Area: 6.276 km²
Population: 40.599 (1990)
Traffic Code: 22
Edirne is located at the south of Tekirdağ, the province between Turkey and Greece. The city had been the second capital of Ottoman Empire for years and in the 18th century had become one of the seven biggest cities of Europe.
As it was the capital city of the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago, there are numerous historical and architectural important structures in the province. Edirne is a living city – museum with its mosques, religious complexes, bridges, old bazaar places, caravanserais and palaces.
Districts : Enez, Havsa, İpsala, Keşan, Lalapaşa, Meriç, Süloğlu and Uzunköprü.
How to Get
Edirne is connected to Istanbul and consequently to Anatolia by both D – 100 road and TEM highway and also the road of D – 100 connecting the city to Çanakkale province and therefore Aegean Region. The city is connected to Bulgaria and then to Europe by Kapıkule Border Gate; not only by highway, but also by railway. The city is connected to Greece by Pazarkule and İpsala Border Gates by highway and from Uzunköprü border gate by railway. Edirne has a systematic transportation to Anatolia over the provinces of Istanbul and Çanakkale.
Coach Station Tel: (+90 – 284) 225 19 79 Railway Station Tel: (+90 – 284) 238 20 36 – 238 23 12 Harbour Tel: (+90 – 284) 811 60 27
Where to Visit
PLACES TO VISIT
Edirne Palace After the first palace constructed by Sultan Murad I, the construction of the Edirne Palace had started during the reign of Sultan Murad Iat the west of Tunca over a wide area in 1450. After the death of Sultan Murad II in 1451, his son Fatih Sultan Mehmed completed the construction of the palace. Among the ruins are, Cihannüma Kasrı (Worldwide Mansion), Kum Kasrı Hamamı (Sand Mansion Bath), Babusseade, Matbahi Amire and Adalet Kasrı (Justice Mansion).
Selimiye Mosque Selim II constructed the mosque between the years 1569 – 1575. The mosque is an unmatched creation with its stone masonry, tiles and chisel artisanship.
Some of the other various mosques located in Edirne province are, Üç Şerefeli Cami (Three – Balcony Minaret Mosque), Eski Cami (Old Mosque), Muradiye Mosque, Külliye of Beyezid II and Beylerbeyi Mosque.
MOSGUES AND CHURCHES
The creation of Architect Sinan’s mastery period, Selimiye Mosque is the most important work of Edirne and is one of the most beautiful samples of Ottoman Architecture.
The other major mosques and churches of the city could be counted as Üç Şerefeli Cami (Three Minaret Balcony Mosque), Muradiye Mosque, 2nd Bayezid Mosque and Külliye, Eski Cami (Old Mosque), Yıldırım Bayezid Mosque, Fatih Cami (Enez Hagia Sophia), Külliye of Sokullu (Külliye of Kasım Paşa), Sweti George Church and Yahudi Havrası (Jewish synagogue).
Edirne Mosques and Churches
Selimiye Mosque (Center): Monumental structure, which is created by Mimar Sinan during his 80 age, and mentioned as my “Master piece” is one of the master pieces of Ottoman Turkish art and World Architectural History.
Mosque, which is the symbol of Edirne and Ottoman Empire, is within the city center. Structure which draw attention from distant lands via its four minarets, is also showing that Mimar Sinan was a city planning expert at the same time with the selection of construction site of it.
Cut stone built mosque, covers an area of 2475 m2. Selimiye Mosque, which is mentioned as the structure constructed on the widest place within the history of architecture, is drawing attention with its dome of 43,28 m high from ground, and 31.30 m. diameter. Dome, which is bigger than Hagia Sophia’s dome, is sitting on eight big positions, which are connecting to each other with six meters wide arches.
Mosque, is very important with its adornment characteristics, such as rock, marble, tile, wooden, nacre besides the uniqueness of architectural characteristics. Its niche and balcony are the master pieces of arts of marble labor. Tile adornments of the structure have an important place within Ottoman and World art. Most beautiful samples of the XVIth century tile making, these tiles, are made with ‘sıraltı’ technique, and constructed in İznik.
There are four elegant envelope minarets with 3,80 m diameter and 70,89 m height of Selimiye mosque. The minarets, which are at both sides of the public gate, have three roadpaths each, and each balcony can be climbed by separate stairs. Other two minarets have one passage.
There are Darüssıbyan, Darülkur’a and Darülhadis structures at outer courtyard of the structure, which is constructed as a kulliye.
