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Selimiye Mosque, 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 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 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.

Old Mosque, The smallest—and the oldest—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. Free. edit

Üç Åžerefeli Mosque, 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 them, has recently been re-opened to visits. The overall experience of this colourful mosque is perhaps best summarized as “joyful”.

Macedonian Tower 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 Åžerefeli, 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.

Museum of Archaeology An original prehistoric dolmen moved from its original setting and a reconstructed Thracian hut—typical of those used by the ancient folk of the region—is among the displayed in the garden of the museum.

Museum of Islamic Arts, (behind Selimiye). A subsection of Museum of Archaeology.

Saraçlar Caddesi. A pedestrianized shopping street with pleasant cafés on sides. The old shop buildings on this street has a distinctively neoclassical architecture.

Old quarter. Locally named Kaleiçi, i.e. “walled city”, this is the oldest part of the city although the city walls and gates have vanished a long time ago. Built in a grid plan after it suffered from a big fire in late 19th century, the main artery of this part is Maarif Caddesi, which lies two blocks west of Saraçlar Caddesi. Along the side streets and Maarif itself line a number of eloborate wooden houses, the walls of which are with highly delicate handwork, though some are derelict. At one end of the street is the Jewish Synagogue, the biggest one in Turkey and the whole Balkans, but is slowly decaying now. Almost all of its wooden sections (roof, windows) has collapsed in one way or the other after it suffered from a storm in 1997, but some of its stone walls (especially the front façade) are sound enough to show its former grandeur. Entry is sensibly forbidden. In one of the side alleys of Kaleiçi lie a small stone church, used to be where Catholic congregation of the city held masses, though a part of a local primary school nowadays. Numerous small Ottoman mosques are also scattered around Kaleiçi and elsewhere in downtown. edit

Şükrü Pasha Memorial and Balkan Wars Museum (Şükrü Paşa Anıtı ve Balkan Savaşları Müzesi), (just next to city cemetery, on the highest hill of the city, where that large flag is located). This is a monument dedicated to Rüştü Pasha, the commander of the defending forces of the city during the Balkan Wars. Next to it is a small museum with various weapons (such as a small cannon) used during the war. While the place is slightly away from the downtown and is off the usual trail between the main sights, it occupies the highest hill in the city and offers a large overlooking view of the city and the forests surrounding the rivers behind.

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