Edirne is a city in (Thrace), the westernmost part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Variations on the name of the city, founded as Hadrianopolis, include Adrianople, Edreneh, and Odrin. Conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1362, the city served as the Ottoman capital from 1365 until 1453. Edirne is the capital of Edirne Province and its estimated population in 2002 was 128,400.
The Selimiye Mosque , built by Sultan Selim II in 1575 and designed by Ottoman master architect Sinan, has the highest minarets in Turkey, at 70.9 meters.
The area around Edirne is also the site of no fewer than 15 major battles or seiges, from the ancient Greeks to the Romans modern day Turks, the last such encounter happening during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13.
The following text is taken from the 1911 Encyclopedia :
Edirne is 137 km by rail W.N.W. of Istanbul.
Edirne ranks after Istanbul, as the most important city of European Turkey. It is the seat of a Greek archbishop, and of one Armenian and two Bulgarian bishops. It is the chief fortress near the Bulgarian frontier, being defended by a ring of powerful modern forts. It occupies both banks of the Tunja river , at its confluence with the Maritza, which is navigable to this point in spring and winter. The nearest seaport by rail is Dedeagatch, west of the Maritza; Enos , at the river-mouth, is the nearest by water. Adrianople is on the railway from Belgrade and Sofia to Istanbul and Salonica.
Adrianople historically has been the commercial headquarters of all Thrace, and of a large portion of the region between the Balkans and the Danube, now Bulgaria.
Adrianople was originally known as Uskadama, Uskudama or Uskodama, but was renamed and enlarged by the Roman emperor Hadrian. In 378 the Visigoths inflicted upon the Roman Empire one of the Empire's most severe defeats. Adrianople was the residence of the Turkish sultans from its capture by Murad I, until 1453, when Constantinople fell and Mehmed II moved the capital to that city. However many later Ottomon emperors, like Mehmet IV preferred Edirne over Constantinople, and spent most of their reigns ruling from Edirne rather than Istanbul, although the latter city still remained the official capital. The city was occupied by the Russians in 1829 and 1878 and by Bulgarians in 1912.