Edirne, formerly Adrianople, is Turkey's westernmost city with almost 170,000 inhabitants. It is located in the Bulgarian-Greek-Turkish border triangle, in Eastern Thrace, the European part of Turkey. At the same time it is also the center of the central district (Merkez). Edirne was temporarily the capital of the Ottoman Empire and is now the administrative center of the province of the same name. In its history it bore the names Odrysai (Thracian), Orestia (ancient Greek) and Hadrianopolis (Latin, city of Hadrian).

In Edirne, the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire concluded peace three times, with the Holy Roman Empire in 1568 and with the Russian Empire in 1713 and 1829.



Selimiye Mosque (Selimiye Camii). The magnificent mosque dominates the city skyline. It's best approached from the northwest to get the full effect and visit the shops along the way. It is the masterpiece of Mimar Sinan, built in 1569-75 and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The eight columns supporting the dome are unobtrusive, allowing the dome to float over a vast interior space while 999 windows let in a flood of light. Four delicate fluted minarets rise to 70.89 m, surpassed only by Qutub Minar in Delhi. The interior is decorated with calligraphy and geometric patterns in pink and blue. The inverted tulip decoration, an emblem of Edirne, is intended to recognize the previous landowner who did not want to give up his tulip garden to build the mosque.
Old Mosque (Eski Cami, Edirne) . It was built in the 15th century, making it the oldest and smallest of the city's three imperial mosques. It is a low-rise building with nine domes and two minarets, with distinctive calligraphy inside.
Üç Şerefeli Mosque (Üç Şerefeli Cami) . Its name refers to the three balconies or galleries on the tallest minaret. The other three minarets are all designed differently. The interior of the mosque has a colorfully decorated central dome surrounded by smaller domes in different color patterns supported by stately columns.
Muradiye Mosque (Muradiye Camii). This was built in 1435/36 as part of a Mevlevi dervish complex, but later became a mosque in its own right. It has beautiful tile work, especially in the mihrab, probably by the "Masters of Tabriz" who decorated the mosque in Bursa and later the Üç Şerefeli Mosque in Edirne. Some of the wall decorations were whitewashed, and the building required repairs several times after earthquakes: the minaret was rebuilt in 1957. It's in a dingy area where children beg for baksheesh.
Great Synagogue (Edirne Büyük Sinagogu). The Great Fire of 1905 destroyed its predecessor, so this synagogue opened in 1909 to serve the large Jewish population. They were mostly Sephardic and descended from those who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and fled to Ottoman territory. The synagogue is built in the Moorish style and modeled on the Leopoldstadt Temple in Vienna. It was abandoned in 1983 and fell into disrepair as its congregation left for Israel and elsewhere. It was restored and reopened with a service in 2015, but is not routinely used for religious services. There is a small museum inside.
St. Constantine and Helena Church (Sveti Konstantin-Elena Kilisesi) . Bulgarian Orthodox church from 1869.
Saint George Church (Sveti Georgi Bulgar Kilisesi (Edirne)) . Basilica-style Bulgarian Orthodox church opened in 1880 and still in use. Normally closed except for church services. The caretaker will allow visitors in upon request. Also ask him to see the museum upstairs and climb the bell tower.
Arasta Bazaar. The market hall along the southwest flank of the mosque is worth a visit, even if you don't want to buy anything.
Macedonian Tower (Makedon Kulesi). Here are the last remains of the Roman city walls: they were part of the fortress built by Hadrian in the 2nd century AD and expanded in the Byzantine 10th century. There were four watchtowers, and this one looked towards Macedonia, although they were most eager to wait for the Bulgarians or the fires in the city. The fortress was demolished in the 19th century, leaving only this tower on which a clock tower was built. It was shaken by several earthquakes and had to be partially dismantled in 1953. Some modern repairs have been made, but the tower is dilapidated and cannot be entered.
Sokullu Mehmet Paşa Hamamı. This hammam is another masterpiece of Sinan, the great architect. Built in 1568-69, the baths are still open to the public today, with (of course) separate areas for men and women. The building has been well restored, but the cleanliness and water temperature are unpredictable, so it is better to look at it rather than swim.
Museum of Archeology and Ethnography. The original 1924 museum was part of the mosque complex; It moved here in 1971 when the collection expanded. The museum shows the eventful history of the region with a focus on the Thracian period. The gardens contain a prehistoric dolmen removed from its original location, a reconstructed ancient Thracian hut, and Roman and Ottoman tombstones.
Museum of Islamic Art (İslam Eserleri Müzesi). This was the original Edirne Museum in a madrassah of the mosque. The main collection moved across the street in 1971. You enter the museum past a statue of Sinan the Architect. Lots of calligraphy and other fine arts and crafts.
Şükrü Paşa Memorial. Monument to Rüştü Pasha, the commander who defended the city during the Balkan Wars of 1913. The adjacent small museum is closed indefinitely “for restoration.”
Historical caravanserai Rüstepaşa. The Vervansaray is very old - more than 600 years old. The caravans to and from Istanbul used to rest there. Now it is a market selling a variety of goods, many of them traditional Turkish goods.
Caravanserai Ekmekçizade. Also known as Ayşe Kadın Hanı, it is a building that now serves as the State Theater. This structure was built in 1609 by Sedefkar Mehmed Ağa and Edirne architect Hacı Şaban Ağa at the request of Ekçekçizade Ahmet Pasha and was donated to Sultan Ahmed.
Deveci Han Kervansarayi. Today an office building and multi-purpose hall for exhibitions.


