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index / A bit of Heaven on Earth Edirne

The ‘former capital’ and a favorite ‘second home’ for Ottoman statesmen and intellectuals, Edirne was remembered in the same breath as Istanbul up to the start of the 20th century. As capital of the Ottoman state from 1361 to the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, the city’s rivers carried sultans in their imperial caiques, and poets penned their most beautiful lines here. Perhaps the caiques no longer ply the rivers, and the famed rose gardens are gone now, but Edirne continues to charm writers and poets with her awesome historical monuments and natural beauty. With her mosques, too numerous for even Evliya Çelebi to count, her fountains, bridges, caravanserais, churches, pavilions, towers, baths, covered bazaars and old houses, Edirne today is a virtual
open-air museum. The most famous monument in this museum is without doubt the Selimiye Mosque, built by the architect Sinan. Rising from the city center, it

 
 
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