From the center of Nilüfer (Bursa) with its large avenues full of cars. Shopping malls, skyscrapers and the stress of the big city is very difficult to imagine that just four kilometers is the village of misi.
Misi is a haven of peace in the middle of the big city. A village that does not seem to have evolved over time. The traveler can take a Kahve or an çay on the banks of the river while the peasants continue their agricultural work. The women chat through the small streets or make homemade sweets to sell them to the tourist. As tourism is a very important part within the local economy and establishments of Kahvalti (Turkish breakfast) are becoming more numerous in the houses recently restored. It is a way of giving way to surplus peasants.
But Misi is much more. The small village of today is hardly a memory of the centuries of history in which this population was protagonist.
Misi was founded according to the historian of the ancient Greece Herodotus by the mysians. One of the Thracian tribes of the Black Sea that reached Anatolia. The city they founded at the foot of Mount Olympus (Uludağ) was Misipolis, the present Misi.
It was also important in Greek and Roman times but certainly with the arrival of Christianity Misi had a prominent role. Misi and Uludağ mountain was a center of monasteries and hermits. The sacred Mount Olympus of pagan gods was colonized by ascetic monks who wanted to get away from the world and lead a life of contemplation and suffering (I assure you that the mountain is very cold in winter).
In the year 185 a monk named Alex founds a monastery in Misi and in that place debates begin on the Christian life or the bible. One legend says that Alex’s bible is still buried somewhere in Misi.
During the Byzantine Empire Misi is famous for its wine. He was greatly admired in the taverns of the Empire and in religious ceremonies (It is a pity that today this tradition does not continue).
Centuries passed and Misi became the Ottoman village we see today. Many of their houses are from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. That is why the city council has spent years working on its restoration and adding new services such as libraries, museums or community center.
Do not forget to visit it in spring or summer. The cool wind from the mountain and the small river that passes through the village helps to better spend the hot days in Bursa.
Until next week.