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Stay safe
[[Image:Selimiye.jpg|thumb|350px|Edirne with Selimiye Mosque in the centrecenter]]
'''Edirne''' (pronounced ''eh-deer-neh'', []) is a city in [[Eastern Thrace]], in northwest [[Turkey]]. It lies on the gently rolling Thracian plains (much of the city is fairly flat, though) and just east of confluence of Maritsa, Tundzha, and Arda Rivers, known in Turkish as ''Meriç'', ''Tunca'', and ''Arda'', respectively.
However things dramatically changed with the beginning of 19th century and the city suffered heavy depopulation in the context of Russo-Turkish wars of 1829 and 1878 when Russians occupied all the way to western suburbs of Istanbul, Balkan Wars of late 19th/early 20th century, the loss of much of the hinterland and even outer suburbs to north and west when international borders non-existant before (when all was part of Ottoman Empire) were created close to the city in 1910s and 20s, and the Second World War when Nazi armies were only miles away from the city, just on the opposite banks of the rivers and most of the population was evacuated into interior Turkey. Some of whom could not flee died of following famine during this period. This depopulation trend slowly but constantly continued until very recently and the city is now home to barely 140,000 people. Although it is quite a lively city, especially compared to other Turkish cities of this size, however all you see today is just a fraction of its former glory.
The major streets of the city all fan out of main square, which is surrounded by three imperial mosques of Selimiye, Üç Şerefeli and Old Mosques — ''Talat Paşa Bulvarı'' lies towards east, eventually turning into the highway to [[Istanbul]], while ''Londra Asfaltı'' leads to [[Bulgaria]]n border at Kapıkule in the west, via Gazi Mihal Bridge across Tundzha. To north, ''Hükümet Caddesi'' connects city centre with the former palace neighbourhood in Sarayiçi and to south pedestrianized ''Saraçlar Caddesi'' lies, extension lying on the edge of old city and open to vehicular traffic of which eventually leads to Karaağaç across Tundzha and Maritsa.
Temperate continental — hot and occasionally rainy (as showers which tend to last for 15–20 minutes) summers (expect up to 40º C); cold and rainy, occasionally snowy winters (expect down to -10º C). Spring and autumn months tend to be warmer than the locations on the sea coast (such as [[Istanbul]])—so if day-tripping from a coastal place during those months, especially in May, drink plenty of water to avoid headaches due to dehydration—but winter arrives earlier (in November). Because Edirne lies in a geography that is the entering point of many weather systems from Balkans (Southeastern Europe) into Turkey, a good way of forecasting the weather conditions for the next few days is to follow what other Balkan cities such as [[Plovdiv]], [[Bulgaria]] is currently experiencing, as quite the same conditions will be what Edirne is experiencing within a two or three days time.
Due to cold and dry winds of winters, packing along some kind of skin moisturizer in addition to warm clothing is essential to avoid badly dried skin (which can go as far as bleeding in coldest days).
==Get in==
===By plane===
Of the nearby airports, the most convenient is '''Atatürk International''' in [[Istanbul]], which has flights from all inhabited continents and a metro line providing an easy connection to main bus station (''otogar'').
===By bus===
Easiest way to reach to Edirne is by bus from [[Istanbul]]. Departures are at any time with a fare of some €10 27 Turkish Lira and a trip of two hoursand 40 minutes, although stiff competition between the bus companies may sometimes result in fares as low as 10 TL (€5) pp. Bus station in Edirne is located way out of the city but free service midibuses will take you to the city center. on the 22nd of november 2012 there were no free services, but there was a dolmus for 2 Liras (line 1). Please take into account that a trip from taksim by bus will take about an hour.
There are no direct buses to [[Bulgaria]]. It is, however, possible to take a taxi to Kapikule on the Bulgarian border. From there one can sometimes wave over a bus traveling on to [[Plovdiv]] and [[Sofia]]. Another approach could be to walk across the border and take a bus or train from Kapitan Andreevo on the Bulgarian side of the border.
