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Edirne in skylife article

edirne2_s.jpg (7788 bytes)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 Yıldırım 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 Paşa and Ekmekçioğlu Ahmet Paşa 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 appearances. 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 Kırkpinar island, a forested area between the Meric and Tunca rivers. These traditional occasions comprise many entertaining activity, and the province is filled with spectators.

edirne3_s.jpg (11154 bytes)The Mosque of Selimiye is the symbol of Edirne. Sinan the architect built this Mosque which he defined as his master work succeeding the mosques of Şehzade and Süleymaniye in Istanbul, for Selim the II, between the years 1569-1575. The mosque is encircled by its four minarets in a well shaped manner and has a magnificent appearance when it is observed from far off. The dome which has a diameter of 31,30 m is supported by 8 pillars and flying buttresses placed at the back. The mosque is ornamented with many windows and therefore the inside is very luminous. The encaustic tiles decorating the niche, are beautiful examples of the Ottoman art of tile-making. The pulpit of the muezzin is at the center of the mosque and supported by 12 marble columns, and there is a marble pond under it. The inside of the dome which is 43,28 m high, is ornamented with engravings. The four minarets which are 70,89 m high, surround the mosque gracefully. Owing to the fact that Edirne was an ancient Ottoman capital city, there are great number of historical works of art in it.

The locality where the traditional wrestling activities of Kırkpinar are organized, is the place where the ancient Palace of Edirne was situated. The covered bazaar of Ali Paşa built by Sinan the Architect in 1569, the ancient Mosque dated 1414 which Çelebi Sultan Mehmet had ordered to be constructed and the market of antiques adjacent to it and dated 1417, the Market which Murat the III had ordered to be constructed. The Building Complex of Beyazit which Bayed the II had ordered to be constructed in 1488, the Mosque with three minaret-galleries dated 1443, the Caravansary of Rüstempaşa are some of these historical works of art.

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