The creation of Architect Sinan’s mastery period, Selimiye Mosque is the most important work of Edirne and is one of the most beautiful samples of Ottoman Architecture.
The other major mosques and churches of the city could be counted as Üç Şerefeli Cami (Three Minaret Balcony Mosque), Muradiye Mosque, 2nd Bayezid Mosque and Külliye, Eski Cami (Old Mosque), Yıldırım Bayezid Mosque, Fatih Cami (Enez Hagia Sophia), Külliye of Sokullu (Külliye of Kasım Paşa), Sweti George Church and Yahudi Havrası (Jewish synagogue).
Edirne Mosques and Churches
Selimiye Mosque (Center): Monumental structure, which is created by Mimar Sinan during his 80 age, and mentioned as my “Master piece” is one of the master pieces of Ottoman Turkish art and World Architectural History.
Mosque, which is the symbol of Edirne and Ottoman Empire, is within the city center. Structure which draw attention from distant lands via its four minarets, is also showing that Mimar Sinan was a city planning expert at the same time with the selection of construction site of it.
Cut stone built mosque, covers an area of 2475 m2. Selimiye Mosque, which is mentioned as the structure constructed on the widest place within the history of architecture, is drawing attention with its dome of 43,28 m high from ground, and 31.30 m. diameter. Dome, which is bigger than Hagia Sophia’s dome, is sitting on eight big positions, which are connecting to each other with six meters wide arches.
Mosque, is very important with its adornment characteristics, such as rock, marble, tile, wooden, nacre besides the uniqueness of architectural characteristics. Its niche and balcony are the master pieces of arts of marble labor. Tile adornments of the structure have an important place within Ottoman and World art. Most beautiful samples of the XVIth century tile making, these tiles, are made with ‘sıraltı’ technique, and constructed in İznik.
There are four elegant envelope minarets with 3,80 m diameter and 70,89 m height of Selimiye mosque. The minarets, which are at both sides of the public gate, have three roadpaths each, and each balcony can be climbed by separate stairs. Other two minarets have one passage.
There are Darüssıbyan, Darülkur’a and Darülhadis structures at outer courtyard of the structure, which is constructed as a kulliye.
Üç Şerefeli Mosque (Center): It is constructed between 1443 and 1447, by IInd Murat. Mosque is among the early and classical periods of Osmanlı art. Here, you can face with a firstly applied plan. 24 meters diameter having big central dome, is based on six supports, composed of two grade, and four wall grades. There smaller two domes and covered square divisions at sides. Structure, as an innovation, has breadthways rectangular plan. This plan is applied by Mimar Sinan, to Istanbul mosques with more advanced form. Also courtyard with revak is firstly applied to this mosque in Ottoman architecture. Minarets are placed at four ends of the courtyard. Üç şerefeli mosque is a monumental structure which is leading to the latter mosques with these characteristics.
Monumental minaret with three balconies, which named the mosque, is 67,62 meters high.
Separate passages are used to climb to the balconies. Adornments of the mosque are also interesting. Unique chisel adornments at revak domes, are some of the oldest samples on the Osmanlı mosques.
Muradiye Mosque (Center): It is constructed on a Sarayiçi reigning hill at Muradiye district by IInd Murat. There is no dating on its inscription. It is the most beautiful sample of the side spaced (with zaviye) mosques.
In spite of simplicity of external appearance, mosque is one of the most drawing attention structures of XVth century Ottoman art according to internal adornment. Niche and walls covering tiles, are the most beautiful samples of the Turkish tile art.
- Bayezit Mosque and Kulliye (Center): Kulliye, which is at the coasts of Tunca River, and two kilometers away from city center, is one of the most important structures of Edirne. It is lying on a huge are with its mosque, medical theology school, imaret, darüşşifa, hamam, kitchen, provisions warehouses and other divisions. Architect of the kulliye, which is constructed by Bayezit II between 1484 and 1488, is Hayreddin. Kulliye, which has a very impressive appearance, is covered with nearly hundred small and large domes.
Most interesting one of the structures is the monumental mosque with two minarets, and 20,55 meters diameter. There are Tabhanes (publishing houses) with nine domes at both sides of the space with main dome. These divisions are directly opening to outside. Dome passage is supplied with pandatives. Marble niche and pulpit have simple appearance. It is the first example in Edirne with very elegant sovereign gallery, made up of porphyry marble. Late period baroque adornments are disturbing the simple beauty of the mosque.
Eski Mosque (Center): It is the oldest monumental structure, remained from Ottomans in Edirne. Its construction is commenced on 1403 by Emir Süleyman, and completed on 1414 during Çelebi Sultan Mehmet. Its architect, is one of the pupils of Konyalı Hacı Alaaddin, Ömer ibn İbrahim.
Yıldırım Bayezid Mosque (Center): It is the oldest mosque of Edirne, which remained from XIV century, and three kilometers away from the city center. Both its plan and its column heads are showing that structure is a crucifix planned Byzantium church. While it was transformed into a mosque in the name of Yıldırım Bayazıd (1400), it is reconstructed other than base. But as the direction of Mecca is not complying with the axis of the structure, niche, had been put to one of the edges of the crucifix branches, and gained an inclined appearance. The current view of the mosque is composed of four arches, a dome and a single minaret.
Fatih Mosque (Enez Hagia Sophia, Enez): Structure, which remained from Byzantium period, is very huge. It is from edge walled, crucifix planned churches group.
Structure, is transformed into a mosque with placing niche and balcony to the south branch during Ottoman period. It is interesting in connection with showing late Byzantium period characteristics with external surface tile adornments as well as middle Byzantium period with lengthwise progressed crucifix plan. The mosque has been currently in ruined position.
Sokullu Kulliye (Kasım Paşa Kulliye, Havsa): It is in Havsa province, on Edirne road. It is constructed to Mimar Sinan in the name of Kasım Pasha, son of Sokullu Mehmet Pasha on 1576 – 1577. Kulliye; was composed of two caravansaries, mosque, theology school, imaret, double hamam, dervish convent, bridge and guilds. Today only mosque, hamam, mosque courtyard based and an unpredictable wall with oven – niche, pray dome, binding mosque and caravansary in the middle of the guilds and fountain added afterwards to kulliye, can be seen.
Sweti George Church (Center): It is constructed in 1880 at Kıyık district of Edirne. Writings at the church, decorated in 1889, are written with Slav Bulgarian Language. There are some pictures remaining from the former church which was at the same place before.
Today the structure has still been well-kept.
Jewish Synagogue (Center): It is at Kaleiçi district of Edirne, and constructed on 1902 – 1903. Today it was not available for worship.