17th century Turkish poet Nef'î declared,
'Is Edirne a city, or the rosegarden of heaven?'
and in the 20th century Professor Suheyl Unver,
author of many books about cultural history,
said that loving Edirne was a form of worship.
Admittedly, the paradise-like gardens of Edirne
which so influenced both have now disappeared,
but Edirne is still a city of great interest,
with its old houses, mosques, kervansarays,
imarets (public kitchens), bridges, fountains,
churches, mansions, towers, hans, hamams and
bazaar. This city of great antiquity, known
as Adrianople to the Romans, is like an openair
museum. The most celebrated monument of all
is Selimiye Mosque built by the 16th century
architect Mimar Sinan. Its graceful minarets
soaring into the sky right in the centre of
the city, the graceful interior and imposing
exterior of this mosque are equally enchanting.
Following the Ottoman conquest of Edirne in
1361, the city succeeded Bursa as capital of