Cumalıkızık: A 700-year-old Ottoman village

Listed as UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014, Cumalıkızık reflects the birth of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th and early 15th century

Bursa, Turkey

Coordinates: 40.178700, 29.171000

Cumalıkızık is a village in the Yıldırım district of Bursa Province, located 10 kilometers east of the city of Bursa, at the foot of Mount Uludağ.

Founded in 1299, in the northwestern Anatolian town of Söğüt – part of Turkey’s Bilecik province, the Ottoman Empire spread across three continents during its 700-year history. The empire, which would eventually become one of the biggest in the history of mankind, was founded by a tribe in that small village.

Within 100 years, the Ottomans had become a world power, not in a tiny town, but in Bursa’s Cumalıkızık. Welcome to the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire.

Even after the capital of the empire moved to Edirne and then to Istanbul, the people of Bursa, especially those in Cumalıkızık, preserved the town and culture that had been cultivated by the founders themselves.

Home to the tombs of Osman, the founder of the Ottoman empire, and his son Orhan, its second leader, the town was developed around respect and admiration for these historical icons. In fact, Cumalıkızık was the first place the empire used its revolutionary administrative structure that still influences governance procedures all the way into the 21st century.

The historical texture of the village has been well protected and the civilian countryside architectural structures of the early Ottoman period are still intact. Because of this, Cumalıkızık has become a popular but still unspoiled center for tourists.

Cumalıkızık holds 270 historical houses. Some of these houses are in process of restoration and maintenance, and 180 of them are still being used as dwellings.

The Turkish breakfast and various types of “gözleme” (traditional flat bread) stuffed with potato, meat, eggplant, spinach, and so forth, are famous foods in the village.

Definitely, the first place to visit are the tombs of Osman and Orhan Ghazi, the first rulers of the Ottoman Empire. They are located side by side on the top of a hill near Tophane Park.

Nature lovers will also be happy to know that Cumalıkızık also offers some greenery. As it is located on the outskirts of Uludağ Mountain, the town and its surroundings feature wonderful trekking paths, featuring ancient trees hundreds of years old. Finally, there is the mind-blowing scenery of Bursa, which is known for its natural beauty.

Know This

The village gets really crowded on weekends and holidays why you should come and leave early.

The streets are all cobblestone so if you have problems, it may be difficult to walk.
There is a car park outside the village.