===By car===
The city is on the main highways linking Turkey and Europe (road numbers: toll-free D100 and toll-road/motorway O-3/E80). A drive takes no more than two hours from [[Istanbul]] (224 km away) to Edirne on the motorway, even less if you drive ''very'' fast. The main European-Turkish border post Kapikule/Kapitan Andreevo (between Turkey and [[Bulgaria]], SE of [[Svilengrad]]) is about 15-20 km away from the city, while less significant Pazarkule border post (between Turkey and [[Greece]], north of [[Orestiada]]) is even nearer.
===By boat===
While it's theoretically possible for even large ships to enter the Maritsa River from the Aegean Sea and navigate upriver up to Edirne (which was indeed common during the time of Romans), the intense border area through which the river flows makes any use of any kind of water transportation impractical.
==Get around==
Almost entirety of Edirne is in walking distance, which is made even easier by the mostly flat topography of the city. However for some relatively distant places you may take taxi which will cost only a few euros.
There are also lots of minibuses heading for outer neighborhoods of the city.
The sights in Edirne can be roughly grouped into those that are in downtown, those in northwestern neighbourhoods (Sarayiçi, and Yeniimaret) across the Tundzha River (Turkish: ''Tunca''), and those in southwestern neighbourhood (Karaağaç) across the Tundzha and the Maritsa Rivers (Turkish: ''Meriç''). A good number of medieval bridges span these rivers.
[[Image:Edirnedowntown.jpg|thumb|220px|Pedestrianized street of Saraçlar Caddesi in downtown]]
* <see name="Selimiye Mosque" alt="Selimiye Camii" address="" directions="at the central square" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Free">''That'' mosque which dominates the skyline of the city, built on a slightly higher hill than its surroundings, although a play on dimensions makes the exterior sight of the building smaller as you get closer to it. A grandiose piece of art by Sinan, the Ottoman architect of 16th century, Selimiye is usually considered the zenith of Ottoman architecture and has been listed as a [[UNESCO World Heritage List|World Heritage site]] by UNESCO in 2011. Sinan himself considered this building as his best work. The dome of the building, which hangs high over main hall, encloses a huge space which gives the place an expansive atmosphere, had the largest diameter (31.28 mt) of all domes in the world for several centuries. And its minarets (towers) are the second highest minarets (70.89 mt) in whole world, surpassed only by Qutb Minar (72.50 mt) in [[Delhi]], [[India]]. The mosque has 999 windows in total, which according to its architect Sinan, symbolize the perfectness of God. The dome and interior walls are decorated with calligraphy and geometrical designs, most of which are painted in hues of pink and blue. If you have admired [[Istanbul/Sultanahmet-Old_City#See|Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque)]] of [[Istanbul]], you’ll sure adore this one, since Blue Mosque is quite a copy of Selimiye. The upside down tulips, which are some sort of symbol of Edirne have their origin in a tulip illustration engraved on a marble in the fountain right under the central dome of Selimiye. It is believed to symbolize the landlord of the tulip garden on which the mosque was built, who was said to be reluctant to give over his garden. There is a small museum in the courtyard with no admossion fee. Very interesting knick-knacks can be seen there.</see>
* <see name="Old Mosque" alt="Eski Cami" address="" directions="at the central square, across the street from Selimiye" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Free">The smallest&mdash;and the oldest&mdash;one of three nearby, imperial mosques in downtown Edirne, it's known for its calligraphic inscriptions on its interior walls with a small central dome atop.</see>
* <see name="Üç Şerefeli Mosque" alt="Üç Şerefeli Cami" address="" directions="just north of Old Mosque, close to Selimiye" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Free">This mosque is easily recognizable, having four distinctive minarets that all have very different designs, uncommon during the 15th century, one of which has three balconies, giving it its name which literally means "three balconied". Long undergoing restoration, interior of the mosque, which features a colourfully decorated central dome , smaller surrounding domes of varying sizes each featuring a different colour pattern, and very stately columns supporting itthem, has recently been re-opened to visits. The overall experience of this colourful mosque is perhaps best summarized as "joyful".</see>
