Edirne Palace to gain status of ancient site

Edirne Palace to gain status of ancient site

EDİRNE – Anadolu Agency
Edirne Palace to gain status of ancient site

Home to Mehmet the Conqueror and Süleyman the Magnificent during the glory years of the Ottoman Empire, the Edirne Palace is currently undergoing restoration. AA Photos

Cultural officials are working on a plan to bestow the status of ancient site on Edirne Palace, which was built by Mehmet the Conqueror in the northwestern province of Edirne.

The head of the Edirne Palace excavations, Professor Mustafa Özer, said works had been ongoing in the area since 2009.

“The restoration of the palace kitchen [Matbah-i Amire] and the bath of Kum Qasr was finished this year. We have progressed on the restoration project works of the Cihannüma Qasr, one of the notable structures of the palace. The building survey of the structure has been approved by the Edirne Cultural Heritage Preservation Board. The restitution and restoration projects are waiting to be approved. When the works are done, the structure will be restored and conserved,” he said.

Özer said the archaeological excavation and building survey of the devastated water delivery system had been completed and that restoration on the area would soon be ready.

The professor said this year’s works focused on the excavations and cleaning of the Namazgahlı Fountain (fountain with a prayer place), a rare example of Ottoman architecture.

“The works here will continue in future years, too. The fountain and the architectural structures unearthed during excavations were covered for protection,” he said.

He said they had also identified many ruined structures this year. “The building survey of the Adalet Qasr in Hasbahçe, where the Kırkpınar oil wrestling festival are organized today, has been done. We are working to make the structure functional. We also determined the places of Has Ahırlar [Imperial Stables], Terazi Qasr, İftar Kiosk and Bostancıbaşı Qasr. In future years, these places will be restored and Edirne Palace will be taken under protection as a whole.”

He said the Hunting Kiosk, which was built by Mehmet IV in an area known as Tavuk Forest, was documented and would be restored as well.

Edirne Palace to gain status of ancient siteAncient site status

Ören said their purpose was to protect the area of the palace by giving it the status of an ancient site after which the area will be open to visitors.

“We want to make a project to handle the Fatih and Kanuni tombs, Babüssaade, Cihannüma Qasr, Adalet Qasr, Hunting Kiosk, the water delivery system, the Namazgahlı Fountain and the palace kitchen as a whole and enable the palace to gain the status of an ancient site. In this way, the living quality in the region and the number of visitors will increase,” Özer said.

He said they hoped the palace, which had remained idle for many years, would regain its elegance. “We will present a very important cultural heritage, which is made up of some 100 structures, to humanity,” Özer said.

Edirne Palace

Edirne Palace was home to Mehmet the Conqueror and Süleyman the Magnificent during the glory years of the Ottoman Empire.

When the Ottoman Empire took control of Edirne in 1361, they ordered that a palace be constructed around Selimiye Mosque. When this first palace did not meet the expectations of the sultan, Edirne Palace was subsequently constructed.

The construction of the palace started at the time of Murat II and ended during the reign of Mehmet the Conqueror. Although Istanbul was the capital, the palace was seen as an important symbol of the Ottoman Empire. There is little information available on the first palace, and the only detail historians know is that the first palace was ruined during the construction of Selimiye Mosque’s social complex and included in the land of Selimiye.

Perfume bottles used by the famous Hürrem Sultan were among the latest findings in the palace area this year.