The msueum is housed in the Nilüfer Imaret, the open hall in front was a new element in late-Seljuk architecture, taken from the Byzantine style. Founded by Murat I in memory of his mother, Nilüfer Hatun.
A view from the back. The garden houses a fine collection of grave monuments through the ages.
The complex was built in 1388, and is also referred to (depending on the source) as ‘Misafirhane’ (guest house) or ‘Zaviye’ (dervish lodge) as well as ‘Imaret’ (soup kitchen). The typical use of alternating layers of brick and stone, although decorative, was a measure of economy practised by Byzantine builders, long before Ottomans adopted it too.
Its ground plan is a ‘inversed T’, similar to many early Ottoman mosques in nearby Bursa. The square room oriented to the South was conceived as a ‘mescit’ (small mosque), with a mihrab/prayer niche; the facade and its porch are on the north side, which is also similar to most mosques of that period. The building was restored in 1955 and opened as a museum in 1960.
Notable is also that Nilufer Hatun (mother of Murat I) was the daughter of a Christian (Byzantine) baron, a woman of strong personality, who was regent when Orhan (Murat’s father) was away on campaign.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: ‘Türkye Tarihi Yerler Kılavuzu’ – M.Orhan Bayrak, Inkılâp Kitabevi, Istanbul, 199 & Wikipedia .
& Website of ‘lifeinbursa.com’ .