The Edirne Palace covers an area of 300,000 to 355,000 square meters and is located in the center of Edirne. The construction of the palace began during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Murat II but was left unfinished after his death. It was later completed by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, The Great Conqueror, in 1475. During the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan Ahmet I, Avci Mehmet, Ahmed II, and Ahmed III, the palace underwent multiple renovations.
Many different structures were added to the palace throughout its history, including the regulation of the palace’s topography and the resolution of water problems during the reign of Sultan Suleiman. The Great Architect Sinan introduced a new method of preventing floods by connecting the palace with the Tunca River. Other structures, such as the Alay Pavilion, Iftar Pavilion, Av Pavilion, Nightingale (Bülbül in Turkish), and Bostancı Khediev, were established during the reign of Sultan Mehmet IV. The Imadiye Pavilion was built during the reign of Murad IV.
The palace was damaged by a major earthquake in 1752 and a fire in 1776. Some sections were rebuilt in 1827 during the reign of Sultan Mahmud II. During the Russian Wars (1876-77), a large explosion was ordered by Vali Cemil Pasha in the arsenal part of the palace to prevent enemy capture of the weapons. This resulted in the demolition of many masterpieces, including the Cihannuma Khediev, Turkish Baths, and the palace’s kitchen. However, today there are efforts to rebuild the palace according to new regulations.
FEATURES OF THE PALACE
The Edirne Palace was once home to approximately 15,000 people, showcasing its wealth and grandeur. It also served as a place to keep holy relics brought from Istanbul by Yavuz Sultan Selim.
The palace boasts several unique features, including its Harem, Treasure Room, beautiful squares, and stunning Has Bahçe (Garden). The palace also impresses visitors with its advanced infrastructure, including a clean and waste water channel system that never mixed, and a hot water system.
Today, remnants of the magnificent palace can still be seen, including the Palace Kitchen, Adalet (Justice) Tower, and the ruins of the Turkish Baths.
THE SECTIONS OF EDIRNE PALACE
The Cihannuma Khedive, located in Edirne, was built by the renowned architect Sinan at the request of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1562. It showcases the Seljuk architectural style and was used as a meeting place for the Divan-I Humayun (Council of Ministers) and the High Court. A fountain was constructed near the khedive to prevent any disturbance from water noise during important meetings.
The first floor housed the Serbethane, the second floor had space for sofa clerks, and the upper storey was comprised of a marble salon where the Council Committee gathered. The salon had a marble pool and the Sultan’s throne in the center.
THE PALACE KITCHENS
The Palace Kitchens were located near the palace and still attract visitors today. There is a fascinating story associated with these kitchens. After the Russian War, many of the kitchen’s tiles and oven with tile were relocated. Professor Dr. Süheyl Unver set out on a journey to find these missing pieces and eventually stumbled upon an oven with tile measuring 4 meters in height. She took a photo of it and upon her return to Turkey, she created a miniature replica of the priceless piece.
CHICKEN FOREST: A PLANT LABORATORY
There is a rumor that Chicken Forest, its name inspired by the chickens that were once raised there, was used for various purposes, including as a plant laboratory. This noteworthy location was utilized to cultivate a variety of vegetables such as Akyıldız (Sirius), Morsümbül, Dagsümbülü-Arapotu, Akcebardak, Gülsoganı, Çoban Degnegi, Yaban Soganı, Dügün Cicegi, Andız, Çigdem, and Karakafes. These plants were then supplied to Bayezıd Health Complex for use.
The Nightingale Pavilion is situated in the Chicken Forest in Edirne and was constructed by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet IV in 1671. The pavilion underwent renovations in 2002 by the Edirne Municipality, but today only its ruins remain.
Cihannuma Pavilion, built between 1450 and 1452, is one of the most important architectural masterpieces of Edirne. It has seven storeys, with an octagonal room located on the top floor. Other features include Has Oda, Yediler Room, Sancak-I Serif Flat, Kütüphame-I Humayun (Library), and the Sancak-I Serif Room. The pavilion has been renovated over the centuries, with the addition of stairs around it.
KUM MANSION TURKISH BATH
The Kum Mansion Turkish Bath is a historical structure built during the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. It features three domes and separate sections for cold and warm baths, as well as a central massage platform known as a navel stone. Its simple and natural design makes it a harmonious addition to the palace.
Edirne Palace, with its rich history and stunning architecture, is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the Ottoman Empire and Turkish culture. From the grand halls of the palace to the charming gardens and picturesque Turkish baths, the palace offers a glimpse into the lives of the sultans and their court.
Visiting the palace is not only a chance to admire its beauty, but also to learn about the history of the Ottoman Empire and the role Edirne played as one of its capitals. The palace was a center of political and cultural life, and its walls have seen the meetings of the Council of Ministers and the High Court. The palace kitchens, once the heart of the palace, offer a unique perspective on the daily life of the court, while the Nightingale Pavilion, located on the Chicken Forest, is a reminder of the sultans’ love of nature and their devotion to the arts.
With its mix of Seljuk and Ottoman architecture, Edirne Palace is a true architectural gem. The skilled work of the great architect Sinan is evident in the palace’s design, and the intricate details of the tiles, carvings, and calligraphy are a testament to the craftsmen of the time. The Cihannuma Pavilion, one of the palace’s most important masterpieces, showcases the architectural achievements of the Ottoman Empire, and the Kum Mansion Turkish Bath offers a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the sultans and their court.
Edirne Palace is not only a treasure trove of history and beauty, but it also offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The palace’s charming gardens, with their variety of plants and flowers, provide a tranquil setting for visitors to relax and enjoy the beauty of the palace. The Chicken Forest, once a plant laboratory, is now a peaceful park where visitors can stroll and admire the beauty of nature.
In short, Edirne Palace is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Ottoman history and culture. Whether you are a history buff, an architecture lover, or just looking for a peaceful escape, Edirne Palace has something for everyone. If you’re planning a trip to Turkey and want to visit Edirne Palace, Tour Maker Turkey offers tours of the palace and the surrounding area, so you can get the most out of your visit. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover one of Turkey’s most beautiful and fascinating places. Book your tour today!