels peaceful and intimate. A fountain where visitors can perform ritual ablutions sits below one of the domes, lit from above by a skylight. With a horizontally spacious design, the Grand Mosque is a contrast from later Ottoman mosques that have a more vertical emphasis.
The Grand Mosque is located in the old city center of Bursa, on Ataturk Road. The city of Bursa is about a four hour bus ride from Istanbul, with buses leaving regularly throughout the day from the main bus station. However, you may find it easier to join a day tour from Istanbul that would allow you to get an overview of all of the major sights in Bursa, including the Grand Mosque. As with any mosque, dress conservatively and remove your shoes before entering.