Outside the city

Kanuni Bridge (Kanuni Köprüsü). medieval stone bridge.
Saraçhane Bridge (Saraçhane Köprüsü). medieval stone bridge.
Edirne Palace Ruins (Edirne Sarayı). The palace was built between 1450 and 1475 and was the seat of power of the Ottoman Empire. Even when the capital was moved to Constantinople, it was still a great summer retreat and hunting lodge. But from 1718 onwards it suffered neglect, earthquakes, fire, military occupation and finally in 1878 an ammunition depot within it was deliberately blown up to prevent capture by foreign troops. The kitchens have been restored. Today you can only see the foundation walls.
Kum Kasrı Hamam
Matbah-ı Âmire. known as the kitchen structure of the New Palace of Edirne (Saray-ı Cedid-i Âmire), built during the reign of Mehmed in the 15th century. In addition to its architectural features, it also reflects the peculiarities of its time with its building materials and techniques.
Justice Tower. The Justice Pavilion, the only surviving building of the Edirne Palace, was built by Mimar Sinan of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1561. It has four floors, including the ground floor, and there is a marble fountain pool on the upper floor. In his time, it was used as Divan-ı Hümayun (Council of Ministers) and Supreme Court.
Balkan Wars Memorial Cemetery (Edirne Balkan Şehitliği). Around 30,000 soldiers who died in the siege of Edirne in 1913 are buried here.
Bayezid II Health Museum (Sultan II Bayezid Külliyesi Sağlık Müzesi). This complex was founded in 1484 by Sultan Bayezid II. In addition to the hospital, there was a medical school, a mosque, a guest house, a poorhouse and a Turkish bath. Initially it was a general medical and surgical hospital, but specialized in mental health. They followed enlightened holistic methods before they were adopted in the West: Instead of locking patients in cells with shackles, they used meditative music, scents and flower gardens. It was incorporated into Trakya University and the museum displays miniatures from Ottoman medical textbooks and models of patients.
Hıdırlık Casemates (Hıdırlık Tabyası). A huge hilltop redoubt and fortress built from 1829 against Russian attacks, although its heyday was in the Balkan Wars of 1913. It had little value against the weapons of the 20th century and fell into disrepair. The restoration has been underway since 2011 with no end in sight, so the fortress remains fenced off, although you can still access Hıdır Baba Park.
Karaağaç Train Station (Karaağaç Tren İstasyonu). is not where you would expect the city's main train station to be. But the first railway from Istanbul to Europe ran further south, then curved through the Maritsa Valley, entered Karaağaç station, and then continued up the valley toward Bulgaria. After the Treaty of Lausanne defined the river as the border, trains (such as the Orient Express) had to enter Greece twice while transiting between Turkey and Bulgaria. It wasn't until the 1970s that a new track was laid, cutting this place off; In 1998 it became part of the university. At the old train station there is a small museum, a wooded park and sculpture garden, and a monument to the treaty.
Lalapaşa dolmens. It is a stone passageway to graves, which were originally all covered by a mound of earth. Dolmens in Thrace are typically Late Bronze/Early Iron Age, 1400-900 BC. The dolmen is located in the village center. There are others further northeast along this road.