Üç Şerefeli Mosque (Center): It is constructed between 1443 and 1447, by IInd Murat. Mosque is among the early and classical periods of Osmanlı art. Here, you can face with a firstly applied plan. 24 meters diameter having big central dome, is based on six supports, composed of two grade, and four wall grades. There smaller two domes and covered square divisions at sides. Structure, as an innovation, has breadthways rectangular plan. This plan is applied by Mimar Sinan, to Istanbul mosques with more advanced form. Also courtyard with revak is firstly applied to this mosque in Ottoman architecture. Minarets are placed at four ends of the courtyard. Üç şerefeli mosque is a monumental structure which is leading to the latter mosques with these characteristics.
Monumental minaret with three balconies, which named the mosque, is 67,62 meters high. Separate passages are used to climb to the balconies. Adornments of the mosque are also interesting. Unique chisel adornments at revak domes, are some of the oldest samples on the Osmanlı mosques.
Muradiye Mosque (Center): It is constructed on a Sarayiçi reigning hill at Muradiye district by IInd Murat. There is no dating on its inscription. It is the most beautiful sample of the side spaced (with zaviye) mosques.
In spite of simplicity of external appearance, mosque is one of the most drawing attention structures of XVth century Ottoman art according to internal adornment. Niche and walls covering tiles, are the most beautiful samples of the Turkish tile art.
II. Bayezit Mosque and Kulliye (Center): Kulliye, which at the coasts of Tunca River, and two kilometers away from city center, is one of the most important structures of Edirne. It is lying on a huge are with its mosque, medical theology school, imaret, darüşşifa, hamam, kitchen, provisions warehouses and other divisions. Architect of the kulliye, which is constructed by Bayezit II between 1484 and 1488, is Hayreddin. Kulliye, which has a very impressive appearance, is covered with nearly hundred small and large domes.
Most interesting one of the structures is the monumental mosque with two minarets, and 20,55 meters diameter. There are Tabhanes (publishing houses) with nine domes at both sides of the space with main dome. These divisions are directly opening to outside. Dome passage is supplied with pandatives. Marble niche and pulpit have simple appearance. It is the first example in Edirne with very elegant sovereign gallery, made up of porphyry marble. Late period baroque adornments are disturbing the simple beauty of the mosque.
Eski Mosque (Center): It is the oldest monumental structure, remained from Ottomans in Edirne. Its construction is commenced on 1403 by Emir Süleyman, and completed on 1414 during Çelebi Sultan Mehmet. Its architect, is one of the pupils of Konyalı Hacı Alaaddin, Ömer ibn İbrahim.
Yıldırım Bayezid Mosque (Center): It is the oldest mosque of Edirne, which remained from XIV century, and three kilometers away from the city center. Both its plan and its column heads are showing that structure is a crucifix planned Byzantium church. While it was transformed into a mosque in the name of Yıldırım Bayazıd (1400), it is reconstructed other than base. But as the direction of Mecca is not complying with the axis of the structure, niche, had been put to one of the edges of the crucifix branches, and gained an inclined appearance. The current view of the mosque is composed of four arches, a dome and a single minaret.
Fatih Mosque (Enez Hagia Sophia, Enez): Structure, which remained from Byzantium period, is very huge. It is from edge walled, crucifix planned churches group.
Structure, is transformed into a mosque with placing niche and balcony to the south branch during Ottoman period. It is interesting in connection with showing late Byzantium period characteristics with external surface tile adornments as well as middle Byzantium period with lengthwise progressed crucifix plan. The mosque has been currently in ruined position.
Sokullu Kulliye (Kasım Paşa Kulliye, Havsa): It is in Havsa province, on Edirne road. It is constructed to Mimar Sinan in the name of Kasım Pasha, son of Sokullu Mehmet Pasha on 1576 – 1577. Kulliye; was composed of two caravansaries, mosque, theology school, imaret, double hamam, dervish convent, bridge and guilds. Today only mosque, hamam, mosque courtyard based and an unpredictable wall with oven – niche, pray dome, binding mosque and caravansary in the middle of the guilds and fountain added afterwards to kulliye, can be seen.
Sweti George Church (Center): It is constructed in 1880 at Kıyık district of Edirne. Writings at the church, decorated in 1889, are written with Slav Bulgarian Language. There are some pictures remaining from the former church which was at the same place before.
Today the structure has still been well-kept.
Jewish Synagogue (Center): It is at Kaleiçi district of Edirne, and constructed on 1902 – 1903. Today it was not available for worship.
One of the major structure types of Edirne is the bridges. No other capital or city had attained the beauty of the bridges constructed inside and outside Edirne, which were constructed in the period of Sinan.
