Koza Han was the Centre for the Silk Trade in Bursa:
During the Byzantine period Bursa was famous as a silk trading centre and Bursa’s silk trade continued to flourish during the Ottoman empire when the Ottoman sultans controlled the trade routes between Europe and Asia. Although the era of the lucrative ancient silk route is now long gone, we were told that at Bursa, there is the opportunity to haggle in the bazaar and silk markets and of course the ladies in our group perked up.
Koza Han at the Bursa Market
On arrival at the Bursa Market area, we were brought to the Koza Han, a complex built in 1451 as a centre for the silk trade. The small entrance we entered opened out into the upper gallery level of the old han or warehouse. It is lined with small shops selling silk garments, silk scarfs, silk material and other Bursa ipek (silk) products.
While Tony concentrated on taking snaps, I enjoyed a stroll around the complex and checked out the famous Bursa ipek. A couple of garments caught my attention, but there wasn’t anything that I particularly had to have. So, I was happy to just window-shop and enjoy the ambience of Koza Han. If you are shopping for Bursa silk, make sure that the object of your desire is not something that has been produced in China or India.
When we regrouped, I noticed that none of the other ladies had made any substantial purchases of the silk products. Perhaps having just come from Istanbul and its magnificent Grand Bazaar, many were a bit scarfed-out. There is a movement in Bursa to try and revive its silk production and hopefully in future the shops at Koza Han will offer silk products or designs that are more unique than those you can find at the Grand Bazaar.
Koza Han Tea Garden
Looking down to the ground level of Koza Han, a small mosque stands in the centre of the beautiful tree-shaded courtyard and all around there are many tables and chairs, some sheltered by umbrellas. It seems that Koza Han is a popular tea garden and what a relaxing place to enjoy that cup of Turkish coffee or tea.
There are many other districts where one can shop in Bursa, but for today Koza Han was our main shopping stop.