Just walk around..
As far as i'm Kaunas girl i always love towns that have main pedestrian street. So Edirne is also among my favourites. Saraclar cadessi and it's surroundings are the perfect place when you are too lazy for any other activities or just killing time. The street is not far from the Eski Camii paralel to old Bedesten market. Most of houses here are nicely renovated traditional 2-store buildings with a protruding upper floor( And for some original without any make-over architecture - just step into one of adjoining streets). Lots of flower pots and some lovely fountains give the street cheerful look. And here are lot's of little shops and bars where you can sit drinking excellent traditional coffee or apple-tea.
By the way, there are lots of kebab take-aways circling around Bedesten. They are really good and cheap- we had kebab and airan for just 2 TL. Well...we were little bit unlucky with pickled peppers.... so my advice- for coke and other soda drink fans- forget them! Airan doesn't take burning but reduce it to minimal.
Selimye Mosque together with the surroundings is the best known object in Edirne. It was built in XVI century by famous architect Mimar Sinan - his statue is on the left corner of the square in front of the mosque. From 2011 Selimiye Camii is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage , it's suppossed be one of the 3 most beautiful mosques in Turkey. And it's not just the mosque itself. The whole complex included Islamic school - medresse, library. There used to be hospital and baths around , too. Also charity kitchen for poor people, hospices and cemetery. And it's quite unusual for christians, like me, when before entering the sanctuary you have to pass row of shops - arasta. Now the mosque itself is still a preying house but most of surrounding buildings lost their initial purpose and turned to museum.
Some interesting facts- Selimiye camii minaret towers are second largest in the world( almost 71m high). And the mosque has 999 windows- because Sinan believed it symbolized the perfectness of God.
Eski Camii- the Old Mosque
Eski Camii is probably the oldest mosque in Edirne built in 1414. It's situated in the town center - just across the famous Selimye Mosque. It's not so rich in decoration like mosques from later centuries. But it's famous becuase of large and rather austere calligraphy iscriptions on it's wallsRelated to:
"It's better to take a ferry ride, there is nothing to do in Edirne." !!!!!!!
Edirne(ancient Hadrianopolis-Orestes-Adrianople) was the second capital city(1365-1453) of Ottoman Empire before the Istanbul(Constantinople)and Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Istanbul was born in Edirne(Adrianople).
The city contains the ruins of the ancient palace of the Ottoman Sultans,SELIMIYE MOSQUE(built in 1575 and carriying the name of Ottoman Sultan Selim II)which is one of the the most important monument of the Ottoman Era and designed by Greatest Master Architect Sinan(Mimar Sinan-his works in Istanbul..Suleymaniye,Mihrimah Sultana(mosque&medrese),Rustem Pasa,Sehzade mosques),and more in Edirne..Beyazid II Kulliye Healt Museum(built in 1488-the museum awarded the European Council's "Museum Award"in 2004),Caravansaries..Rustem Pasa and Ekmekcioglu Ahmet Pasa,Saint George and Saint Constantine&Helena Bulgarian Orthodox Churches,Kasri Adalet(Justice place),Edirne museum,ancient bazaars,Ottoman mosques..Eski(1418),Muradiye(1436),Ucserefeli(1447),Beyazit(1488),Wooden Ottoman Victorian houses,alot of Ottoman bridges,etc..
Edirne is also a center for Yagli Gures(grease-wrestling),starts every year between end of june-beginning of july(this year will be on 29th june-5th july)
Edine has most delicious grilled meatballs(minced lamb-Kofte),liver sish kebap in Turkiye..
I think that there are tons and tons things "to do in Edirne".
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Considered as the oldest ottoman structure in Edirne, the Eski Mosque is constructed in 1403 and was completed in 1414.
Walking on the way to Selimiye Mosque, you'll be passing by this old mosque along the main Talat Pasa Cadessi. It is beside a covered bazaar.
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This older 15th century mosque is a 5-minute walk from the Selimiye Mosque.
There is some minor renovation on one facade of the mosque (or cleaning it?) when I was there last week (April 2009).
