1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brusa

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BRUSA, or BROUSSA (anc. Prusa), the capital of the Brusa (Khudavendikiar) vilayet of Asia Minor, which includes parts of ancient Mysia, Bithynia, and Phrygia, and extends in a southeasterly direction from Mudania, on the Sea of Marmora, to Afium-Kara-Hissar on the Smyrna-Konia railway. The vilayet is one of the most important in Asiatic Turkey, has great mineral and agricultural wealth, many mineral springs, large forests, and valuable industries. It exports cereals, silk, cotton, opium, tobacco, olive-oil, meerschaum, boracite, &c. The Ismid-Angora and Eskishehr-Konia railways pass through the province. Population of the province, 1,600,000 (Moslems, 1,280,000; Christians, 317,000; Jews, 3000).

The city stretches along the lower slopes of the Mysian Olympus or Kechish Dagh, occupying a position above the valley of the Nilufer (Odrysses) not unlike that of Great Malvern above the vale of the Severn. It is divided by ravines into three quarters, and in the centre, on a bold terrace of rock, stood the ancient Prusa. The modern town has clean streets and good roads made by Ahmed Vefyk Pasha when Vali, and it contains mosques and tombs of great historic and architectural interest; the more important are those of the sultans Murad I., Bayezid (Bajazet) I., Mahommed I., and Murad II., 1403-1451, and the Ulu Jami'. The mosques show traces of Byzantine, Persian and Arab influence in their plan, architecture and decorative details. The circular church of St Elias, in which the first two sultans, Osman and Orkhan, were buried, was destroyed by fire and earthquake, and rebuilt by Ahmed Vefyk Pasha. There are in the town an American mission and school, and a British orphanage. Silk-spinning is an important industry, the export of silk in 1902 being valued at £620,000. There are also manufactories of silk stuffs, towels, burnús, carpets, felt prayer-carpets embroidered in silk and gold. The hot iron and sulphur springs near Brusa, varying in temperature from 112° to 178° F., are still much used. The town is connected with its port, Mudania, by a railway and a road. There is a British vice-consul. Pop. 75,000 (Moslems, 40,000; Christians, 33,000; Jews, 2000).

Prusa, founded, it is said, at the suggestion of Hannibal, was for a long time the seat of the Bithynian kings. It continued to flourish under the Roman and Byzantine emperors till the 10th century, when it was captured and destroyed by Saif-addaula of Aleppo. Restored by the Byzantines, it was again taken in 1327 by the Ottomans after a siege of ten years, and continued to be their capital till Murad I. removed to Adrianople. In 1402 it was pillaged by the Tatars; in 1413 it resisted an attack of the Karamanians; in 1512 it fell into the power of Ala ed-Din; and in 1607 it was burnt by the rebellious Kalenderogli. In 1883 it was occupied by the Egyptians under Ibrahim Pasha, and from 1852-1855 afforded an asylum to Abd-el-Kader.

See[edit]

  • L. de Laborde, Voyage de l'Asie Mineure (Paris, 1838).
  • C. Texier, Asie Mineure (Paris, 1839).