The oldest bridge constructed in the city was from the period of Byzantine Emperor Michael Palaiologos (1261-1282). As the bridge was later reconstructed by Gazi Mihal Bey, it was called with his name (1420). In 1640, Kemankeş Kara Mustafa Paşa had added the sharp arched History Mansion to this twenty seven sectioned bridge. The Şahabettin Paşa (Saraçhane) Bridge that was constructed in 1451 has twelve arches and eleven pillars.
The major bridges of Edirne Province are the Fatih Bridge constructed in 1452 during the period of Fatih Sultan Mehmet; Bayezid Bridge constructed by Architect Hayrettin in1488; the Saray (Kanuni) Bridge, which was among the creations of Architect Sinan in 1560; the Ekmekçizade Ahmed Paşa Bridge constructed by Sedefkar Mehmed Ağa between the years 1608-1615; the Meriç Bridge (New Bridge)constructed at the junction of Meriç and Arda rivers between 1842 – 1847.
The Rüstem Paşa Caravanserai, which has a line of shops among the street and is one of the most interesting examples of classical Ottoman architecture was constructed by Architect Sinan in the name of the famous grand vizier of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman, Rüstem Paşa.
The Ekmekçioğlu Ahmed Paşa Caravanserai was constructed by Defterdar (head of the financial department) Ekmekçioğlu Ahmet Paşa by the order of Sultan 1st Ahmed in 1609.
HOUSES OF EDİRNE
The houses were constructed by the wooden framework darned by stone walls and plasters. These houses displayed a wonderful symmetry with the roof, which is connected to the higher fringes by dual curved elements, and the central entrance that was located deep in the main entrance cubicle.
There was sections called “hayat” (life), among the houses located in the Balkan Peninsula. This section was found either in the smallest or in the imposing house. This section was the space where all the chamber doors are opening to and was directed towards the garden of the house and was on the columns of 1,5 – 2 meters. At the end of this section, another separate part one step higher was covered with wooden divans.
There was a marble fountain located at an appropriate part of the gardens, which were accessed by large doors from harem and selamlıklar (Greeting halls for men and women). In some houses, there were small ponds at the central regions of the gardens covered by pergolas on which vines grow. There was a small door between the Harem ve selamlık (Greeting halls for men and women), which was accessed through the courtyard.
In order to cover the requirements of an increasing economy and commerce density of the city located on the transition ways and obtain income for the mosques and charitable establishments in the development period, numerous inns, bedestens and bazaars were constructed.
Between the years 1417 – 1418, a bedesten was constructed by Architect Alaeddin by the order of Çelebi Sultan Mehmed I as a charitable establishment for the Old Mosque.
The Ali Paşa Bazaar which was constructed by Architect Sinan in 1569 by the order of Hersekli Semiz Ali Paşa was composed of a hundred and thirty shops. The bazaar was three hundred meters long and with six doors. The arasta (the part of the bazaar for some artisans) which was 73 arched, 255 meters long and containing 124 shops was constructed by Davut Ağa by the order of Murad III (1574 – 1595) as a charitable establishment for Selimiye Mosque.
The Enez Ancient City Although Enez ( Ainos ) was a major port during historical times, the city is now 3.5 km inland from the coastal line. The Enez Castle that was restored many times during history is worth seeing. Also there is a church whose history extends to B.C 6th century, some tombs carved from stones and a beach with clear waters.
Dolmens (Menhir, Stone Tombs) There are ‘Dolmens’ (Menhir, stone tombs) at the Lalapaşa district which are dated to the ends of B.C 2000 and the beginning of B.C 1000. During the excavations carried on, some remnants and tools were found inside these tombs (Tear drop bottle, metal jewelry) and these findings are exhibited at the Edirne Archeology and Ethnography Museum.
Edirne has border with the Aegean Sea (Saros Gulf) at the south part of the province and the shores and the beaches have rich tourism potential.
NATIONAL AND NATURAL PARKS
Gala Lake Natural Protection Area
Edirne – Gala Lake Nature Reserve
Location: The lake is 10km from the district of Enez, which is in the far southwest corner of Thrace, and near the villages of Karpuzlu and Koyun.
Transportation: The lake can be reached via the Eceabat-Kesan-Enez highway.
Highlights: The nature reserve covers an area of 2369 hectares, and houses 111 species of birds, many of which are extremely rare and under threat of extinction. The area was specifically set up to protect the wildlife, increase the awareness of conservation and also enable scientific research to take place. The ecosystem of the lake, its salinity, plankton and temperature changes, are also of great scientific interest.
