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(ĕdēr`nĕ), formerly


(ā'drēənō` pəl), city (1990 pop. 102,325), capital of Edirne prov., NW Turkey, in Thrace. It is the commercial center for a farm region where grains, fruits, and tobacco are grown and cattle and sheep are raised. The city was founded (c.A.D. 125) by Hadrian, the Roman emperor, on the site of Uscudama. Of great strategic importance and strongly fortified, the city has had a turbulent history. The defeat (378) of Emperor Valens by the Visigoths at Adrianople left Greece open to invasion by barbarian tribes. Later conquered by the Avars, the Bulgarians, and the Crusaders, the city passed to the Ottoman Turks in 1361 and was the residence of the Ottoman sultans until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Russia captured the city twice (1829 and 1878) during the Russo-Turkish Wars. It fell (1913) to Bulgaria in the First Balkan War but was restored to Turkey after the Second Balkan War. It passed to Greece by the Treaty of Sèvres (1920), but was again restored to Turkey by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923). The city's many mosques include the great mosque of Selim II (completed 1574). The city was also called Orestia by Byzantine writers.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in northwestern Turkey; situated in the valley of the Maritsa River, in Eastern Thrace. Administrative center of Edirne Vilayet. Population, 63,000 (1975).

Edirne, an important transportation junction on the border with Bulgaria and Greece, is situated on the Istanbul-Sofia rail line and is a highway junction. It is the trade center of an agricultural region producing grains and oil-yielding seed. Edirne has flour and vegetable-oil mills and a cotton-textile factory.

Edirne is thought to have been founded by the ancient Thracians, who called it Odrys. From the fourth to the mid-second century B.C. it was a colony of Macedonia and was called Orestia. The city came under Roman rule in the second half of the second century B.C. In A.D. 125 it was rebuilt by the Roman emperor Hadrian and named Hadrianopolis (Adrianople) in his honor. From the late fourth to the mid-14th centuries it was part of Byzantium, except for the period 1204–61, when it was part of the Latin Empire. In the early 1360’s it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and named Edirne. It was the capital of the Ottoman Empire until 1453.

Ancient Edirne, which had a regular layout, was situated in the southwestern part of the present-day city. To the northeast there is a medieval Muslim city, with radial streets. Architectural monuments include several notable mosques, for example, Eski Cami (1403–13), Uç Şerefeli (1437–47), and Selimiye Cami (1569–75, architect Sinan).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in NW Turkey: a Thracian town, rebuilt and renamed by the Roman emperor Hadrian. Pop.: 126 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005