Dec, 23 || No Comments |
Edirne is a border city in Eastern Thrace, in northwest side of Turkey, just 225km away from Istanbul. It lies on the gently rolling Thracian plains, much of the city is fairly flat, and just east of confluence of Maritsa, Tundzha, and Arda Rivers, known in Turkish as Meriç, Tunca and Arda, respectively.
It’s located on an intersection where borders of three countries meet: Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria.
Visiting this city is also feasible as a day trip from Istanbul.
Given the small size of the city, Edirne is like an open-air museum boasting some wonderful architectural delights; around 20 mosques, old covered bazaars, hamams and beatifully restored wooden houses. Chief of the architectural building in Edirne, for sure, is the Selimiye Mosque. It is simply unavoidable and can be seen almost all over the city, as it’s four huge and nice minarets, which are said to be the second highest in the world after much thicker minaret of the Qutub Minar in Delhi, soar 70-meters into the sky. The mosque was commissioned by Sultan Selim II and was built by architect Mimar Sinan between 1568 and 1574. It was considered by Sinan to be his masterpiece and is one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture. Other attractions include the Three Balconies Mosque and Old Mosque which lies opposite the Selimiye Mosque, Edirne Archaeology & Ethnography Museum just behind Selimiye Mosque, Sarayiçi region hosting the annual Oil Wrestling Festivals and of course the two rivers and parks. Just outside the town, a must see spot; lies the Sultan II Bayezid Kulliyesi Mosque which is a 15th century complex that features a museum on health, that was awarded European Museum of the Year in 2004.
The town centre is rather pleasant with some lovely old wooden houses and a nice pedestrianised shopping street.
As of June, 2011, Selimiye Mosque was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.