Located in the city of Bursa, the Green Mosque is part of a larger complex that also includes a madrassah, tomb, kitchen and bath. Commissioned by Sultan Mehmed I Celebi, it was built between 1419 and 1421 in an architectural style that would later become known as “Bursa Style.” Based on a reverse T-plan, the mosque was made of sandstone and covered with marble panels. Two minarets that could only be accessed through the sultan’s apartments were added later.
The Green Mosque likely got its name from the blue green tiles that once adorned the exteriors of its domes. Similar tiles still embellish the interior walls and ceiling. The imposing entrance features two marble sofas on either side and a variety of inscriptions and arabesques, including a long Arabic inscription in bronze above the door. Underneath the central dome sits white marble fountain with an octagonal pool.
An earthquake damaged the mosque in 1855, after which it underwent extensive renovations. Although many of the original decorations of the mosque’s vaults and walls were not restored, the mosque remains a remarkable site to behold and is a must-see in Bursa.
The Green Mosque is located on the east side of the city of Bursa, Turkey. Bursa is about a four hour bus ride from Istanbul, with buses leaving the main bus station frequently throughout the day. However, you may find it more convenient to join a day tour from Istanbul that will allow you to see many of the main sights of Bursa, including the Green Mosque. Be sure to dress conservatively and remove your shoes before entering the mosque.