The mosque has 3 very tall minarets and unusually each of the minarets have different designs - spiral, checkered and zigzag.Related to:
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One of Mimar Sinan's architectural 16th century masterpiece.
Located up on a hill with beautiful park in front of it. The entrance is a covered bazaar.
The mosque is the center of the city - few minutes walk from Saraçlar Caddesi and can be seen from afar. With 999 windows representing God's perfection, this great mosque is considered as Sinan's greatest work.
It's almost similar to Istanbul's Blue Mosque, though personally, I kinda like this one better.
Admission to the mosque is free, and as usual dress properly and remove your shoes, you can take photos of the interior of the mosque which again seems like you're inside the Blue Mosque.Related to:
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This is Edirne's mini version of Istiklal Caddesi in Istanbul.
This pedestrian street is full of nice coffee shops with some tables and chairs alfresco, great for people-watching while sipping your cola on a warm summer day.
Nice quaint shops lined the street housed in those old wooden houses, some of them renovated, others remains in their somewhat original condition - but pretty as it is.
There is a huge fountain just near the start of the street where you'll find some benches basking under the sun - nice to seat during the spring.
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- Historical Travel
Üç ªerefeli Mosque
Üç ªerefeli 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 ºerefeli 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.
The Selimiye Mosque
The first monument which welcomes the visitors of Edirne today is Selimiye Mosque. Selimiye Mosque which is mentioned with amazement and awe even among modern architectural work, is a structure that Architect Sinan called as "my work of art of mastership." This mosque which is shiny and eye dazzling as a crown offered to Edirne, has four elegant minarets which can be seen from far away even when one approaches Edirne. The expenses of the mosque made by Architect Sinan upon the order of Sultan Selim the second between 1569-1575 were met by the loot obtained from the conquest of Cyprus in 1571. The refined taste and mystical flair which overwhelms the structure is felt in all corners of the mosque, yet when one arrives under the giant cupola the feeling of awe is replaced by amazement and admiration. The light in the mosque provides comfort and confidence , and as one looks to the cupola the curiosity ab-nd admiration for Architect Sinan almost reaches its climax. The unique craftsmanship of tile, marble and scripture seen in the mosque in general are the interior decorations of the splendid structure.
Sultan II. Selim tarafindan Mimar Sinan'a 1569-1575 yillari arasinda Edirne'de yaptirilmistir. Sinan'in ustalik eserim dedigi camidir. Ucer serefeli, 71 m. yuksekliginde dort minaresi vardir. Cephede bulunan on iki minare serefelerine uc ayri merdivenle cikilmaktadir. Sekiz fil ayagina dayanan kubbesi 31,28 m. capinda olup tabandan yuksekligi 43.28 m.'dir. Mermer minberi ve cinileriyle unludur. 1878'de Ruslarin Edirne'yi isgali sirasinda cinilerinin bir bolumu sokulup Rusya'ya goturulmustur. Cevresindeki diger Sinan yapilariyla birlikte Selimiye Kulliyesi adiyla anilir.
relief of a tulip
Before you leave Selimiye you should also see the inverted tulip at the place of the preacher. Rumor has it that when a place was looked for Selimiye Mosque upon the Sultan’s order in Edirne which was reputable for its tulips, the lady owner of the tulip garden did not want to sell her garden. She was convinced after long efforts, but she sold her property with the condition that the mosque to be built had to have something to remind herself. Architect Sinan put this tulip figure upon her request. However since Architect Sinan also wanted to remind the perversity and obstinacy of the lady, had the inverted tulip carved on the marble whimsily. The truth remains unknown but what is known is that this mosque harmoniously built by the engineering genius and aesthetics concept of Architect Sinan is one of the greatest art works of the World’s Islamic architecture as well as Edirne.
Inner decoration of the Selimiye Mosque
The tiles of Selimiye were made in Iznik. Tile omamentation is seen in altar wall of the mosque, on the pew of the Sultan, and on the frontals of the windows. The altar wall and the parts between the windows are embellished by pointed arched tilepanels, pointed leaves, and medallions ornamented with a decoration pertaining to the Ottomans (Rumi) on red base.
