General Information on Bursa at the Turn of the Century

General Information on Bursa at the Turn of the Century

From the early nineteenth century onward in Europe, guide books on Turkey began to gain in popularity, corresponding to the increasin  im ortance of  Turkey to Europe. These publications contain a wealth of information that is inaccessible to anyone today who might wish to make a tour. The most well known among these works are the series, “Meyer’s Reisebücher” and “Baedeker” both published in Germany. I would like to discuss here Bursa in the pre-Republican era, by taking a look at the fırst edition of Baedeker in 1905 and the second edition of 1914 titled Konstantinopel and Kleinasien (Istanbul and Asia Minor).

Hotels: Hotel d Anatolie (Proprietess, Madam Brotte), with garden and good wine; rate,  15 francs (reduction for long-term guests). Otel Nuriye, next to the Sedbaşı bridge; Hotel Bellevue, at the Jewish Stop; rates for both hotels range between 9-12 francs and the employees are indigenous;

In addition, three other hotels-Hotel Slindide, immediately opposite, Hotel d'Europe and Hotel Bellevue-all in Çekirge.

Transportation: From station to hotel (about 10 minutes) 10 piasters; half day 30, whole days 60 piasters. Short distances within town 5 piasters. Tıcket good for one hour 10 piasters. Donkey half day 10 piasters. Horses half day 25 and full day, 50 piasters. The above rates vary at high season; bargaining is recommended.

Construction underway for electric streetcar service for inner city and Çekirge.

Consulates: England, France and Russia have vice-consular representatives; the Austro-Hungarian monarchy is represented by an agent.

Photographs: Photographs of Bursa are available in Istanbul. The Album-Guide de Brousse issued by the railroad company in 1903 can be purchased for 10 piasters.

Banks: Agents for the Ottoman Bank and the German Orierıt Bank are located in İpek Han.

Turkish Post Office: In Konak quarter The clerk who accepts the letter must be to write the name of the destination country.

Guides: (Full day varies between 6-8 francs and half day, 3-4 francs. In season rates are higher) Actually, no guide is necessary. The owner of the rented car the driver or the donkey owner's child will take you to the principle attractions that I have specifıed below.

The following information on Bursa is also provided in the same work: “Bursa is the capital of the province of Hüdavendigâr; that is, it is the residence of the governor Besides the governor  a Greek Orthodox Archbishop,  an Armenian Gregorian Archbishop, an Armenian Roman Catholic bishop and a Jewish rabbi are also in residence. The population of Bursa prior to 1453, when it was scattered over a wide area, was more than 100,000. By the fırst half of the l9th century it had fallen to 70,000 and even to 35,000. Following the close of the Russo-Ottoman war (1878), the settlement of immigrants from the Balkans swelled the population once more to 90,000. Turks constitute two-thirds of this fıgure and Armenians, Greeks and Jews make up the remainder. A small colony of Europeans also dwells in the city. A signifıcant proportion of the populace earn their living by silk production.  A trade school on the European model that has been re-organized provides training in this trade and raw silk is produced. About 2,000 people are employed on the more than 500 weaving looms in Bursa.  The raw silk manufactured is generally exported to Lyon. Other commodities, like towels, textiles and tulle are subcontracted; this method, however is being threatened by competition of European manufactures. Wine production, which no longer preserves the former quality olive oil, opium and a variety of fruits are the principle products. The rice paddies have been dried up in conjunction with the fıght against malaria. The thermal spring resorts, which should be better organized and developed, are in their present condition of little benefıt to the city Mineral resources found within the provincial borders include chrome, antimony, lead with silver content, tin, blende, borax, meerschaum and slate; but because of the lack of infrastructure little is produced....”