Certain findings from Castle part in downtown area point to 2500-2700 BC. On the other hand, according to recent findings in Akçalar Aktopraklık excavation showed that oldest traces of civilization within Bursa provincial are date back to 8500 BC.
Bursa region had been under various colonies and countries ruling until Bithynia State was established in 4th century. BC. According to famous historian Herodotus, the only city around Bursa was Cius (Gemlik), which was established in 12th century BC. Apamea (Mudanya) is thought to have been established in 10th century BC, while Apollonia (Gölyazı), which is on an island in Lake Uluabat, is thought to have been established before 6th century BC.
After going under Lydian ruling during Krezus/Kroisos (561-546 BC) era, Bursa went under Persian ruling. Entire region was heavily damaged during these wars. Meanwhile Greek immigrants arrived in the region and settled on Marmara Sea coast. Chalcedon Republic, established in Kadıköy (İstanbul) area, attacked Bursa and surrounding region and coused heavy damages Dedalses fought aganist Persians and established independent Bthynia Republic in Bursa region.
Bursa was promoted to city status and had city walls built during the reign of Bithynian king Prusias I (232-192 BC). Carthaginian king Hannibal took refuge in Prusias I after losing the battle he fought aganist the Roman emperor, when we was highly honoured by Prusia I, he gets Bursa castle built for his name. Thus the first city plan for Bursa was prepared by Carthaginian king Hannibal. City is named Prusa.
Bthynia Kingdom became part of Roman Empire in 74 BC and stayed under Roman ruling for long years. Following the division of Roman Empire in 395 AD, the city remained under Byzantium ruling . Sericulture started in the city around 500 AD. The city also turned into a spa centre due to many natural hot springs it has around the same time. New hammams were built in pythia (Çekirge) during Emperor Justinianus era (527-565)
Muslims first arrived in Bursa during Abbasids era (Harun al-Rashid, 8th century). The Hamedani in Aleppo captured Nicaea (İznik) in 995 and ruled it for 23 years. Turks arrived in Bursa region for the first time in 1080 and Nicaea had been capital of Anatolian Seljuk State between 1081-1097. In 1097 there were crusader battles in the region and Crusaders captured Nicaea. A liatin state was established in İstanbul during tihs war and Nicaea became capital of Byzantium Empire. Prusa was a minör and insignificant lordship under Nicaea between 1204-1261 and Prusa stayed under Byzantium rule until 14th century as a small city consisting of a castle.
After years of sieging by Osman Bey, founder and first Sultan of Ottoman Empire, Bursa was tane by his son Orhan Bey on 6 April 1326. It was not by the sword but by “hand over” and Bursa became capital city of Ottomans. As was his will, Osman Bey was buried in Gümüşlü Kubbe (Saint Elia Monastery) in Tophane.
Bursa devoloped rapidly within the first 200 years of Ottoman ruling in comparison to other cities; the city widely expanded towards east and west beyond castle walls, many architecturally significant buildings were constructed and, and served as capital city of the empire until Edirne was conquered and named capital in1365. Even after Edirne (and İstanbul later on) has been capital city, Bursa had been prized and honoured as capital of Anatolia.
Bursa region was in Hüdavendigar Province in early 1900s. City municipality was established in 1877. When Ottoman Empire started to fall apart after Wold War I, Turkey was occupied by allied countries. City defenders did not have enaugh guns or ammunition, an Bursa was occupied by Greeks without much resistance on 8 July 1920. This occupation caused grief not only in Bursa but nationwide. The rostrum in Grand National Assembly of Turkey was covered with a black cloth, only to be removed when Bursa was saved from occupation. After 2 years, 2 months and 2 days, Bursa was liberated from Greek occupation on 11 September 1922.
Most of the immigrant folk that arrived from Balkans after occupation, most of whom did not even speak Turkish, had very different culture and traditions and this had caused new and challenging issues for republic era Bursa. But new and young Turkish Republic rapidly bound up its wounds and Bursa, along with all other provinces, overcame social cultural problems and started development progress. Republican authority managed to create a modern city from burnt and heavily damaged Bursa in a short time. Silk mills were re-established, and a consturction breakthrough sprung both in the city and in surrounding county and villages. Bursa held on to republic’s revolutions and developed rapidly to become fourth biggest city of the country.