Edirne Jewish Heritage Tour from Istanbul ( Full Day)

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8 hours

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Duration  : 8 hours (approx)
Departure: Everyday
Route      : Edirne


You shall be picked up from the Istanbul airport, Istanbul hotel ,Istanbul Marina or even from cruise ship port in Istanbul. Your Edirne Jewish Heritage guide will hold up a sign with your name on it so you can easily find your correct tour bus. The Edirne Jewish Heritage tour will take approximately 8 hours and afterwards we  will drive you back to your Istanbul hotel , Istanbul Marina , Istanbul airport or Istanbul harbour in Turkey.

Departure will be from Istanbul in the morning by bus. Edirne (Adrianopolis) is second capital city of Ottoman Empire, and Edirne, The ancient Hadrianapolis and the capital of Thrace (bordering on Greece and Bulgaria) was founded in 125 A.D by the Roman Emperor, Hadrian. The city had an important role as the gateway from Europe to East it was from here that Constantine set out to defeat Licinius and Frederick the Great known as Barbarossa, stopped here with the Third Crusade. In 1363, for an entire century Edirne served as the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the city’s role for almost 100 years as capital of the Ottoman Empire accounts for its many historically and architecturally important buildings – with its mosques, religious complexes, bridges, old bazaars, caravanserais and palaces, Edirne is a living museum. The Jewish Community of Ottoman Edirne was one of the most important Jewish communities that thrived in the Ottoman state. Firstly we will take a visit to Kaleiçi, Kaleici is worth to see with its wooden houses and structures. Afterwards we will visit to  Clock Tower and Castle ruins..the Clock Tower was located in the northeastern of the Fortress and it was used as an arsenal for a long time. In 1866 after the addition of wooden floors and clocks by Hacı İzzet Paşa, the tower became the Clock Tower and was called Nation’s Clock (Millet Saati). In 1894 the wooden floors were removed and three floors built of stones were constructed. Castle ruins, The construction of the Edirne Palace had started during the reign of Sultan Murad I at the west of Tunca over a wide area in 1450. After the death of Sultan Murad II in 1451, his son Fatih Sultan Mehmed completed the construction of the palace. Edirne Synagogue, is an abandoned synagogue located in Maarif Cd, 10 in Edirne, the synagogue was built back in 1907, its located in Kaleiçi Village in the Marmara region by the architectural model of Leopoldstädter Tempel in Vienna. The synagogue was in use until 1983 and could accommodate 1,200 worshipers, 900 men and 300 women, also the wrecked synagogue has a capacity of 1,200 people. Two domes – one on a sidewall of the main room and one on the side of the entrance door, also collapsed in 1997. The Maftirim tradition got its start in this town, less to draw people to synagogue than as an expression of the personal devotion of its composers.  The Sephardic Jews of the Ottoman Empire had brought with them from Spain a tradition of singing religious poetry and also the kabalistic notion of using song to reach higher levels of religious devotion. And then we will go The Archeology and Etnography Museum traces the history of the area from prehistoric to Byzantine times and exhibits clothing from the late Ottoman period. Before lunch our last stop will be The Grand Bazaar of Edirne. In bazaar you have taken one hour free time to relax, you can take some refreshments or lunch in the cafeteria. The food that is special to Edirne are delicious Ciger Tava (Fired Liver) or Edirne Meatballs, you can try it. As you walk through the city and peer into the corners of the grocery stores, you see blocks of white feta cheese, a local speciality. Hardaliye, another of the city’s delicacies, is a grape drink mixed with mustard and marpizan. Scented soaps, earthenware pots and straw baskets from Edirne make good souvenirs. You will also find it difficult to resist the beautiful embroidery work of the local women.

After lunch break we will visit Rustem Pasa Caravanserai (once a warehouse and overnight stop for camel caravans) is located in the historical centre of the city. Built in the 16th century by the great architect Sinan, it was restored and converted into a 150-room hotel in 1972. And then we will goto visit Sarayici and around, Sarayici is still worth walking out here because it was here that the early Ottoman sultans built their palace (Eski Sarayı) in the days before the conquest of İstanbul when Edirne was their capital. There’s not much left to look at today since the palace was blown up just before the Russo-Turkish War of 1878-79 to prevent the Russians capturing the weapons stored inside it. Our last visit will be   Uzunkopru (Long Bridge) to see an interesting bridge built by Murat ll in 1444 spanning the Ergene River. Its 174 arches, the highest of which is 12.28 meters, make up its 1354 meter length. Uzunkopru is the longest stone bridge in Turkey. The mild climate and beautiful surroundings of the  Saroz Gulf invite holiday makers for a relaxing break.Photo shooting at the bridge and coffee-tea break. End of the tour we will back to Istanbul by ferry. You will transfer your starting points.

What’s Included

  • Transfer from Istanbul hotel or Istanbul airport.
  • Transportation with air-conditioned and non-smoking buses and ferries.
  • Professional English speaking guide.
  • All entrance fees to the sites and museum.

What’s Not Included

  • Tips (optional)
  • Drinks
  • Lunch