Located on the bank of Tunca River, the Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum is one of the most important architectural and social works of Edirne. The complex is spread over a wide area with a medical school, imaret (public soup kitchen), darüşşifa (Middle Turkish for “hospital”), hamam (public bath), kitchen, warehouses and other sections. Sultan II.Beyazid’s architect is Hayreddin, the Architect and the complex was built between 1484-1488. It has a very impressive appearance and a typical Ottoman look with the domes on the building and multiple yards / gardens between different sections.
The most interesting of the construction within the Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum is the monumental mosque with a diameter of 20.55 ., a single dome, and two minarets. On the sides of the main domed area is a guest house with nine domes. The guesthouse was traditionally used by the poor people were discharged from the hospital until they found jobs. The doors of these open out directly. The dome transitions are provided with pendants and the marble altar and pulpit look quite leanThere is a marble fountain in the middle of the portico’s courtyard in the front.
Before continuing on with all the details we have to provide about the Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum in Edirne, don’t forget to look at the other articles about the beautiful city of Edirne:
1. Edirne, Turkey Guide
2. Selimiye Mosque: An Ottoman Masterpiece
3. The Old Mosque (Eski Cami)
4. Edirne Palace
5. Selimiye Arasta (Covered Bazaar)
In the west of the mosque there are the Darüşşifa (hospital) and the Medical School. The Darüşşifa consists of a large domed section and six small domed rooms around it and five cedar sofas. There is a fountain below the large open dome. The floor is made of marble. There are domed cells beside the front courtyard, surrounded by bridges, where mental patients used to be healed. On the corner of the courtyard, there are the kitchen and laundry sections. In the medicine center of the northwestern corner, there are 18 dormitory cells, a large domed classroom and a fountain in the middle of the porch courtyard.
Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum
Sultan Bayezid II’s librarian has a list of 167 officers working in the library and some details related to the daily routines of the workers here. It is also stated that there was a chief physician, second and third physicians, two ophthalmologists, two surgeons, a pharmacist, a gassal (someone who washed the dead bodies), a clerk, a steward, a cook and a broomstick in the complex.
The whole complex is considered to be significant for the history of culture. The main aim of this mosque founded by the Sultan Bayezid II was to build a hospital in Edirne. In that respect, the main center of the complex site is the hospital. Furthermore, the bridge, hammam, flour mill, water depot, sübayan mektebi (primary school), mehterhane, muvakkithane (informing the time and schedule of the day), drugstore (guest and resting place), medical school (basic science faculty) and the mosque were social, religious and cultural places supporting the hospital.
Darüşşifa (The Hospital) – The Center of the Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum
The Courtyard of the Hospital of Sultan Bayezid II Complex
The Darüşşifa of the complex consists of three parts: the first section has polyclinics, special dietary kitchens and personnel rooms. The second part belongs to the drug store and senior staff. In the third section there are 6 people and 4 cottage bedrooms and a music scene. Music conferences were held here for three days a week by a ten-member musical ensemble.
Evliya Çelebi indicates that concerts were given for the ill under the big dome by one dignitary, one neyzen, one law, one musicals, one santuri and one udi (lute player). Neva, rast, stalactite, chimney and suzinak makams were predominantly played by the band. Stones and scents of flowers (rose, carnation, hyacinth, hyacinth and misk-irum) are also written to be used as treatments of psychiatric illnesses.
As much as these concerts can be enjoyed from every side of the building, the sound of water and fragrances to the benefit of the sick patients were also utilized in the Complex of Sultan Bayezid II.
The Complex of Sultan Bayezid II as a Health Museum Today
The complex has been recently transferred to Trakya University and organized by the university and transformed into a health museum with the contributions of the Ministry of Culture and the Department of Special Needs. The museum was granted “The Museum of the Year” award in Europe in 2006, becoming the most visited museum in Europe in that year.
In the Health Museum within the Complex of Sultan Bayezid II, old medical equipments and medical words are exibited in Dr. Rıfat Osman and Prof. Dr. Süheyl Ünver rooms, both of whom are important figures for the History and Culture of Edirne.
The Bayezid II Mosque
In the past, the Sultans came over Saraçhane Bridge for the Friday prayers to this mosque by getting on the special boats for sultans and greeted by the people with prayers.
The interior of the mosque is square and the dome, twenty-two meters in diameter, is seated on four walls. There is a fountain with a circle section in the foreground. The marble mihrab has a frame made of silk. The Hünkar Mahfeli sits on a total of seventeen pieces of octagonal prism-shaped marble columns. There are two minarets of the Bayezid II Mosque.
Sultan Bayezid II, A Sultan who Passed Away on the Way to Edirne
A Painting of Sultan Bayezid II
Sultan Bayezid II is one of the Ottoman Sultans who frequently used to go to Edirne from Istanbul to spend a few days.
Some historians write that after he left his throne to his son Yavuz Sultan Selim (due to the pressure from the Janissaries, according to some), he died in Edirne (Sazlıdere), through which he was passing on his way to Dimetoka (Didymotheicho, a north-eastern Greek city nowadays). According to some historians, Sultan Bayezid II was killed by his own son.
The place of Bayezid II’s death is Sazlıdere according to some books and Havsa Abalar Village (of Edirne) according to some others.
Sultan II.Beyazid’s rule lasted 31 years. He spent part of his life in drinks, fun, and debauchery. However, he later devoted himself to Islam in full dignity and became known as Veli, Sofu, Gazi, which are religious titles, throughout his life in this period.
Although he is accused of destroying his father’s, Mehmed II, the Conqueror’s, artistic and cultural works (and even removing his paintings from the palace and having them burned), some historians consider him as a poet, composer, scholar, calligrapher and bow maker.
In fact, there are also people who regard Sultan Bayezid II as the most knowledgeable of the Ottoman Dynasty after Mehmet II, the Conqueror.
Sultan II.Beyazid is also known for his throne struggle and competition with his brother Cem Sultan.
The mosque and the complex, which are called by their own name, are the most immortal artifacts left by Sultan Bayezid II to us today.
The Courtyard of the Medical School of Sultan Bayezid II Complex
How to Get to the Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum
The Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum is, in fact, very easy to reach. There are regular bus services from Ankara, Izmir, Istanbul and some other big cities to Edirne for those coming from outside the city. The duration of the trip is 2 hours from Istanbul over the highway and 9 hours from Ankara. Because the museum is very close to the city center, one could reach the museum by simple walking to the Yeniimaret neighbourhood, which is a walk that takes 20 minutes approximately. If you decide to get to the complex on foot, just keep looking right as you get closer to Yeniimaret and you just can’t miss that outstanding structure. Moreover, midibuses from the city center are also available to reach the Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum. There is no ticket for the buses. You can buy a Kentkart (a travel card used by the locals mostly) or simply pay 2.5 Liras (about 0.60 Euro) when you get on the bus. Just look around for the nearest bus stop in front of the Ziraat Bankası (a public bank) if you prefer to go to the museum by bus.
The Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum, Edirne
The Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum, Edirne
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