THE BURSA CITADEL ITS RAMPARTS AND GATES Ancient sources indicate the founder of today’s Bursa to be Prusias I (232 to 192 BC). There are various legends and stories relating the foundation of the city of Bursa. According to the best-known story, Catharginian King Hannibal, losing the war he made on the Roman Empire, took shelter with Prusias I, together with his units. Here, he is welcomed as a victorious commander, and is held in high estimation. Hannibal, in consideration of this sympathy, builds a town, together with the soldiers he commands, and lend Prusias name to it, making thus a gift to him. Due to the fact that it is the first settling area, here, in “Hisar Bölgesi”, or the “Castle Area”, we can see vestiges of various civilizations, from past to present.
The ramparts belonging to the Bursa citadel were built by the Bithynians, the initial fouunders of Bursa, being located on the natural rocky area on which the Castle area is located. The first repairs of the ramparts were made by Orhan Bey, and we can even see that also some folded construction materials of the Byzantine period were used durşng these repair works. The ramparts which-now and then – have substantially have been repaired, were repaired and reinforced during the Ottoman period by Hajji İvaz Pasha, especially after the Timurid aggressions, and after the siege by Karamanoğlu Mehmed Bey, which directly followed the former. Furthermore, however, they once more were substantially repaired in 1651 and 1855, respectively.There are five gates and 14 towers set within the Bursa ramparts having total length of 3.38 km.
These gates are the “Saltanat Kapısı” (the”Sultanate Gate”), or “Hisar Kapı” (the ” Castle Gate”), “Yer Kapı” (Bab-ı Zemin” , or the “Ground Gate”), “Fetih Kapısı” (the Conquest Gate”),or “Su Kapısı”( the Water Gate”), “Zindan Kapı” (the”Dungeon Gate”) and “Kaplıca Kapısı”(“the Thermal”). The biggest one of these gates is the “Saltanat Kapısı” having the quality of Town Gate, being located at the bottom part of Ortapazar Street leading up to Tophane (the Ancient Cannon Foundry). Within the Pınarbaşı area which is difficult to protect, the walls are built in two parallel lines. Mentioning the ramparts in the famous Travelogue written by Seyyah Evliya Çelebi, it gives us the information that their circumference 10.000 feet.