Provinces: Enez, İpsala
Surface Area: 700 ha
Altitude: Sea level
Main Characteristics: Sweet water lakes, coastal lagoons
Bird Species: It is an important reproduction area for küçük balaban (50 pairs), gece balıkçılı (200 pairs), alaca balıkçıl (300 pairs), erguvani balıkçıl (100 pairs), çeltikçi (100 pairs), kaşıkçı (40 pairs), bataklık kırlangıcı (200 pairs), küçük sumru (200 pairs) and bıyıklı sumru (500 pairs). A huge number of water bird (max. 48.440) including küçük karabatak (max. 1450), tepeli pelikan (max. 291), kuğu (max. 2030), ötücü kuğu (max. 214) and elmabaş patka (max. 15.528) are spending winter here.
Edirne Forest Camps
Gökçetepe Forest Camp
Location: Gökçetepe, Kesan
Open: 1 June-31 October
Tel: (0284) 767 72 35
Danişment Forest Camp
Location: Danisment, Kesan
Facilities: Bathrooms, toilets, showers, food stand, water and electricity.
Open: 1 June-31October
Tel: 0-284-737 46 46 / 714 45 43
The city is under the dominance of terrestrial climate. The summer seasons pass hot and dry while the spring season is precipitant. The hottest months are June, July and August while the coldest months are December and January. The average temperature at the summer season is 23,4 0C.
The province was founded by Odris tribe originated from Trak race in B.C 5th century as a city and was called with different names during history by different nations. The name Edirne was given by the Ottoman Monarch Murat I. Edirne had entered under the dominance of Alexander the Great and Roman civilization in history. The province was conquered by Murat I in 1361. Because of its strategic location, Edirne had been the second capital of the Ottoman Empire for 92 years until the conquest of Istanbul in 1453.
What to Buy
While walking in the city, you will see the white cheese blocks heaped at the sides of the shops, which is a local property. Hardaliye, which is a mixture of mustard and hot almond with the grape juice is another delicious food and beverage variety of the city. Fragrant soaps, earthen pottery and wickerwork baskets are among the souvenir varieties of Edirne. The handiworks of the local ladies is extremely beautiful.
Don’t Leave Without
– Visiting the Edirne Museum, Turkish Islam Works Museum and Health Museum,
– Visiting Alipaşa Shopping Mall, Selimiye Mosque and Külliye of Bayezid II,
– Having meal among the shores of Meriç and tasting the famous fried liver meal of Edirne,
– Buying badem ezmesi ( almond paste), deva-i misk candy, mis soap (fragrant soap) and white cheese,
– Enjoying the week of Kırkpınar Wrestling and Cultural Activities organized each year in the last week of June,
Registered Immobile Cultural and Natural Heritages in Edirne
Archaeological Sites: 21
Urban Sites: –
Natural Sites: 23
Historical Sites: 1
Historical and Natural Sites: 1
Historical and Urban: 2
Cultural (at Single Construction Scale) and Natural
Fifi Mocamp Demirkapı Mev./Edirne Tel: (284) 235 79 08
National Parks And Forest Campsites
Göktepe Mecidiyeköyü, Keşan / Edirne Tel: (284) 212 43 07
Danişment Danişment, Keşan / Edirne Tel: (284) 212 43 07
Provincial Cultural Directorate
Tel: (284) 213 02 32
Fax: (284) 213 02 32
Edirne State Turkish Music Ensemble Directorate
Address: Edirne Kültür Müdürlüğü Edirne Topluluk
Tel: (0 284) 213 02 32
State Fine Arts Gallery Directorate
Eski Vali Konağı EDİRNE
Tel: (0 284) 225 20 39
Fax: (0 284) 223 02 32
Edirne Museum Address: Selimiye Camii Yanı – Edirne
Tel: (284) 225 11 20
Governorship : (+90-284) 213 04 88
Municipality : (+90-284) 213 01 40 – 213 01 41 – 213 01 42 – 213 01 43 – 213 01 44 – 213 01 45
Hospital : (+90-284) 225 46 03
Police : (+90-284) 213 92 40 – 213 92 41 – 213 92 42 – 213 92 43
Gendarme : (+90-284) 213 42 70 – 213 42 71
Provincial Directorate : (+90-284) 212 14 90 – 225 52 60
Edirne Tourism Information Office : (+90-284) 213 92 08
Kapıkule Tourism Information Office : (+90-284) 238 20 19
İpsala Tourism Information Office : (+90-284) 616 15 77
Provincial Culture Directorate : (+90-284) 213 02 32
Edirne Municipality http://www.edirne-bld.gov.tr/
Edirne Exchange of Commerce http://www.etb.org.tr/