Bursa Uludag Cafe near Teleski Mount Uludag is a mountain in Bursa Province, Turkey, with an altitude of 2,543 m (8,343 ft). It is a popular center for winter sports such as skiing, and a national park of rich flora and fauna. Summer activities, such as trekking and camping, also are popular. In Turkish, Uludağ means "Sublime Mountain", but in colloquial Turkish, the older name Keşiş Dağı, "Mountain of Monks," is still used. In ancient times the range of which it is a part, extending along the southern edge of Bithynia, was known as Olympos in Greek and Olympus in Latin, the western extremity being known as the Mysian Olympus and the eastern as the Bithynian Olympus, and the city of Bursa was known as Prusa ad Olympum from its position near the mountain. Throughout the Middle Ages, it contained hermitages and monasteries: "The rise of this monastic centre in the 8th c. and its prestige up to the 11th are linked to the resistance of numerous monks to the policy of the iconoclast emperors and then to a latent opposition to the urban, Constantinopolitan monasticism of the Studites.". One of the greatest monks of the Christian East, the wonder-working Byzantine monk Saint Joannicius the Great, lived as a hermit on this mountain. Mt. Uludağ is the highest mountain of the Marmara region. Its highest peak is Kartaltepe at 2,543 m (8,343 ft). To the north are high plateaus: Sarıalan, Kirazlıyayla, Kadıyayla, and Sobra.
Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.Text by Steve Smith.