* <see name="Macedonian Tower" alt="Makedonya Kulesi" address="" directions="just across the side street from Üç Şerefeli" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Free">The sole still intact tower of Edirne’s city walls, named as such perhaps because it roughly watches the direction of [[Macedonia]], or because of the former definition of "Macedonia" which extends all the way to Edirne. A round and robust tower, not unlike [[Thessaloniki]]'s White Tower except its colour, and next to it is the last visible section of city walls, now surrounded by a nicely landscaped park. It’s possible to enter the tower itself, but impossible to climb upstairs. It’s located in a back alley, so while you are near the Üç Şerefeli, look around on the top of buildings to see the flag on a tower made of red-brick if you can’t exactly locate it. The tower also served as a clock tower until 1953, when the upper part of the tower was demolished because of the danger of collapse.</see>
South of Sarayiçi is the neighbourhood of Yeniimaret, which, like Sarayiçi, is connected to the downtown by two bridges with an island on the Tundzha inbetween and is where the Medical Museum is located.
[[Image:Edirnemedicalmuseum.jpg|thumb|250px|Ancient Ottoman hospital (''Darüşşifa''), part of which is now housing Medical Museum]]
* <see name="Medical Museum" alt="Sağlık Müzesi" address="Beyazıt Külliyesi, Yeniimaret" directions="close to the banks of Tundzha" phone="+90 284 224-09-22" email="[email protected]" fax="+90 284 224-65-00" url="" hours="" price="">This museum, which was awarded “European Museum of the Year” in early 2000s, was essentially a mental institution used during Ottoman times, part of '''Beyazıt Complex''' (''Beyazıt Külliyesi''). It was notable for its “progressive”/”alternative” approach towards its patients. Instead of locking them into cells with shackles, which was widespread during that time, methods such as meditative music or flower gardens were tried in this institution. Today, many Ottoman miniatures from medical schoolbooks and elsewhere and models of patients are among the displayed.</see>
'''Almond paste''' (''badem ezmesi'') is a local, soft cookie-like dessert which is made of bitter almond.
* <buy name="Keçecizade" alt="" address="Hükümet Cad. 5 (the central store; they also have stores at various other places throughout the city)" directions="opposite Üç Şerefeli" phone="+90 284 225-24-81" email="" fax="+90 284 213-30-60" url="" hours="" price="">Perhaps the most well-known producer of almond paste, which also offers a variety of other traditional and local desserts.</buy>
'''Brooms''' {{-}} While it may be a bit strange to buy brooms as a souvenir from a trip, Edirne has a long tradition of broommaking and ornamental brooms (traditionally given to brides as a gift) can be found at numerous stores (especially at those offering tourist souvenirs) around the city.
'''Liver''' (''ciğer'') is a definitely must-try for non-vegetarians. It is prepared in a unique local way (whole pieces, not puree, of liver , covered in flour, are deep fried inside a cauldron full of boiling vegetable oil) and served with an infernally hot dried and crunchy pepper. If you are one of those who don’t like liver because of its distinct smell, you can be pretty sure you won’t sense it in Edirne liver. Best to be eaten with ''ayran'', a salty yogurt drink because it’s one of two things (the other is bread, which fortunately is served free of charge at liver restaurants) that can suppress the fire the dried pepper leaves on your palate.  There are lots is a cluster of liversmall sit-only restaurants in eateries (''ciğerci'') in downtown, especially in the street behind park next to the Old Mosque (''Eski Cami''), all offering basically the same menu (i.e., the fried liver), and a really filling portion of liver costs 9 TL in any of them. They also order other meals from other nearby restaurants for those who are with you and do not want to eat liver. '''Yudum''' at one corner of the cluster is good, clean, and efficient.
