Bursa: A thermal town on the Silk Road

May 8, 2018

Besides its central role on the construction of the European Thermal Culture, the Ottoman world of water is not so well known in Europe, neither how deep are its influences in our modern wellness era. Bursa, at the crossroads of route, is the perfect place to discover this connection

On the ocassion of the EHTTA General Assembly held in Bursa in October 2015, the city held this 9th Café of Europe, the first one who was not direct part of the SOURCE Project, but continued the concept and philosophy of the initiative and previous cafés: to explore the -sometimes hidden- cultural aspects of our thermal tradition in all its diversity.

Bursa, former capital of the Ottoman Empire and a city of waters, was one of the most importsnt centres in the world for the commerce of silk and spices between the 14th and 15th century; a final stop on the fabled Silk Road. The Road today has been revitalized as an UNWTO programme and collaborative initiative designed to enhance sustainable tourism development along the historic route.

This Café explored the singular development of Ottoman thermal culture during the splendour times of the Silk road, the Middle Ages where the bathing tradition in Christian Europe was almost dilapidated. Bursa was then - and remains today - a health tourism destination, a world of hammans and Turkish baths were arts and prosperity grew side by side. As a testimony of this rich heritage, traditional music, folklore dance and traditional silk fashion were showcased in this Café..


Münir Karaloğlu

Governor of Bursa

Mehmet Müezzinoğlu

Minister of Health

Giuseppe Bellandi

EHTTA President

Recep Altepe

Mayor of Bursa

1st round table

History and Development of Tourism

Yusuf Oğuzoğlu

History Professor at University of Düzce

A brief introduction into the history and culture of the Silk Road and Bursa position in it

Aziz Elbas

Head of Culture & Tourism of Bursa Metropolitan Municipality

The Silk Road nowadays, the story of an adaptation

Refik Hakan Talu


Music heritage on the Silk Road

Dr. Metin Yurdakoş

Vice Director of BUSAT (Bursa Health Tourism Association)

Thermalism on the Silk Road today: thermal offer and facilities in Bursa and its touris dimmension .


Korhan Abay

Actor,writer and film director


Travel Diaries - Photographs - Video

David "Emde" Magli

Itinerant Dessinateur - Carnettiste

Loiez Deniel

Video & Photo Artist

Loiez Déniel lives and works in Auvergne (and sometimes Istanbul). Video maker photographer artist, independent researcher in multimedia integration solutions and operational poetry, he is also president of the International Video Art Festival VIDEOFORMES.