The showcase village of CUMALIKIZIK, set on the lower slopes of Uludağ, 17km from Bursa on the Ankara road – head east, then south – is the most attractive of several such kizik (valley) villages in the region. While the earliest records of the village mosque and hamam date from 1685, it’s thought to be at least three centuries older. Cumalıkızık’s cobbled streets are full of traditional dwellings, some restored and painted, others leaning brokenly into each other.
The narrow alleys that radiate from the village square, dominated by two enormous plane trees, are often only wide enough for pedestrians and pack animals. The ground and first floors of the village houses traditionally harboured the storerooms and stables, while the living quarters with their latticed bay windows were upstairs under tiled eaves. Many of the surviving double-front doors sport large-headed nails, wrought-iron strips and massive handles.
Top image: Cumalikizik, Turkey © Hakan Eliacik/Shutterstock