What to do

Hamam visit. Hamams are traditional Turkish baths that play an important role in Turkish culture and society. These bathhouses are not only used to cleanse the body, but also to relax, socially interact and promote health. The tradition of hammams dates back to the Ottoman Empire and continues to this day in Turkey and other parts of the world.


Getting here

By plane
Istanbul Airport (IATA: IST) is the nearest Turkish airport.
Alexandroupolis Airport (IATA: AXD), this Greek provincial airport is closer than that of Istanbul.
By train
One regional train to Istanbul per day leaves Kapikule at the Bulgarian border and stops at both train stations in Edirne. There is also a night train from Bucharest and Sofia to Istanbul. More information here: [Timetables].

1 Edirne Central Station (Edirne Garı) is the main railway station, 4 km east of the city center, close to the highway to Istanbul. International and regional trains stop here.
2 Edirne Şehir Railway Station (Edirne Şehir Tren İstasyonu) is located 1 km southwest of the center, on the edge of the old town near the river bank. The regional trains stop here, but not the international trains.
3 Kastanies Train Station (σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός Καστανιών) just over the border with Greece and 4 km southwest of Edirne. It is served by Greek TrainOSE trains from Alexandroupolis to Dikaia. The journey takes just over two hours. In February 2021, there was only a single train leaving Alexandroupolis before 09:00 and returning from Kastaniés around midday.

By bus
Buses depart from Istanbul Esenler Station at least hourly, taking 2 to 4 hours non-stop. Metro Turizm is the main operator. In normal times, buses run 24 hours a day, but in early 2021 they will end between midnight and 5:00 a.m. Buses also run from Canakkale to Edirne via the Gallipoli Peninsula, Keşan and Uzunköprü. At the beginning of 2021 they will only run once a day, operated by Isparta.

On the street
The city is located on the main highways between Turkey and Europe, the toll-free D100 and the toll highway O-3/E80. Istanbul is 224 km to the east, about a two-hour drive.

All border crossings are open 24 hours. The main border post is Kapikule (Turkey) / Kapitan Andreevo (Bulgaria), 15 km west of Edirne. Svilengrad, 8 km further, is the first Bulgarian city that can be reached from there.

A smaller border crossing is located near Pazarkule (Turkey) / Kastaniés (Greece) 4 km southwest of the city and 40 km north on the D535 at Hamzabeyli (Turkey) / Lesovo (Bulgaria).


Transport around

The center is compact, fairly flat and easily walkable. The outskirts are a long walk away, but it's better to take a taxi or dolmus, at least in one direction.



Ottoman Covered Bazaars: There are several, two key examples being Arasta next to the Selimiye Mosque (signposted “Çarşı Girişi”) and Alipaşa, which runs parallel to Saraçlar Cd.
Margi Outlet Center (Margi Edirne), 1. Murat, Talat Paşa Cd. No:22/a, 22100 Edirne Merkez/Edirne, Turkey (Easily located on the D100). Tel.: +90 284 236 64 00, Email: info@margioutlet.com. Open: Daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.



Edirne's cuisine is known for its diversity and influence from various cultures, as the city has been under Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman rule throughout history.

Edirne Kızarması: This is a type of fried sandwich often filled with beef, veal, or liver. It is usually wrapped in thin bread and deep fried until crispy.

Ciğer Tava: Ciğer Tava are fried pieces of liver often served with onions, peppers and spices. This is a popular appetizer or side dish in Edirne cuisine.

Beyaz Peynir: This type of white cheese is popular throughout Turkey, but Edirne is known for the quality of its Beyaz Peynir. It is often served for breakfast with bread, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Edirne Kuzu Çevirme: This is grilled spit lamb traditionally grilled over charcoal. It is usually served with bread and vegetables.

Tava Ciğer (Arnavut Ciğeri): This is another variation of fried liver, often seasoned with paprika, onions and spices. It is usually served in small pieces and can be enjoyed as an appetizer or snack.

Hamsili Pilaf: This rice dish is prepared with fresh anchovies and often refined with raisins, pine nuts and spices. It is a classic dish from the region.

Trakya Tarator: Tarator is a type of yogurt dip made with cucumbers, garlic, dill and walnuts. In Edirne, fish is also often added to create a special variant called "Trakya Tarator".

Kestane Şekeri: These candied chestnuts are a popular sweet in Edirne. The chestnuts are cooked in sugar and then dried to create a sweet treat.

