The almond sweet which originated from the almond tree gardens, having existed in the palace is quite famous with its flavour. According to historical sources there existed numerous almond tree gardens in Edirne and they are said to have been an integral part of the natural beauty of the city. Even nowadays there is a quarter of the town bearing the name of Bademcik (the place with almonds).
The almond sweet has taken its place in the economy and social life in Edirne and is one of the souvenires, attracting most tourist attention.
It is prepared by steamed, dried and rinsed almonds, which after that are boiled with sugar in order to obtain the unbelievable flavour of the almond sweet.
Every year numerous participants take part in the traditional Rom Kakava festivities on May 5, and the Holiday HIDIRELLEZ on May 6.
The festivities start by the ligting of the traditional KAKAVA fire and continue round the clock with music and dances. Tourists from all over the country and from abroad take part in the different events. Separately on May 6 in Edirne the international festival HIDIRELLEZ is held. At the same time in Edirne the capture of the city is celebrated.
The traditional oily wrestling competitions “Kırkpınar”, which have been held since the capture of Edirne in 1361 until present are accepted as a traditional festivity. Thousands of wrestling-lovers from all over the country and from abroad stream to Sarayiçi to watch the wrestling competition during the last three days of the festivity, which is organized usually at the end of June or the beginning of July.
“The Kaabe (sacred place) of the oily wrestling” – Sarayiçi according to the words of one Grand Champion Huseyin from Tekirdag has become the real arena for the strongest wrestlers in Turkey, who
try their luck here for centuries on end and if they win, they proudly bear the title of Grand Champion Wrestler. As a sport of our ancestors, the oily wrestling, the red-ended candles, the “kuspet” – traditional leather shorts, the dances, the Aga – the Chairman of the games, the sounds of the drum and the zurna and the golden belts, having preserved their authenticity during seven centuries, were included in the UNESCO Unique Cultural Heritage list in 2011.
The rivers Maritsa (Meriç), Arda and Tundzha, which come from the highest mountains in the Balkans come together near Edirne and having welcomed a little further the waters of the river Ergene flow into the Aegean Sea.
These rivers and the bridges over them have great significance for the history, economics and culture of Edirne. Together with other important constructions, the bridges add to the identity of the Osman capital.
Out of all these bridges, the following ones are built over the river Tundzha: In XV century Fatih bridge with three arcs, the Sultan Beyazit II bridge, built in 1488 by Mimar Hayrettin together with the palace complex of Beyazit II, the Gazimihal bridge with 16 arcs,
The Bridge of Justice with four arcs, built by Mimar Sinan (Palace Bridge), another work of Mimar Sinan – Yalnızgöz Bridge, the ten-arc bridge Şahabettin Paşa (Saraçhane), built in 1451 under the orders of the famous vezir Hadam Shahabettin Pasha and the
Ekmekçizade Ahmed Paşa Bridge (Tundzha Bridge) built at the beginning of the XVII century by Mimar Mehmet Aga.
The Mecidiye (Meriç) Bridge, built during the reign of Abdülmecit between 1842 – 1847 over the river Maritsa (Meriç) has 12 arcs and is 263 m long.
The Long Bridge (Uzunköprü) was built under the orders of Sultan Murat II between 1427 and 1443. It has 174 arcs and is 1392 m long.
The Selimiye Mosque, built by Mimar Sinan at the age of 80 and determined by himself as “My mastership” is one of the leading examples in the history of the Osman-Turkish art and architecture. It was built between 1569 and 1575 under the orders of Sultan Selim II.
The Selimiye Mosque is the most successful example for a mosque with polygonal roof, sequence of the numerous studies of Mimar Sinan. The dome which represents the most developed level of attachment after a thousand years of development of this architecture is supported by eight “elephant foot” style columns and has a diameter of 31,50m. The most beautiful frontal composition of the Osman architecture on one hand, and on the other hand the four minarets with height of 70,89m, possessing three balconies each, attached to the prayer hall bring extraordinary grace and esthetics.
One of the most beautiful classical works of architecture from the same age is the closed yard with arcs and a hexagonal marble fountain which reflects proportionally that great achievement – Selimiye Mosque.
Selimiye is in the possession of great examples of the Osman decorative art. The marble altar with the subtleness of its carving with its height, its size and its beauty shadows all other such examples. The walls around the altar, its backside and the cone and the vicinity of all windows of the ground floor are laid with porcelain decoration. The porcelain tiles on the altar wall with their colouring and composition represent unsurpassed example of the Osman period works of art.
The Selimiye Mosque was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 2011.