Orhan, Son of Osman and the greatest king of them all according to the famous Moroccan Traveller Ibn Battuta. Orhan Gazi (1288-1360) was the second ruler of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was founded by his father Osman I. It was Orhan who introduced the expansion of the Ottoman Empire into the Balkans.
There is a myth which may or may not be true which is that Osman (Father of Orhan) had a dream that a tree grew out of his chest and that the branches and roots grew to cover Asia, Africa and Europe. It was Osmans Shaykh who interpreted this dream and said that the descendants of Osman would control the Empire that controlled all three regions.
During the reign of Orhan, Busra (Bursa), Nicaea (Iznik) and Nicomediar (Izmir) fell into the hands of the Ottoman Empire. As a model Islamic ruler, Orhan would capture cities and provide mosques and school to them. He was known for his charitable acts where he donated large amounts of money to the poor and spent the time to listen and talk to them. Bursa was known as the Ottoman Capital and was where Orhan Died in 1360.
John VI Cantacuzenus was the Byzantine Emperor and had an important role to play in helping the Turkish and the Ottomans in the conquest of the Byzantine Empire. Orhan Bey had married Theodora, the daughter of John VI Canacuzenus.
Orhan’s second marriage was to Holofira who was at the time the daughter of the Byzantine Prince. Holofira was to get married to the Prince of Bilecik but she eloped with Orhan and left her wedding ceremony. Holofira converted to Islam and changed her name to Nilufer Hatun. She would be the one to give birth to the third Ottoman Sultan, Murad I
You can visit the mausoleum (Gumuslu Kumbet) of Orhan which is located in Bursa – not very far from Istanbul. You can get there by car, ferry or train.
*The picture shows the Tughra (Signature) of Orhan.