Baklava: While baklava can be found in many parts of Turkey, Edirne is also known for its delicious baklava variations. This sweet pastry is made from thin layers of dough, nuts and syrup.



Leman Kültür (Leman Edirne), 1. Murat, Zübeyde Hanım Cd. 1. Sokak no3, 22030 Edirne Merkez/Edirne, Türkiye. Tel.: +90 284 2256971. Food and culture in a very student environment at Trakya University. The Leman has an airy outdoor area and a pleasant indoor area. Menu online via https://lemankultur.com.tr/MENU/menu.pdf.



Rustempasa Kervansaray Hotel



The city was founded by the Roman Emperor Hadrian and named Hadrianopolis (English: Adrianople, /ˌeɪdriəˈnoʊpəl/; Greek: Ἁδριανούπολις). It was previously an ancient Thracian settlement called Uskudama. Its name in the Ottoman period was derived from the Greek name Edrine (ادرنه). Written as Adrianople in English, Edirne became the new internationally accepted name after the Turkish alphabet revolution in 1928.



It is a border city located on the highway connecting Turkey to Europe. Edirne was founded on the plain where the Tunca, Arda and Meriç rivers meet. Continental climate prevails. It is located next to Greece and Bulgaria. The city center is 7 km from Greece and 17 km from Bulgaria.



The first known settlers around Edirne were the Odris and Bettegeris from the Thracian tribes. According to popular belief, an open city or market place called Odris or Odrisia was founded by the Odriss at the junction of the Meriç and Tunca rivers, where Edirne is located today. Between 1400 and 1200 BC, the region was taken over by the Achaeans and after this period, it became a "police". During the campaign of the Achaemenid Emperor Darius I against the Scythians in the 510s BC, the region came under Persian rule. The Odrysians, who declared their independence under the reign of Teres I in 460 BC, became the rulers of the region again. In 340 BC II. The settlement, which was captured by the Macedonians under the reign of Philip, began to be known as Orestia during this period. The region was later subjected to Celtic invasions. Orestia, under Macedonian control, fell to the Romans in 168 BC. During the eastern travel of the Roman Emperor Hadrian between 123-124 BC, Orestia, whose name was changed to Hadrianapolis, was given city status. Hadrianapolis, which remained under the control of the Byzantine Empire after the Roman Empire was divided into two in 395, was subjected to Goth, Hun, Pecheneg, Avar and Bulgarian attacks during this period.

The city was captured by the Bulgarian Khan Krum in 813, and with the agreement made in 815 between the Byzantine Emperor Leon V of Omurtag, who ascended the throne after Krum's death, thirty years of peace was achieved between the two states, and the control of the city was left to the Byzantine Empire.

Although the city was attacked by Pechenegs and Cumans several times in the 1000s, it remained under the control of the Byzantine Empire. While it was subjected to various attacks during the Crusades, the Latins were defeated in the battle with the Bulgarians in 1205 in the city, which came under the control of the Latin Empire. After the collapse of the Latin Empire in 1261, Hadrianapolis came under Bulgarian rule. According to different sources, the city joined the Ottoman Empire in a period that varied between 1361 and 1371. The city, which changed its name to Edirne when it was captured by the Turks and later became the capital of the Ottoman Empire, partially lost its importance after Istanbul became the capital in 1453, but remained one of the favorite places of the sultans and a lively commercial and administrative center. The biggest blow to the development of the city, which was shaken by fires and earthquakes in the 18th century, was that the once-advantageous feature of being the gateway to the Balkans turned into a disadvantage as the Ottoman Empire began to decline. The city, which first experienced foreign occupation during the Ottoman-Russian war of 1828-29, was occupied by the Russians again in the War of 1893 (1877-1878).

According to the yearbook dated 1892 written by Edirne Provincial Printing House Manager Şevket Dağdeviren;

Edirne city is the center of Edirne Province, which has 6 sanjaks, 21 districts, 97 townships, 1620 villages and a population of 800,000, including the Edirne sanjak.

Edirne District consists of three townships and the municipalities of Edirne and Karaağaç. There are 85733 male and female population in 306 neighborhoods, 154 villages and 17132 houses in the district.

There are 53348 inhabitants in 10780 houses in Edirne city. In the city, there are 157 mosques and masjids, 69 lodges and zawiyas, 35 madrasas and libraries, 52 schools, prison, gendarmerie office, courthouse telegraph office, sharia court, government mansion, military office, 4 military high schools, 1 civil high school, 1 male, 1 female. It has a secondary school, a sample farm and an agricultural and industrial school.

