We took an overnight trip to Edirne this past weekend, arriving Saturday afternoon and leaving Sunday afternoon. Edirne is in the Northwest of Turkey, on the border with Greece. It was once called Adrianople and was the capital of the Ottoman Empire before Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453.
Edirne is a small city of 130,000 people. After being in Istanbul so long, it seemed like a very small town. We took a bus to get there from Istanbul. The trip there and back was filled with confusion, bewilderment, and frustration. I’m going to save the bus ordeals for a separate post to come later…maybe…
This post features the main reason we visited Edirne: the Selimiye Mosque designed by architect Mimar Sinan. It was completed in 1575 under the reign of Sultan Selim II.
Our son Henry refused to go inside. He was cranky, much like his sister, and annoyed at the long walk from the Hotel. (We stayed at the Rys Hotel, a very nice, modern, sleek hotel with a friendly staff.) So my wife, our daughter Meredith, and I went inside while Henry waited outside with some snacks.
It is by far the most beautiful mosque I have visited with rich colors and intricate designs featured in an enormous open area.
While admiring the mosque, my eye caught something.
If you look closely in the center of the picture you can see a red Angry Birds balloon. Some child’s balloon floated away and was stuck on the railing.
We visited the nearby Bedesten market after that, looking but not buying anything. Before we headed back to the hotel, we visited the Old Mosque (built in 1414) next to the market.
This older, smaller mosque has plenty of its own beauty in a very different style.
I kind of felt sorry for the Old Mosque being in such close proximity to the Selimiye Mosque but not having quite as many charms. I suppose it’s not fair to compare any mosque to one as magnificent as Selimiye. Though Henry did consent to go inside the Old Mosque.