Bayezid I (Ottoman: بايزيد اول, Turkish: Beyazıt, nicknamed Yıldırım (Ottoman: ییلدیرم), "the Thunderbolt", Serbian: Бајазит / Bajazit; 1360 – March 8, 1403) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, then Rûm, from 1389 to 1402. He was the son of Murad I and Valide Sultan Gülçiçek Hatun who was of ethnic Greek descent.
Bayezid was born in Edirne and spent his youth in Bursa, where he received a high-level education. His father Murad I named him governor of the province of Kütahya.
Bayezid ascended to the throne following the death of his father Murad I, who was killed by Serbian nobleman Miloš Obilić during (June 15), or immediately after (June 16), the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, by which Serbia became a vassal of the Ottoman Empire. Immediately after obtaining the throne, he had is younger brother strangled to avoid a plot. In 1390, Bayezid took as a wife Princess Olivera Despina, the daughter of Prince Lazar of Serbia, who also lost his life in Kosovo. Bayezid recognized Stefan Lazarević, the son of Lazar, as the new Serbian leader (later despot), with considerable autonomy.
From 1389 to 1395 he conquered Bulgaria and northern Greece. In 1394 he crossed the River Danube to attack Wallachia, ruled at that time by Mircea the Elder. The Ottomans were superior in number, but on October 10, 1394 (or 17 May 1395), in the Battle of Rovine, on forested and swampy terrain, the Wallachians won the fierce battle and prevented Bayezid from conquering the country.
In 1394, Bayezid laid siege to Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Anadoluhisarı fortress was built between 1393 and 1394 as part of preparations for the Second Ottoman Siege of Constantinople, which took place in 1395. On the urgings of the Byzantine emperor John V Palaeologus a new crusade was organized to defeat him. This proved unsuccessful: in 1396 the Christian allies, under the leadership of the King of Hungary and future Holy Roman Emperor (in 1410) Sigismund, were defeated in the Battle of Nicopolis. Bayezid built the magnificent Ulu Camii in Bursa, to celebrate this victory.
Full article ▸