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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Turkey ยป Bursa

40.1885281, 29.0609636

Mon. 8. [8 May 1899] Heavenly day. Drove out to the Ulu Jami, a big
fountain in the middle, and schools of young ulemas sitting round in
circles and hearing the Koran expounded. Beautiful inlaid minbar.
Outside a bazaar going on in a square barbers shaving people under
the plane trees, fountains, booths, all delicious. Down some steps a
charming street with a line of trees down the middle. 2 Minarets
standing free, the light comes chiefly from the central glass dome in
the mosque. White washed and adorned with lovely patterned
writing. Drove on to the Green Mosque - a vision. A great plane
before the lovely carved door, exquisite carving round the arches,
and inside the tiles! Blues and greens, the latter with gate patterns on.
Round the Mehrab lovely raised patterns in faience. In the gallery
which was also exquisitely tiled the signature of the architect
Muhammad the Mad. Before the Greek Turbeh a great cypress.
Inside wonderful blue tiles. From the mosque one sees the Yilderim
Jami below, from the Turbeh the Selimyeh in clustered cypresses.
Drove on to it - exquisite court with Arabian arches and a fountain,
Jami on one side, turbeh on the other, the former much destroyed by
the earthquake. Fountain at the gate which I photographed. Exquisite
view of Green Mosque. Turbeh. Then to the bazaars where we
bought silks and coffee pots and so home to lunch at 12. Afterwards I
took a carriage and a Jew who spoke Italian and went to the Mosque
of Murad II where I photographed turbehs of the Sultans - plane trees
and fountains and exquisite tiles inside the Turbehs. Fine columned
portico to the mosque. On to the mosque of Murad I in the Cheger
quarter, leaving the baths below us. Platform with fountain and
columned verandahs where I photographed 2 dervishes sitting in their
high brown hats. Mosque built by Christian builders, outside in 2
stories [sic] of arches, the upper one small arches like an Italian
palace. Back to the hotel, changed and rode out at 2.30 through the
town and up to the first plateau of Olympus [Ulu Daglari]. Up through
dwarf oaks, very green, the town with all its mosques, minarets,
planes, cypresses and clustered roofs below us, then the wide plain,
then a low ridge and beyond that the sea on one side and a big lake
on the other. The plateau blue with violas and starch hyacinths, a
lovely green fritillary; saw also a beautiful brown and yellow broom,
white Daphne, purple primula, many sorts of vetch, a white and green
upstanding sort of onion thing, violets, a yellow low growing sort of St
John's Wort. Walked about and drank at a delicious cold spring. Left
soon after 5 and got down about 6.30. A minaret, a cypress, a plane
and a fountain, an old Turk making coffee thereby, these things are
Brusa [Bursa]. The night before we saw the Muezzin calling the
sunset prayer. After dinner saw an absurd sort of peepshow in the
hotel garden and so to bed. The nightingales sang loud as we rode
up Olympus and above us were a troop of circling eagles, rising on
the wind.

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