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Contents / The Health Museum of Edirne

The Bayezid II Complex at Edirne, where mental patients were once soothed with ‘water’ and ‘music’, has been selected Europe’s best museum.

By chance one weekend we found ourselves at the historic Darüssifa (House of Cures), identified by the sign on its facade as the ‘Health Museum of the University of Thrace’, which is situated on the banks of the Tunca River in Edirne. The fragrance of flowers and chirping of birds in the garden were the first signs that we had come to a unique place. Not knowing what to make of the faint melodies in the haunting ‘Ussak’ mode that reached our ears already in the first court, we at first assumed there were some Turkish classical music buffs in the vicinity. When the music got appreciably louder as we approached the second court, we decided there must be a concert going on inside. The minute we opened the door of the Darüssifa (Arabic for ‘house of health’), we saw an ensemble of singers and instrumentalists, performing Ottoman music in traditional costume.

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