* <eat name="Ciğerci Kemal" alt="" address="Alipaşa Orta Kapı Cad. no: 3" directions="" phone="+90 284 213 64 75" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="From 5 9 TL" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Local fried liver restaurant.</eat>
* <eat name="Soylu Tava Ciğer Döner / Mehmet Soylu" alt="" address="Hasan Sezai Türbesi karşısı, Bostanpazarı" directions="" phone="+90 284 214 17 67" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""></eat>
* <eat name="Köfteci Hocaoğlu" alt="" address="Saraçlar Caddesi 73, Zindanaltı" directions="at one end of the pedestrianized section of Saraçlar Caddesi" phone="+90 284 214-73-00" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="" hours="" price="From 12 TL pp for a portion of meatballs, a soft drink, salads, and dessert">A local restaurant specialized in meatballs (''köfte'') that are not extraordinary but is quite tasty and okay. Quite clean restaurant with not so long waits, though can could be more effiecient efficient in service. Overlooks the pedestrianized shopping street of the city, so good for peoplewatching.</eat>
Tourism in Edirne is on the rise and hotel scene is improving with many nice hotels to stay.  * <sleep name="Antik Hotel" alt="" address="Maarif Caddesi 6" directions="in the old quarter" phone="+90 284 225-15-56" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="100 TL">Clean hotel with great views of the mosques, housed in a charming old building dating back to early 1900s on a quiet side street. Rooms with air-con, satellite TV, wireless internet connection, and en-suite. Friendly staff can speak little English and some German.</sleep> * <sleep name="Hotel Balta" alt="" address="Talatpaşa Bulvarı 97, Ayşekadın" directions="east of city centre; on the street leading to central square with imperial mosques" phone="+90 284 225-52-10" email="[email protected]" fax="+90 284 225-35-29" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="From US$60/100 single/double, including breakfast">Rooms with air-con, satellite TV.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Efe Hotel" alt="" address="Maarif Cad. no: 13" directions="in city centrethe old quarter" phone="+90 284 213 61 66" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$ 80 (single rooms) - US$ 110 (double rooms)" lat="" long="" email="" fax="+90 284 60 80">Rooms with air conditioner, satellite TV, hot water, and free of charge wireless internet access.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Hotel Şaban Açıkgöz" alt="" address="Çilingirler Cad. no: 9" directions="" phone="+90 284 213 03 13" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="+90 284 214 50 06">Rooms with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioner, and TV.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Tuna Hotel" alt="" address="Maarif Caddesi" directions="In the line of hotels on the same street as Antik and Efe" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="75TL for single including breakfast" lat="" long="">Small but clean and pleasant rooms with air conditioner, satellite TV, WiFi. The bathroom in the room is small, expect to elbow the walls.</sleep>
==Stay safe==
Avoid hanging around the banks of Tundza and Maritsa Rivers and Karaağaç before/during/after a heavy rainfall, especially in wintertime. Although the downtown is never affected, these areas tend to have a '''heavy flood''' during such a time, mainly because of overflowing of dams located upriver in Bulgaria. So if you are in Edirne in winter and plan to visit the aforementioned locations (which you should), stay ahead of weather forecasts. If you see a water rise in the river, be suspicious, call and inform police (telephone number: 155), and quickly go to somewhere far from and higher than riverbed as much as possible. The buildings themselves in Karaağaç are rarely or lightly affected, but the problem is that the quarter is cut off from the rest of the world as the bridges which connect it to downtown Edirne sink underwater. If you are trapped in such a situation, be sure about your distance to the river and wait for evacuation crews. Because affected areas are generally the same in each flood, they are quick to respond with their boats and gear.
Be sure to have your passport with you if you plan to leave by bus, altough this is not a problem in the Istanbul otogar, but it will be a problem in Edirne.
