Ottoman Health Museum opens after renovation
EDİRNE - Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoTrakya University’s European Museum Award-winning Sultan Bayezid II Külliye (social complex) Health Museum, located in the northwestern province of Edirne, has reopened after a one-and-a-half year restoration process. The restoration, sponsored by Turkish drug company Abdi İbrahim, had a cost of 2 million Turkish Liras.
“A sanctuary, medical research center, production factory and doctor training center were all together here. It was a mental and neurological health center. The Ottomans built this place in four years,” said Edirne Governor Dursun Ali Şahin, adding the Ottomans treated mentally-ill people, whereas they were isolated by Europeans in the west.
The 500-year-old Sultan Bayezid II Edirne Hospital has been renovated as a contemporary museum, said Abdi İbrahim President Nezih Barut.
“Twenty-six rooms of the complex have been redesigned, exactly featuring the same methods applied in the Ottoman era. We have revived the treasures of our history of medicine and now keep them for future generations with modern and impressive presentation techniques,” Barut said.
He said visitors would be able to see that men had undergone aesthetic operations in that era, adding, “Between the 15th and 18th centuries, men had aesthetic chest operations. There were also female doctors who performed hernia surgeries on janissaries. They will also see how the Turkish type smallpox vaccine expanded from Edirne to Europe and learn that the original place of rose production and rose water was Edirne. The treatments of diseases, operation techniques and other information about Ottoman health can be seen with animations in the museum.”
Built in 1488
The Sultan Bayezid II Külliye was built in 1488 by Ottoman sultan Bayezid II, who reigned between 1481–1512. The complex remained in operation for four hundred years, from 1488 until the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). The hospital was especially notable for its treatment methods for mental illnesses which included the use of music, water sound and scents.
The historic complex was incorporated into the structure of Trakya University in 1993 and converted into the Health Museum in 1997.
It remains Turkey’s only museum in its field and provides varied and valuable information to visitors on the development of medical sciences and of medical services throughout history, especially Ottoman history.
The museum is the second most visited historical site in Edirne after the Selimiye Mosque. The museum was awarded the European Council’s “Museum Award” in 2004.