The tile ornamentetion stated above were embellished with medallions whose middle parts were ornamented with religious themed rumi. On the tile band above there are cartridges which are filled with religious themed inscriptions. On the panel behind the high estrade besides the altar, a flowered tree motive is seen on dark blue base. The base is ornamented with tulip, hyacinth and cloves. Different kinds of tree and flower compositions draws attention on the cornerings of the arches that hold the pews on eastern and northern arms of the sanctuary.
enjoying the stone bridges
Edirne is a city of many bridges, most of them spanning the Tunca. These stone bridges, mentioned in many folk songs, reflect the spatial and monumental concepts of contempo- rary Ottoman architecture. Those within the city are an integral part of the urban texture. The imposing beauty of Edirne's bridges, some of which outside the city are the work of Mimar Sinan, were never matched elsewhere.
The oldest of these bridges dates from the reign of the Byzantine emperor Michael Palaeologus (1261-1282). This 27 arch bridge was renovated by Gazi Mihal Bey in 1420 and thereafter known after him. In 1640 Kemankeþ Kara Mustafa Paþa constructed a pointed arched baldachin, the Tarih Köþk, on the bridge.
In 1451 the twelve arch Þahabettin Paþa Bridge (also known as Saraçhane Bridge) was constnýcted. This was followed in 1452 by the Fatih Bridge, the Bayezid Bridge built in 1488 by Mimar Hayreddin, the Saray (Kanuni) Bridge built in 1560 by Mimar Sinan, Ekmekçizade Ahmed Paþa Bridge built in 1608-1615 by Sedefkar Mehmed Aða and the Meriç (Yeni) Bridge at the confluence of the Meriç and Arda rivers between 1842 and 1847. These are the most notable of Edirne's historic bridges.
Some architectural samples of Edirne
Edirne houses were timber framed with stone foundations, and the exterior often plastered. They had broad eaves and jutting bays supported by series of stn.ýts. The entrance was set back slightly in the centre of the main façade.
One room facing Mecca was usually set aside as a prayer room. All the living rooms had fitted cupboards where linen and household ware of all kinds were kept. There were jugs, cups, bowls and plates for serving preserves, confectionery, sherbet and syrups, embroidered towels and other linen, basins and ewers. Rooms where guests were received had shelves along the walls on which the family's most treasured pottery and porcelain plates, bowls and jugs would be displayed and alcoves containing several shelves known as katlý raf were similarly used to display pretty bowls, gülabdan (rosewater sprinklers) and vases.
Since Edirne's winters could be extremely cold, the walls were thick to provide insulation and the rooms contained fireplaces either set into the walls or protruding from the exterior walls in the form of conical towers.
The Edirne house plan, which was adopted throughout the Balkans, was characterised by a central gallery room known as a hayat off which the other rooms opened, a feature of all houses from the most humble to the grandest. At one end the hayat jutted out over the garden, supported by posts 1.5-2 metres in height. This end of the hayat was raised slightly from the floor level of the rest of the gallery and surrounded by wooden divans.
Large houses had separate courtyards for the harem (the private part of the house reserved for the family and female guests) and selamlýk (where the master of the household received guests and carried out his business affairs) sections. These contained marble fountains, sometimes small pools and vine shaded arbours. A small door linked the harem and selamlýk courtyards.
visiting Adalet Kiosk
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 Kasrý (Worldwide Mansion), Kum Kasrý Hamamý (Sand Mansion Bath), Babusseade, Matbahi Amire and Adalet Kasrý (Justice Mansion).
Edirne Ili Hotels
STayed here in June 2013 for 2 nights for my birthday - it was off peak and quite wet and chilly so...more
The Otel Efe is a nice hotel right in the heart of Edirne. It is not big or flashy, but is...more
Maarif Cad No 2, Edirne, 22100, Turkey
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Families
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