There are 3870 shops, 280 bakeries, 37 inns, 15 working houses, 9 ruined baths, 134 mills, 7 flour mills, 5 printing houses, 568 rooms, 148 haylofts and warehouses, 19476 pieces of vineyards, 2315 gardens, 5228 fields, 278 meadows and 1657 plots of land. .

Apart from these, 26 churches and monasteries, 13 synagogues, 5 barracks, 11 police stations, 239 fountains and public fountains, 5 soup kitchens, 1 reformatory, 5 hospitals, fire towers, 6 icehouses, 2 reji warehouses, 1 gas works, 15 tile and brick quarries, 87806 There are acres of arable and uncultivable land.

In the district outside the city, 228 shops, 2 bakeries, 16 inns, 1 bath, 78 mills, 6 flour mills, 104 warehouses and haylofts, 54 farms, 6889 vineyards, 43962 fields, 131 gardens, 1230 meadows, 58 pastures, 16 forests, 448 land, 24 mosques, 2 lodges, 32 churches and monasteries, 20 brick and tile quarries, 29 fountains, 997074 decares of arable and non-arable land.

There are 2315 well-kept vegetable, fruit and mulberry gardens around the Meriç, Tunca and Arda rivers in Edirne. Apricots, plums, quinces, mulberries, medlars and other fruits are abundant. There are 19476 pieces of vineyards in 37 places in Istanbul Yolu, Kıyık, Tekke Kapı, Yeni İmaret and Yıldırım districts. 300 million kilos of wine and 4,600,000 kilos of raki are produced from grapes annually. Most of the wine is exported to Europe.

It was occupied by the Bulgarians during the Balkan War (1912-1913). The city, which was transferred to Bulgaria with the peace agreement accepted after the First Balkan War, joined Turkish territory again after the Second Balkan War, which broke out before the ink of the agreement was even dry. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, Edirne was occupied by the Greeks in July 1920; With the successful conclusion of the War of Independence, it finally came under Turkish sovereignty on 25 November 1922 (Liberation of Edirne). The border of the province took its current form when Karaağaç, which was taken back from Greece as war compensation by the Treaty of Lausanne, joined Turkey on September 15, 1923. The Lausanne Monument, built in memory of the treaty, is in the Karaağaç neighborhood of the district.


Arts and culture

Since it was once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the city is decorated with historical monuments such as inns, mosques, bazaars and stone bridges.

Social complexes
II. Beyazıt Social Complex
Selimiye Complex
Selimiye Mosque, which Mimar Sinan called "my masterpiece", Üç Şerefeli Mosque and Eski Mosque, and Dar-ül Hadis Mosque in Edirne constitute the most important works of Edirne.

In the city, there are the Italian Catholic Church located in Kaleiçi, which belongs to the Christian culture, the Sv. (Святой) Georgi Bulgarian church located in Kıyık and the Sv. Georgi Church located in Kirişhane. There is the Bulgarian Church of Constantine-Elena. There is also the Edirne Great Synagogue in Kaleiçi, which belongs to the city's Jewish minority. This is the largest synagogue within the borders of Türkiye and the 3rd largest synagogue in Europe.

Grand bazaars
It has three covered bazaars named Selimiye Arastası, Bedesten and Alipaşa.

Edirne Palace
From the palace used during the Ottoman period, there is no building left from those times except the Justice Pavilion, which is the symbol of justice today, with a sense of desire and a lesson in front of it. Restoration work continues in the Kum Pavilion Bath, and works have been completed in Matbah-ı Amire (Palace Kitchen), where restoration work has begun, as of 2013. The palace kitchen will be turned into a museum.

Edirne was one of the important centers of tile and ceramic art during the Ottoman period. The tiles of the palaces and important buildings in Edirne are the products of the city's artistic tradition.

The handicraft style in Edirne is called "Edirnekâri" (Edirne work). The handicrafts in Edirne have been appreciated for their high quality since the time it was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Today, this tradition continues in wood and carving; It manifests itself with patterns made with paint on wooden materials such as chests and cabinets. Lacquer container and box making, flower painting, bookbinding, calligraphy (especially talik writing), wood carving and tombstone making are other handicrafts in Edirne.

Today, broom making continues to exist as a handicraft. Miso soap making, which has become a touristic activity, is another traditional handicraft.