Apr 292013
 

Mudanya_13Legend has it that towels were invented in the Turkish city of Bursa, and, although this may or may not be true, beautiful Bursa is most certainly worth a visit.

Bursa – the jewel of Northwestern Turkey – is home to just under two million people, and, every year, more and more tourists are discovering this city’s fascinating mix of history and natural wonders. From bubbling hot springs to marvelously informational museums and from vibrant shopping centers to magnificent marble palaces, Bursa has it all, and there can be nothing better than lounging around on soft and fluffy monogrammed towels at the gorgeously appointed Celik Palas thermal bath.

Towels and other bathroom accessories – including bath mats and bathrobes – have many uses in today’s society, and, for instance, there’s most definitely no shortage of bath mat-like prayer rugs to be seen in Bursa’s main attraction: the Ulu Camii mosque. Also known as the Bursa Grand Mosque, Ulu Camii is a brilliant example of early Ottoman architecture and sports twin minarets as well as no less than 20 decorated domes. The mosque is, however, best known for housing the largest collection of incidental Islamic calligraphy in the world, and every tourist who visits this divine building simply has no choice but to gape at the wonderful writings on its walls.

Bursa is also located close to several of the nicest beaches found on Turkey’s northwestern coast, including Kursunlu, Armutlu and magnificent Mudanya, which lies on the Marmara Sea’s stunning Gulf of Gemlik. Robes and swimsuits are the costume de rigueur for all Bursa beaches, and the town’s proximity to so many attractive bathing venues – and the resulting need for so many people to get dry – could possibly just have something to do with why the town is credited for inventing towels.

Turkey is known for many things – including tasty Turkish Delight and steamy Turkish baths – but towels are generally not the first things that spring to mind when the prospective tourist thinks about visiting this fascinating country. Given Bursa’s unique history, however, perhaps they should be.