Old Ottoman capital Edirne an alternative holiday destination
by Anadolu Agency
EDIRNE, TurkeyJul 05, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Jul 05, 2016 12:00 am
For those who want to visit a city with a rich historical background and natural beauty, the former Ottoman capital of Edirne is a nice alternative close to Istanbul
The former capital of the Ottoman Empire, Edirne offers both modern and traditional tourism alternatives, awaiting visitors during the nine-day bayram holiday marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Thanks to its location close to Istanbul and its serenity, Edirne has become a favored destination for tourists. Here, you can feel the authentic atmosphere of Karaağaç neighborhood and travel through the historical houses of Edirne, passing over the Maritsa and Tundzha rivers or visiting the summer residence of the Ottoman sultans where Süleyman the Magnificent wrote his famous laws. Whether you want to visit the site where Mehmed the Conqueror was born, dream on the riverbanks of the Maritsa and Tundzha rivers, lend an ear to the drums in Er Meydani where historic oil wrestling matches take place or visit Mimar Sinan's masterpiece, the Selimiye Mosque, you should consider the historic and cultural capital of Edirne as one of your holiday destinations. Apart from its history, Edirne is also an attraction for nature lovers. You can go fishing in the Enez river, stroll through the sunflowers or enjoy the sun, sea and sand. If you are interested in local cuisine, Edirne offers a variety of new delights including "tava ciğer" (pan liver) and almond paste, a favorite of the Ottoman court.
Bülent Bacıoğlu, president of the Edirne Tourism and Promotion Foundation, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Edirne is a surprising city with its historical background and cultural and natural values. Noting that Edirne was home to various civilizations including the Thracians, the Romans and the Ottomans, Bacıoğlu said, "For the tourists who love to discover new things, Edirne offers exciting new information and places. It is possible to trace time back to the Thracians, Romans and the Ottomans. Moreover, since Edirne is very close to the Greek and Bulgarian borders, visitors can also visit the neighboring countries for a day or two. You can cross the border on foot or by bicycle. You can soak your feet in the Arda River and discover the gastronomy of neighboring countries during Eid al-Fitr, or Ramazan Bayramı. The coast of Saros Bay and the historical and natural values of Edirne await visitors."
How to get there?
It is very easy to go to Edirne by car. The city is 230 kilometers from Istanbul, 220 kilometers from Çanakkale, 515 kilometers from İzmir and 630 kilometers from Turkey's capital city of Ankara. Those who want to travel by train can use the railways that connect Anatolia with the Balkans and Europe and start their holiday at Edirne's railway station, which is very close to the city center.
What to buy?
Edirne's authentic almond paste, deva-i misk, Kavala cookies and Edirne cheese can be purchased from shops surrounding the historical places of Edirne such as the Arasta, Bedesten (covered bazaar) and the Ali Paşa covered bazaar. For souvenirs, you can buy fruit, soups, an Edirne doll and miniature kispets, which are the pants worn by oil wrestlers.
What to eat?
Edirne Tava Ciğeri, fried liver, is popular among tourists. Apart from traditional liver, Edirne's meatballs are also delicious.