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Edirne

Bring your history books to life with a trip to Edirne. This beautiful city is blessed with imperial building stock, a notable culinary scene and a much-cherished sense of civic grandeur because it was once the capital of the Ottoman empire. It is close to the Greek and Bulgarian borders, which means the city has a European flavour that is best appreciated in summer, when locals party on the banks of the Tunca and Meric Rivers and cheer on the contestants at the world-famous Kirkpınar oil-wrestling festival.  Edirne is also one of the oldest settlements in Turkey, dating back to the Neolithic age, which means it is full of historical gems – all waiting to be explored and admired. Its most famous landmark is Selimiye Mosque, which features four striking 71m-high minarets. Another must-see is the Grand Synagogue of Edirne, which reopened after a 36-year closure and a five-year US$2.5 million restoration project.