Edirne ĕdēr´nĕ [key], formerly Adrianopleā˝drēənō´ pəl [key], 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.AD 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Turkey Political Geography