Edirne is a gateway of Turkey opening to western
world, the first stopover for newcomers from Europe. Situated on the Greek
border, this beautiful city is famed for its many mosques, the elegant domes and
minarets which dominate the panoramic appearance of the province.
One of the most important monuments in this
ancient province is the Selimiye Mosque, built in the 16th-century by the
greatest Turkey's greatest architect, Mimar Sinan. Carrying the name of the then
reigning the Sultan, this mosque magnificently represents Turkish marble
handicrafts and it is covered with valuable tiles and fine paintings. The
Yildirim Mosque and the Eski Mosque, dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries
respectively, are other spectacular sights while the Muradiye Mosque and the Üç
Serefeli Mosque are also among the oldest and most impressive buildings. Last to
be mentioned is the Beyazit II Mosque, a great monument with its complex
construction comprising many facilities used in those times.
Besides the fascinating mosques, there are
different sites to be visited in Edirne, all reflecting its rich past. There are
attractive palaces, the most prominent one being the Edirne Palace, which was
the "Palace of the Empire" built during the reign of Murat II. There are the
amazing caravansaries, like the Rustem Pasha and Ekmekcioglu Ahmet Pasha
caravansaries, which were designed to host travelers, in the 16th century.
The lively bazaars of "Bedesten" and "Arasta"
make the province colorful bring back the ancient times. Several bridges exist
which have stood for centuries, adorning the land with their old but fine
Ipsala, is a district center of Edirne province
and it is Turkey's second important border gate, on the European frontier. It is
a wildfowl paradise enjoyed by both Turkish and foreign sportsmen.
A specialty of Edirne is as a center for
grease-wrestling, which is the national sport of Turkey. Lively championships
are held here every July, on Kirkpinar island, a forested area between the Meric
and Tunca rivers. These traditional occasions comprise many entertaining
activity, and the province is filled with spectators.
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