Historic Macedonia Tower to become museum
EDİRNE - Anatolia News Agency
Macedonia Tower is one of the four greatest ramparts of a castle built in Edirne. The works are continuing to transform it into a museum. AA photo
Macedonia Tower, which is one of the four greatest ramparts of a castle built in the northwestern province of Edirne during Roman Empire, will be turned into an archaeology museum.
Sepaking to Anatolia News Agency, Edirne Governor Hasan Duruer said the project has been approved. “The project to restore the tower, which was proposed to the Thrace Development Agency, has been approved and the works will begin soon,” Duruer said.
“Our aim is to bring an archaeology museum to the city. Works within this project are ongoing,” said Duruer adding that according to the project proposal, small objects will be displayed in the tower, while larger ones will be presented in the ramparts.
The project is planned to be completed within three months,” Duruer said.
Writer and researcher Oral Onur said turning the tower into a museum, which has an important place in Edirne’s silhouette, is crucial for protecting the heritage of the city and contains many important artifacts. Onur said Macedonia Tower, one of the four great bastions of Edirne Castle, was begun to be called “Clock Tower.” This has happened after a clock was built on it during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid, he added.
“Built by the Roman Emperor Hadrianus, the bastions of Edirne (Hadrianopolis) Castle were restored during the Byzantine period and the bastion, which is closer to Üç Şerefeli Mosque, came to be called Macedonia Tower,” said Onur adding that in 1885, the city governor of that time, Hacı izzet Paşa, built a wooden tower which was financed by municipality budget.
The wooden part of the tower was destroyed in a fire and rebuilt with bricks and stones in 1893,” Onur said. He added that the tower was also damaged by an earthquake in 1953.
Meanwhile, some sources say that a part of the tower was blown up with dynamite on the grounds that it harmed the city’s silhouette. However, this reveals another story on the tower and how it came to be in its present condition.
The restoration process of the tower
According to claims, in 1953 the Edirne Municipality demanded a report from Istanbul Technical University to prove whether or not Macedonia Tower spoiled the city’s silhouette. After this, on July 6, 1953, several stories surfaced claiming the tower was demolished using dynamite under the order of then-mayor Sabahattin Parsoy.
Also, Assistant Professor Sinan Kocaman mentioned the incident about the dynamite explosion in his book entitled “Edirne Turizm Coğrafyası (Tourism Geography of Edirne).” According to the book, it was because of the earthquake that the tower was blown up as there were damaged areas and it was not safe.
In 1990 some parts of the tower were restored in a new excavation work with the archeologist Şahil Yıldırım and the support of the Edirne mayor.
The excavations lasted until 2002 and 2003 and have resulted with the unveiling of many valuable artifacts from Romani and Byzantium and also Ottoman times. After this excavation work, the mayor and the municipality decided to open the tower to the public. The tower and its environs have been open to public as a City Archeology Park.