The place nowadays is used as cultural center, but from 15th century it was used as inn, quite spacious one, with about 30 rooms. Later, from middle of 19th century it served as a prison.
It is one of the oldest buildings in Edirne that has quite nice inner yard.
Bedesten is a covered market in the central part of Edirne. It was constructed in 1417 – 1418 by Sultan Mehmet. At first it was used as a part of nearby Eski mosque (as most of main mosques it also had market nearby).
It is known that interior was so rich, that it needed to be guarded by sixty people. Nowadays it is also used as market, just bigger one than Arasta.
Arasta market is located just near Selimiye mosque; its collider could be used as an entrance to mosque’s inner yard. Here is a wide variety of Turkish souvenirs, including special things from Edirne region, as vegetable and fruit looking soaps.
Arasta market was built as a support of Selimiye mosque in Murat III reign time (1574 – 1595).
Edirne ethnographic and archeologal museum
The museum is located just on a backside of Selimiye mosque, seems it functions in a new building. The museum, showing prehistoric and Roman, Greek, Bizantine things was opened in 1971. Nearby museum there is cemetery with interesting Muslim graves.
I guess it is the main museum of Edirne region.
Sahabeddin Pasha mosque
It is miniatiure mosque not so far from high Selimiye temple. The structure was built in 1437, still in times when Edirne was a capital. Entering the yard you could see neglect muslim graves.
Such small mosques is quite frequent in Edirne center, but most of them are not siginificant.
Selimiye mosque is the best work of famous architect Mimar Sinan, as well as symbol of that time Ottoman Empire. Also it is famous for a fact its minarets are second highest in the World (after Qutb Minar mosque in Delhi, India).
Mosque is rich in architectural details, having big cupola, symbolic number of windows (999). It is for sure the most visited place in Edirne, also having Arasta market nearby and wide square.
Mimar Sinan sculpture
Mimar Sinan is probably the most famous architect in Turkey. He was thinking that Selimiye mosque is the most valuable work by him, so probably it is quite symbolic to see his statue in front of this mosque.
His lifetime was 1490 – 1588. At young ages he participated in battles with Janissaries, had opportunity to see lots of different (especially Eastern style) architecture.
He modeled more than 100 mosques (let say, Blue mosque or Suleimaniye mosque in Istanbul), 35 baths, more than 30 palaces, and so on.
The mosque with its name “Eski” (old) is actually oldest Ottoman building in Edirne. This shrine was constructed in 1403 – 1414 (architect Haci Alaaddin). May it look not so impressive from outside, but interior is quite nice one, filled with Turkish calligraphy, but more modest than newer Muslim temples.
Mosque is still from times, when Edirne was a capital of Ottoman Empire before Istanbul.
Bayezid II mosque
This mosque is not only mosque, but also insane asylum, Turkish bath, medical school and so on. The famous building was constructed in 1484 – 1488 by architect Hayreddin. Place is intensively domed and that’s why it is different from other mosques.
In former medical school nowadays museum of medicine is housed, as I heard it is very interesting and internationally nominated (haven’t visited it).
Uc Serefeli mosque
It is quite famous mosque in Edirne, mostly due to its architecture. Every minaret has different styles, and one minaret is with three balconies. Actually even the name of mosque literally means “Three balconies mosque”.
It was built in 1438 – 1447 during the reign of Murat II. For that time the way how mosque looked like was quite unusual. Some examples of its architecture later were copied by Mimar Sinan.
It was one of the most interesting Edirne buildings to me, probably due to different minarets.
Sokullu Turkish bath
The Ottoman style Turkish bath (also called as “hamami”) was built in 16th century. Architect of this public place was famous Mimar Sinan. The bath has two separate entrances for men and women.
Such type of baths were quite popular in Ottoman period, nowadays still some old buildings are used for the same purpose or as museums.
Uc Serefeli Camii
The Uc Serefeli Camii, or Mosque of the 3-Balconied Minaret, is another stunning mosque. It is often overlooked, making a visit to it more unusual. This is an unusual example of a mosque. Completed in 1447, it is a transitional building between the earlier square-like structures such as the Eski Cami and the classical style epitomised by the works of Sinan 100 years later.
When we were there, a couple lost tourists looked at it before asking if it was the Selimiye Camii. Once informed that this was the Uc Serefeli Camii, they promptly left, heading for the Selimiye. The latter is truly one of the greatest religious structures in the world, but the Uc Serefeli is itself a wonderful structure and is one of the ultimate examples of pre-classical Ottoman design. It is significant as one of the most important Ottoman mosques before the classical Ottoman style that the nearby Selimiye epitomises. Its tallest minaret was also one of the tallest in Turkey prior to the classical style of very tall, slender minarets. It thus provides the visitor with a very different style of architecture than the mosques which most tourists see.
The minarets are an example of the different design. It has three very different minarets, including one with masonry in a fascinating twist/swirl pattern part of the way up and another with criss-crossed masonry.
- Religious Travel
One of the three main mosques in the centre of town, and right across the central plaza and tea garden from Selimiye Camii, is the Eski Cami, the Old Mosque, the oldest of the three main mosques.
This mosque was begun in 1403 by Suleyman, son of Sultan Beyazit I. Due to the chaos and dynastic dispute between Beyazit's sons following and Beyazit's defeat and capture by Timur, construction was delayed. it was therefore not completed until 1414.
It is, broadly speaking, similar to a smaller version of Beyazit's earlier Ulu Cami in Bursa.
- Religious Travel
Museum of Health
This award winning museum is located in the hospital and Quran school of the Sultan II Bayezid Kulliyesi, which itself is located about 1km to the north-west of the town centre. The museum occupies a dozen rooms and traces medical education under the Ottomans in the form of re-enacting scenes with figures. These include a library, student’s quarters, classrooms and surgical operations in progress.
Open: 8.30am-5.30pm. Admission: TL10.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Sultan II Bayezid Kulliyesi
This large mosque complex is located about 1km to the north-west of the town centre and is approached by crossing another long Ottoman Bridge that was built in 1570. The mosque was built between 1484 and 1488 bj Sultan Beyazit II with the money left over after his Moldau War. The architect, Hayreddin, based the ground plan on that of the Yesil Mosque in Bursa. The building has a square prayer room with a dome on top and adjacent rooms for Quran study, as well a courtyard, and is representative for the early Ottoman mosque architecture. To the right is a medical centre, a psychiatric centre and a medical training centre (now a museum of medicine - see next tip). The mosque was being renovated when I visited in early January 2010 but I managed to get a look inside.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel