Madrass (Islamic Structural Type for Institutions of Education and Health Care)

The earliest examples of Ottoman madrasas in Bursa and environs tend from the very beginning to exhibit an identity different from those of the Seljuk period. With the exception of two executions-one of which was the Lala Şahin Pasha madrasa in Bursa from the Orhan Gazi period (1340)-no interest was shown in the madrasa design with dome-covered courtyard, of which the Seljuks created the extremely lovely examples in Anatolia. Rather a new madrasa scheme was developed peculiar to the Ottomans-first seen in the Süleyman Pasha madrasa in İznik from the same era (mid-fourteenth century)-which had an open courtyard and arcade, which was continually employed until the nineteenth century.

In the Hüdavendigâr madrasa in the Çekirge quarter of Bursa, as was noted in the section  related  to  mosques,  a  synthesis was attempted by combining the cloister cell/dervish lodge mosque scheme and the closed courtyard madrasa scheme. But, a return was made to the open courtyard and arcade design in the Yıldırım Bayezıd madrasa erected at the end of the fourteenth century; nonetheless, a classroom eywan that is associated with the Seljuk tradition was employed in this structure. Except for the north (portal) facade of dressed stone, alternating courses of brick and stone was used for the structural units, which are clustered around a long and narrow courtyard. Three sides of the courtyard (north, west and east) are enclosed by an arcade whose pointed arches spring from piers covered by a barrel vault; this fronts twenty cells, each with barrel vault and fireplace. On the axis of the north facade that presents a gable wall is the domed portal eywan with pointed arches and, on the south side of the courtyard, is the classroom unit, also a domed eywan with pointed arches.        

The Yeşil madrasa dated 1419 which is currently used as the Turkish and Islamic Works Museum continues the principle design characteristics of the Yıldırım Bayezıd madrasa. Here, however a more balanced rectangle was obtained by altering the proportions ot the courtyard and the arcade arches rest on columns rather than piers; moreover the arcade units are for the most part covered with pendentive domes while the cells are covered with cloistered vaults. Moreover the Yeşil madrasa is a work Ottoman in name, but which is, in fact, a reiteration of the open courtyard and four-eywan madrasa arrangement of the Seljuk period. The classroom eywan on the south side of the two main axes that intersect at right angles in the center of the pool in the courtyard is domed with a pointed arch. On the east and west sides, a small eywan with cloistered vault was tucked between the cells; but the star- vaulted portal eywan with pointed arch on the north opens to the outside. The four-eywan design receives defınition by furnishing the arcade units that front the side eywans and the portal eywan with broader and distinctive multifoil arches and the use of groin vaults. The staircases placed between the cells and the eywan of the classrom at the northwest and northeast corners of the courtyard; the excessive height of the classroom eywan; and also other telling details on the facade suggest that the Yeşil madrasa was essentially designed as a two-storey structure, but the cells on the upper floor were never constructed. Glazed tile decoration lines the vaults of the east and west eywans and the surface space beneath the arches over the windows of the cells.

The early Ottoman madrasa design in the Muradiye madrasa-just as in the mosque of the complex-that stands on the west side of Muradiye mosque dated 1426, is notable for its command of a greater coherence than that demonstrated in the madrasas of Yıldırım Bayezıd and Yeşil. The structure is of a coffered alternating brick and stone wall construction with an arcade enclosing the courtyard on square plan on the north, east and west sides. The pointed arches of the arcade are of brick and are supported by piers of brick on the east and west and by columns on the north side. In the north wing, the rectangular arcade units are covered by cloistered vaults, and the square units in the side wings have domes with pendentives. The rectangular windows of the cells covered by cloistered vault are crowned by pointed relieving arches with by dentate cornices. The surface beneath the arches is fılled by a pattern of vertical and horizontal bricks; and the same simple geometric pattern is utilized on the arcade facades and the space above the arches. The surface exclusive of the pointed arches of brick on the facade of the south classroom eywan that faces the courtyard is bonded with a hexag- onal-shaped brick and stone pattern.