From the Roman Period of Hadrianapolis to Ottoman’s Edirne where one of the most important city of all the time due to important location. It was a capital city of Ottoman during 92 years till Istanbul captured by Conqueror Fatih. City has been decorated with unique mosques and bridges as a symbol of given importance by Ottoman Empire.
Certainly, first thing that comes to mind once mentioned of Edirne is Selimiye Mosque which was designed by the Great Architect Sinan. Selimiye is identified as Mimar Sinan’s masterpiece an can be seen everywhere in the city. He began to work for Selimiye at the age of 80 once it complated he was 85. Selime Mosque one of the best architecture jewel of the Otoman empire.
Selimiye Mosque was ordered by Selim II who is father Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and mother Hurrem. It was built between 1568 – 1574 and opened for worship in 1575. Selim II was died when it’s complated and unfortunatelly couldn’t see the opening ceremony.
This mosque is a part of kulliya which is consisting of two madrasas, Turkish bath, tomb, with the primary school, and other add-ons. This complex presents us an important aspect about the approach of social state during the Ottoman Empire.
Legends are endless once we talk about the Selimiye. According to rumors, once upon a time there was a tulip garden in this area who owned by old and grumpy woman. Not possible to convince her to sold this land for mosque construction whatever they told. Suddenly one day this grumpy woman accepted their offer with one condition. If they had put a tulip figure into the mosque she would have been accepted their offer. Inverted Tulip figur at the muezzin gallery refers the moodiness of landowner that put it there by Architect Sinan.
According to another rumor; this tulip getting closer the floor each passing years. When it reaches the floor Doomsday will be arrived.
Selimiye is unique with it’s breathtaking dome. The dome is suspended overhead by eight huge elephantine columns, 43.28 meters height from the ground and has diameter of 31.22 meters. With this perspective dome of Selimiye larger than Hagia Sophia.
The interior of mosque is decorated by beautiful İznik Tiles, mother of pearls, marbles and stones. Iznik Tiles have been ordered by Sultan in 1572. Important part of tiles in the Sultan’s Lodge was dismantled by the Russians during the war between Ottoman and Russian in 1878.
Four minarets with three balconies is remarkable as well as the dome of the mosque. Three people can climb up the balcony of same minaret with three different paths without seeing each other due to unusual design.
Arasta Bazaar was built by architect Davut during the reign of Murat III for foundations of Selimiye. The bazaar provides one with an opportunity to buy some of local foods and souvenirs.
Eski Camii (Old Mosque) one of the most significant landmark and cultural heritage of Edirne.
Construction was began in 1403 by ordering of Emir Suleyman, continued during the reign of Chalabi Musa and building was completed in 1414 under the rule of Sultan Mehmet I. Architect Haji Alaaddin,charge-hand Omar Ibn Ibrahim.
This mosque is covered by 9 domes supported on 4 square columns. Architect Sinan was opened some of new windows to provide more light inside.
Inside the mosque adorned by large works of calligraphy.
The Old Mosque is known as one of the four places that all prayers were accepted. Believers are thinking in this way due to a small piece of black stone from Kaaba that set into the wall and covered with glass on the right side of the mihrab. According to the belief, all prayers were accepted of those who pray two rak’ahs besides of this stone.
Mihrab; a niche in a Mosque showing the direction of Mecca.
Some of the Ottoman Sultan’s coronation was held in this mosque and before new conquer options Sultans were give a speech here with a sword. The impressive tradition is continued today and Imam gives a speech with a sword every friday.
One of the most visited historical site is Bayezid II. Kulliya Health Museum after Selimiye Mosque in Edine. The complex contains a Darüşşifa (hospital, medical center) and it remained in operation for four hundred years from 1488 until the Russian-Turkish War (1877-1878). This hospital especially remarkable for its treatment methods for mental ilness. Patient were cured by music, sound of water and scents at the that time mental patients were being burned in the other countries considering that they are possessed by devils.
It also gives information about the development of medical science in that region as well as school life of medical students with its wax figures.
The museum was awarded the European Council’s “Museum Award” in 2004 and 2007.
Edirne one of the most historical site where can be visited Archaeological museum, Uc Serefeli Camii (Three gallery minaret), Ali Paşa Kapalı Çarşısı (The Grand Bazaar of Edirne) with the among other in Edirne.
Along with the presence of culture and arts there is another important sport activities that draws people to Edirne each year is called Oil wrestling. This type of wresling exists only in Turkey and very old tradional sport. It has a history more than 650 years and supported by a mass of Turkish people.
It’s not possible to get hungry after all sightseeing. Luckly, there are many enjoyable alternatives to eat. Edirne famous for Fried Liver that you can enjoy with it. Another delicious options to have Kofte and bean salad. Also you can buy traditional food of almond paste, Kavala cookies, feta cheese, cheese dessert.
The Meric River Bridge is a quiet and relaxing spot just outside Edirne. The banks of the river is surrounded by trees where you can enjoy the nice river view by having a drink at the sunset.