Been living in Istanbul for 6 months, I often mistaken the city of Edirne to Edirnekapı, a district in Istanbul. Apparently Edirne lies 224km away from Istanbul and has so many histories. It all started on 125 CE when a Roman emperor, Hadrian built the city and named it Hadrianopolis after his name. But Edirne is known as the capital city of Ottomans Empire for 90 years, before Sultan Mehmed II moved the capital to Constantinople (now Istanbul).
Since I live in Turkey, traveling to Edirne was never crossed my mind, until my friend asked me to join a one day trip managed by Masyarakat Indonesia Istanbul (Indonesian Society in Istanbul). Because of the affordable cost, I immediately said yes. We rent a private bus and the 3 hours trip wasn’t boring, because we had fun singing and get to know each other.
On the way to the city centre, the tour guide explained that we will see the border of Greece or Bulgaria, I really forget because Edirne is directly bordered by the two countries mentioned before. The border is only some kilometres away from our view point.
Our first stop in Edirne was Meriç Köprüsü, a bridge that crosses Maritsa River, the longest river that runs in the interior of Balkans. Being on the bridge made me feel like I was in an Italian village, the bridge was exactly like I saw on romantic movies. Even tough the bridge is quite crowded with passing car and the wind was so cold, but I enjoyed the bridge and took lots photos.
Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum was our next destination. The health museum was a hospital that built in 1448 and has treated patient for over 400 years. The hospital building was served as medical school that trained doctors for the Ottoman Empire. The hospital was known as its treatment method using music to cure patient. That is why the museum plays relaxation music all over the building.
The museum was interesting, giving so much knowledge about the medical history. Each room turned into a showing area, included with figure of the medical practice. For me personally, I like the şifahane section, the area where patient with mental ill treat with the music therapy. The area was covered with a dome, beautiful fountain, and even a music stage.
Selimiye Camii must be on your first list if you are going to Edirne. The city icon’s located right in the center of the city. The architectural of the mosque is spectacular, exterior as well as interior. The mosque was another spectacular work of the well known Turkish architect, Mimar Sinan. It is even considered as one of Mimar Sinan’s finest work. I have to agree because the mosque is really astonishing. In 2011 the mosque complex listed on UNESCO World Heritage List.
If you are a food and culinary enthusiast, Edirne is famous with its local food, ciğer or liver. We went to one of the many ciğer restaurant in the city, but our tour guide said it was one of the best restaurant in Edirne. I ordered kofte, like some kind of meatball dishes because I never liked liver before (even tough Indonesians eat liver as well). Then I got curious, because the serving of the ciğer looks so tempting, so I tried my friend’s. Oh my God, it tasted really good! It was crispy, unlike the usual liver dishes in Indonesian. So, I have to say that trying ciğer in Edirne is a MUST!