The Masterpiece of Sinan, The Architect

Edirne was the capital city of Ottoman State before Istanbul and the Selimiye Mosque has been identified with the city. The mosque is a masterpiece of Mimar Sinan, the architect royal of Ottoman Court and he has been renowned as one of the most celebrated architects of the world. Sinan, the Architect, lived in the era when the Ottoman Empire was in its prime and he masterfully reflected the power of the Empire through his architecture. He put his mark on the zenith of Ottoman architecture. The mosque is one of the most significant structures of the Ottoman and world architecture. The status of the mosque is recognised by the world and the Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex have been inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The foundation stone of the magnificent Selimiye Mosque was laid in 1568, and approximately 15 thousand artists and artisans laboured until it was completed in 1575. While its magnificence is apparent from its exterior, the actual amazement is felt in the main hall of the mosque.

The domed main hall of Selimiye Mosque represents the summit of his architectural career. Despite the large diameter of the dome, the pillars bearing its load were not allowed to divide the central space. According to historical records, six thousand people were able to take part in Salat ritual in the main hall of the mosque during an encampment of Ottoman army marching on its way to European campaigns. The four minarets of the mosque were placed on the corners of the main hall, and each minaret bears three sherefes (adhan platforms). Those minarets are also very slender despite being quite tall and this in itself is an architectural wonder, and their design is considered to be one of the most elegant within the whole Islamic architecture. In two of those minarets, there are three internal staircases leading to different sherefes that do not intersect at any point. Sinan, the Architect, designated the mosque as "the masterpiece" of his architectural career, although he built several other world renowned magnificent structures. The compendium of his works, entitled Tezkiret-ül Bünyan (Book of Structures), noted that with the dome of the Selimiye Mosque he has surpassed the famous dome of Hagia Sophia basilica in Istanbul, and that its minarets were unmatched. Sinan, the Architect, was famous for his modesty as well as his genius and mastery, so referring Selimiye Mosque in such terms in a contemporary book that claimed reiterating his words, and calling the mosque as "his masterpiece" were proofs of his belief that he has employed all knowledge and skills he has amassed through his long career.

The Selimiye Mosque is worth a visit since besides its architecture, its Iznik glazed wall tiles; its painted decorations of geometrical and floral patterns and calligraphy by master artists; the carved and mother-of-pearl inlaid wood fixtures, the carved marble mihrab and minbar are masterpieces in their own rights. One of the structures that made up the social complex of the mosque, the Dar al-Qurra Madrasa, has been converted to serve as the Foundation Museum, and another structure, the Dar al- Hadith Madrasa, now houses the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art.

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Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park is located in the province of Canakkale in the Marmara Region. It was declared a National Park in 1973. The surface area is 33,490 hectares. Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park within the boundaries of 1 District (Eceabat) and 8 villages are located.

The Dardanelles Wars are a defense epic that was won by the Turkish Nation against the most powerful states of the world with the superhuman resistance of the Chief of Staff Colonel Mustafa Kemal. In this war which lasted 8.5 months, the two sides of the Bosphorus turned into hell and nearly half a million lives were lost.

The monuments and martyrdoms made in memory of the hundreds of thousands lost in the Dardanelles War, one of the biggest wars in the World between the Entente States and the Ottoman Army in the First World War, reveal one of the great victories of history as well as reminding the suffering of the war. The National Park, which encompasses more than 250,000 British, French, Australian and New Zealand soldiers, is the monument rising on the cherished memories of more than 250,000 Turkish martyrs, and tells the world the value of peace today. In Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park, there are 56 local monuments and 35 foreign graves and monuments.

Every year on 18 March and 24 April, Çanakkale Land and Sea Wars are commemorated with ceremonies.

Çanakkale Martyrs Memorial

 It is located within the Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park on Hisarlik Hill in Morto Bay at the southern end of the Gallipoli peninsula in Çanakkale Province, Turkey. It was built in memory of the martyrs on the Gallipoli Wars. The Construction started on April 19, 1954 and was opened for visitors on August 21, 1960. The monument is 41.70 m high and rises on all fours in an area of ​​625 square meters. The huge structure is well visible during passage through the Dardanelles. A Turkish flag made of mosaic was engraved on the ceiling of the monument.
The symbolic martyrdom, which was built in 1992 on the left side of the entrance of the monument, was built for our martyrs who gave their lives, which are the most valuable assets, running to Çanakkale from every place of our country.
To the right of the entrance gate of the martyrdom is the words of Mustafa Kemal in 1934, addressed to foreign soldiers and read by the Minister of the Interior, Şükrü Kaya, on Anzac Day: “You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

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The Great Synagogue was allowed to be built with the decree of 6 January 1906 in Edirne instead of 14 synagogues which were completely destroyed by the great fire that broke out in August 1905. It was built by the French architect France Depre and opened to worship in 1907 under the name Kal Kados ha Godal. The cost of the synagogue was met by the community in the city, as well as the money collected from various parts of Europe, especially in Germany, Rusia and Hungary. Ersin Alok and Emili Mitrani described the building as the largest synagogue in the Balkans and the third largest in Europe. The synagogue was actively used until the 1960s, when the congregation was densely populated.

Visiting hours: 09:00- 18:00
Vacation Days: Monday
Entrance Fee: Free
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İgneada Floodplain Forests National Park, located in northwest on Turkish-Bulgarian border, is within Kırklareli province. Floodplain forests are essentially formed and nourished by accumulation and seasonal submersion of alluvium carried by streams flowing from Strandzha Mountains towards Black Sea. Seasonal floodplain forests, marshes and freshwater lakes coexist with coastal dunes. Consequently, the site has a rare diversity in terms of ecosystem, along with five lakes with rich aquatic plants.

Coastal dunes, located between lakes and marshes and sea, comprise plants that are under protection pursuant to international conventions. İgneada Floodplain Forests National Park recalls a paradise with various natural beauties such as fine sand coast, forests, lakes and streams. A voyage to these lands, once home to Ancient people of Thrace, is like proceeding on a heaven on earth.

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The Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Complex is located in the Lüleburgaz district of Kırklareli. In 1569 Sokollu Mehmet Pasha built the architect of the period, the architect Sinan and his team, the Hassa Architects. Complex; It consists of a mosque, a madrasah, a caravansary, a pourhouse, a prayer dome, a primary school, a bazaar, a double bath, a bridge, a fountain, waterways and a cistern. Only mosque, madrasah, bazaar and bath were able to come from these constructions until today. The Complex has an original plan which is an example of the complexes built after him. The most important structure of this complex is Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque. The mosque, which has a square plan, simple exterior architecture and has bigger domes than the others. It has a classic look minaret. Because it is one of the most important mosques of Lüleburgaz, the building is constantly open for worship throughout the day.

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