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Edirne, Turkey

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Interior of Selimiye Mosque, Edirne, TurkeyInterior of Selimiye Mosque, Edirne, Turkey
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Edirne is a city on the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the border with Greece and Bulgaria. The city is located on the river Tunca in Eastern Thrace, the part of Turkey within Europe. It has a population of 139,000 (2011 estimate) and serves as the provincial capital of Edirne Province.

Selimiye Mosque, EdirneSelimiye Mosque, Edirne
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The original name of Edirne, as given by the Romas, was Hadrianopolis, after the Roman Emperor Hadrian. For that reason, it was formerly also known in English as Adrianople, a name that has since become obscure. The present name Edirne was derived from Hadrianopolis.

Edirne experiences a humid subtropical climate with long, hot summers and cold, occasionally snowy winters. The hottest month is July, when the average high temperature reaches 31.7°C (89.1°F). Coldest month is January, when the average low temperature drops to -0.6°C (30.9°F). November is the wettest month, with 72.1 mm (2.839 in) of precipitation.

Old Mosque of EdirneOld Mosque of Edirne
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authorshipNevit Dilmen
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Located at the crossroad between Asia and Europe, Edirne bears the influences of both. Within the city you can fine numerous mosques as well as Orthodox churches of the Bulgarians and Greeks. The city is the traditional home for oil-wrestling, known in Turkish as Kırkpınar.

Visiting Edirne

The most practical way to reach Edirne is to take a bus from Istanbul. The journey takes two hours. The fare is €10. There are also two trains from Istanbul's Sirkeci Railway Station, one at 8:30 am and another at 3:50 pm. The train ride takes 4 hours. Many trains from Europe towards Istanbul also stop over in Edirne.

Sights & Attractions in Edirne

  1. Beyazıt II Mosque: Mosque on the northern side of river Tunca, about 1.5 km from the city center. It was built in the 15th century when Beyazıt II was the sultan.
  2. Muradiye Mosque: Mosque that was established in 1421 by the sultan Murat II as a zaviye (dervish hospice), brought about when he dreamt that the great dervish Rumi commanded him to build a hospice in Edirne.
  3. Mosque of the Three Balconies: Built in 1447, this was once the grandest building of the early Ottoman state. Its southeastern minaret was once the tallest minaret in existence. The three balconies there gave the mosque its name.
  4. Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art: Located with the medrese (religious school) of Selimiye Mosque is this museum showcasing a small collection of Turkish and Islamic works of art.
  5. Old Mosque of Edirne: The oldest of Edirne's main mosques, this appears to be a scaled down version of the Great Mosque of Bursa. It was built by Süleyman, the eldest son of Sultan Beyazıt I in 1403, and completed by Süleyman's son Mehmet I in 1414.
  6. Rüstem Paşa Caravanserai (Rüstem Paşa Kervansarayı)
    Caravanserai or inn built for Rüstem Paşa in 1560 comprising two courtyards. The bigger courtyard is today the Rüstem Paşa Kervansaray Hotel while the smaller one is today a student hostel.
  7. Selimiye Mosque: The grandest mosque of the Ottoman Empire, the Selimiye Mosque was commissioned by Selim II. Construction began in 1569 and the mosque was completed in 1575.
  8. Semiz Ali Paşa Bazaar: Traditional bazaar dating back to 1589.

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