Neighbouring countries of [[Bulgaria]], [[Greece]], and [[Romania]] maintain consulates in the city. * , as well as [[Image:Bu-flag.png|25pxFrance]]<listing name="Consulate General of Bulgaria" alt="Bulgaristan Başkonsolosluğu" directions="" address="Talat Paşa Asfaltı 31" phone="+90 284 214-06-17" email="" fax="+90 284 214-84-82" url="" hours="9AM-6PM" price=""></listing> * and [[Image:Gr-flag.png|25pxGermany]]<listing name="Consulate of Greece" alt="Yunanistan Konsolosluğu" directions="" address="Kocasinan Mahallesi(which are represented by the same person), 2 Sokak[[Austria]], No: 12, Binevler" phone="+90 284 235-58-04" email="" fax="+90 284 235-58-08" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>and [[Slovakia]] maintain consulates in the city.
* [[Image:au-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="Honorary Consulate of Austria" alt="Avusturya Fahri Konsolosluğu" directions="between Old Mosque and Saraçlar Caddesi" address="Yetimler Çarşısı 9" phone="+90 284 212-22-68" email="[email protected]" fax="+90 284 225-10-06" url="" hours="M-F 9AM-6PM" price=""></listing>* [[Image:Bu-flag.png|20px]]<listing name="Consulate General of Bulgaria" alt="Bulgaristan Başkonsolosluğu" directions="" address="Talat Paşa Asfaltı 31" phone="+90 284 214-06-17" email="" fax="+90 284 214-84-82" url="" hours="9AM-6PM" price=""></listing>* [[Image:Fr-flag.png|20px]]/[[Image:Gm-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="Honorary Consulate of France/Honorary Consulate of Germany" alt="Fransa Fahri Konsolosluğu/Almanya Fahri Konsolosluğu" directions="" address="Balıkpazarı Caddesi, Of Sitesi C Blok, D.2, Kaleiçi" phone="+90 284 213-55-63" email="[email protected]" fax="+90 284 213-10-61" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>* [[Image:Gr-flag.png|20px]]<listing name="Consulate of Greece" alt="Yunanistan Konsolosluğu" directions="" address="Kocasinan Mahallesi, 2 Sokak, No: 12, Binevler" phone="+90 284 235-58-04" email="" fax="+90 284 235-58-08" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>* [[Image:Ro-flag.png|25px20px]]<listing name="Honorary Consulate of Romania" alt="Romanya Fahri Konsolosluğu" directions="" address="Londra Asfaltı 64, Kıray Apartmanı" phone="+90 284 225-56-90" email="" fax="+90 284 225-56-90" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>* [[Image:lo-flag.png|20px]]<listing name="Honorary Consulate of Slovakia" alt="Slovakya Fahri Konsolosluğu" directions="opposite Üç Şerefeli Mosque" address="Hükümet Cad. Bankalar Aralığı 1/1, Uğur Apt." phone="+90 284 212-01-74" email="[email protected]" fax="+90 284 225-11-61" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>
==Get out==
* Prehistoric dolmens and menhirs are scattered around the landscape north of the city, around the town of [[Lalapaşa]].
*[[Uzunköprü]] to the south is a small city named after the longest stone bridge in the world&mdash;a work of '''Sinan'''. The bridge is at the northern entrance of Uzunköprü, on the highway from Edirne.
*[[Enez]] further to south on the shore of Aegean Sea is a popular town among the Edirneans to spend the summer, which features long sandy beaches and a Byzantine citadel.
*[[Istanbul]] to southeast, possibly with a detour via [[Tekirdağ]] on the coast of the Sea of Marmara is the obvious choice if you have just arrived in Turkey from Europe.
*Or taking a more southernly route across the Straits of Dardanelles towards [[CanakkaleÇanakkale]] via [[Gallipoli]] and from there on to [[Aegean Turkey]].*Both '''Kapıkule''' and '''Pazarkule''' borderposts, on the Turkish-[[Bulgaria]]n and Turkish-[[Greece|Greek]] borders respectively, are just kilometres away from city.

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