Kestel Today

Kestel District is the second largest town in the area around the major city of Bursa, with its central municipalities. The population of the center is 53,000 and Kestel includes 35 village localities. Kestel now preserves its identity as an industrial and agricultural city. Kestel, home to nearly 300 factories and workshops, is also a market gardening centre for seedlings and ornamental plants.

History of Kestel

Kestel is considered to have been founded by the people of Megara from present day Greece in the year 300 BC. The name of the city comes from the Latin word “Castellum” which means “Little Castle”, and is thought to have been given during the late Roman period. The historic Kestel Castle, built to resist possible invasion from Asia Minor, was further strengthened during the Byzantine era and was used as a vanguard force structure in defense of Bursa against the Turkish invaders coming from the East. The “Castellum” was in the hands of the Ottomans by 1309 following the Dimboz battles between the Byzantines and Osman Bey, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. After the 1st World War and the war of Independence, between 1919 and 1945, Kestel grew rapidly with migrations from Greece, Bulgaria, Gallipoli, Bilecik, Tunceli, Elazig, Erzurum, Erzincan and Bayburt regions.

Interesting Places in Kestel

Kureklidere Waterfall

The waterfall is four-tiered and 82 m high; it starts flowing down from Uludağ mountain at about 1850 m. It’s located between the villages of Cumalıkızık and Saitabat. Surrounded by forest and perfect for swimming, a visit to the waterfall is a good chance to cool off in a peaceful setting. There is another waterfall found near the village of Saitabat.

Kestel Castle

On the eastern borderlands of their empire, the Byzantines (Eastern Romans) established a small hillside castle on the site of what is now Kestel, and aptly named it castellum, which in Latin means, “little castle”. The Ottoman Turks captured it in 1309, almost two decades before the conquest of Bursa, which made it one of the first Ottoman-held castles in the area. In the following centuries, it lost its frontier status and was eventually abandoned. It has been recently restored.


Derekızık is a village of Kestel, one of a series of the Kızık villages founded by an Oghuz clan of the Turks. The position is on the north flank of Uludağ, which has plenty of woods and running water, so the villages are now places for weekend outings. Derekızık is the only one in kestel district – the others are further west.


  1. Cumalıkızık to Babasultan 19 km


There are hotels in the main town of Kestel, but no accommodation in the villages.


You can reach Kestel by taking a bus from Bursa. Bursa can easily be reached by plane or bus from all major cities; there are also ferries from Istanbul.


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