Photo by: Casal Partiu
Turkiye Edirne Taken on December 21, 2012
With a history going back to the Chalcolithic Age (5500-3500 BC). This region was inhabited by the Thracian tribes of Beteger and Odrys. In 513 BC it was annexed to the Persian lands by Dareios I the Great. In 168 BC it came under the Roman sovereignty and, during the period of the Emperor Claudius, it became the Province of Thracia (44-46 BC). First of all Emperor Hadrian founded the city of Hadrianopolis in this region in 123-124 A.D. The raids of the Goths and Huns during the Roman period, and the raids of the Huns, Avars, Rejeneks and Bulgarians. During the Byzantine period, caused the city to be burned down and rebuilt many times.
During the Crusades, and after being in Latin hands for some time, the city was taken once again under the administration of Byzantium. And then conquered by the Turks during the period of the Ottoman Sultan Murad I, in 1361. After having had names such as Edrinabolu, Edrinus, Edrune and Edrine, it was now called Edirne. In 1365, it was made the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and it remained the capital until the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. Having been invaded by the Russians in the 1828-1829 Ottoman-Russian War. The city was recovered by the Ottomans as a result of the Edirne Treaty of 1829, which was a treaty with some of the strongest terms the Ottoman Empire had ever signed.
During the 1877-1878 Ottoman-Russian War, the city was once again taken by the Russians and later returned to the Ottomans. Also, Edirne was the target of a number of attacks and experienced much hardship until the formation of the Republic of Turkey.
Now, it is the second largest center in the European part of Turkey.
The most significant architectural structure in the city is the Selimiye Mosque. This mosque was constructed by the famous Turkish architect, Sinan (1490-1588). On the orders of the Ottoman Sultan Selim II. The mosque was built between the years 1569-1575. It is of great importance due to its delicate stonework, tiles, and interior pen-ornamentation. It is built on an 14 area of 2,475 sq m and the structure itself covers 1,575 sqm of this. There are four minarets with three galleries on each minaret. The dome has a diameter of 31.28 m and is 43.28 m high (it is even greater than the dome of the Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul). On the rim of the dome is a row of 32 small windows. The dome’s interior is decorated with pen ornamentation.
The Bayezid Mosque
The Bayezid Mosque was built by the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II between 1484 and 1488. Two single-galleried minarets, a large dome with a 20.25 m diameter placed on four walls, and 44 windows, are features of this mosque. The hospital, medrese (Koran school), kitchen, bakery, guest-house, and other such buildings on two sides of the mosque. Which were all part of its complex, remained intact until World War I. The Old Mosque (Eski Cami) was built between 1403-1414.
It has hewn stone walls and a square plan.
The adjacent Bedesten (covered market) was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed I in 1414. Its walls are a mixture of hewn stone and bricks. It is covered with fourteen domes which are carried by six broad columns. For many years it was used as a shopping center, and today, it is again being used as a covered bazaar. The Muradiye Mosque, in the north-east of the city, was built by Murad II in 1436. It was constructed on a plan that looks like an upside-down letter “T” with two adjacent large domes and one small dome on each side. It is covered with a total of four domes. The six-cornered interior walls are covered with blue on white flower-patterned tiles and turquoise-colored triangles.
In Kirkpinar, also called Sarayici, oiled wrestling has taken place at the beginning of each May for many centuries. At the end of the three-day tournament, one of the young men who come from all around Turkey is given the title of “Bashpehlivan” (Head Wrestler). In Sarayici, one can see the remains of the Sand Pavilion (Kum Kasri) Hamam (Turkish bath). The Babtissaade (main entrance of the Edirne Palace), the Cihannuma Kasri, Palace Kitchen, and the Justice building. Also, Mosque with Three Galleries (Digerefeli Cami). This mosque was built by Murad II between 1438-1448. Built according to the customs of the Seljuks. Therefore it has four minarets made of colorful bricks. As well as the colorful tile-layered walls of the mihrab, all attract much attention.
Finally Edirne is full of stunning structures that speak of its rich past as the main seat of a once powerful empire. So you have to visit lots of places whilst in Edirne.