Tucked away in the center of a sleepy little village just above Bursa’s Çekirge neighborhood on the road to Uludağ you’ll find the giant, sprawling 600-year old plane tree known as the Īnkaya Çınar. Famously known for its girth, the Īnkaya Çınar boasts a trunk 3 meters in diameter with a circumference of 9.2 meters. The tree is 35 meters tall and maintains a jaw-dropping spread. Some of the branches are so heavy they must be supported with metal posts.
Contrary to popular belief, the Īnkaya Çınar is not one of Turkey’s oldest trees. It’s not even the oldest tree in Bursa. That honor goes to the Armutköy Oak. The Īnkaya Çınar draws its fame from the idea that it was one of the first plane trees planted by the Ottomans in the early days of the Empire. Its massive size has become somewhat of a symbol of Ottoman growth and strength.
The tree in its own right is quite spectacular. But adding to the ambience are the tea and breakfast houses that have sprung up around its trunk. There, under the shade of the sprawling tree to the sound of rushing water, you can enjoy a cup of tea, a plate of gözleme, or a traditional Turkish breakfast. After your meal, be sure to walk through the souvenir and craft bazaars along the village’s cobblestone streets.
Sipping tea or lemonade under the shade the Īnkaya Çınar is a lovely thing to do on a breezy summer day. The easiest way to get to Īnkaya is by car or taxi, but if you prefer public transportation, bus #1-C runs to Īnkaya from downtown Bursa and Çekirge.