1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adrianople (city)

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ADRIANOPLE (anc. Hadrianopolis; Turk. Edirne, or Edreneh; Slav. Odrin), the capital of the vilayet of Adrianople, Turkey in Europe; 137 m. by rail W.N.W. of Constantinople. Pop. (1905) about 80,000, of whom half are Turks, and half Jews, Greeks, Bulgars, Armenians, &c. Adrianople ranks, after Constantinople and Salonica, third in size and importance among the cities of European Turkey. It is the see of a Greek archbishop, and of one Armenian and two Bulgarian bishops. It is the chief fortress near the Bulgarian frontier, being defended by a ring of powerful modern forts. It occupies both banks of the river Tunja, at its confluence with the Maritza, which is navigable to this point in spring and winter. The nearest seaport by rail is Dédéagatch, west of the Maritza; Enos, at the river-mouth, is the nearest by water. Adrianople is on the railway from Belgrade and Sofia to Constantinople and Salonica. In appearance it is thoroughly Oriental—a mass of mean, irregular wooden buildings, threaded by narrow tortuous streets, with a few better buildings. Of these the most important are the Idadieh school, the school of arts and crafts, the Jewish communal school; the Greek college, Zappeion; the Imperial Ottoman Bank and Tobacco Regie; a fire-tower; a theatre; palaces for the prefect of the city, the administrative staff of the second army corps and the defence works commission; a handsome row of barracks; a military hospital; and a French hospital. Of earlier buildings, the most distinguished are the Eski Serai, an ancient and half-ruined palace of the sultans; the bazaar of Ali Pasha; and the 16th-century mosque of the sultan Selim II., a magnificent specimen of Turkish architecture.

Adrianople has five suburbs, of which Kiretchhané and Yilderim are on the left bank of the Maritza, and Kirjik stands on a hill overlooking the city. The two last named are exclusively Greek, but a large proportion of the inhabitants of Kiretchhané are Bulgarian. These three suburbs—as well as the little hamlet of Demirtash, containing about 300 houses all occupied by Bulgars—are all built in the native fashion; but the fifth suburb, Karagatch, which is on the right bank of the Maritza, and occupies the region between the railway station and the city, is Western in its design, consisting of detached residences in gardens, many of them handsome villas, and all of modern European type. In all the communities schools have multiplied, but the new seminaries are of the old non-progressive type. The only exception is the Hamidieh school for boys—a government institution which takes both boarders and day-scholars. Like the Lyceum of Galata Serai in Constantinople, it has two sets of professors, Turkish and French, and a full course of education in each language, the pupils following both courses. The several communities have each their own charitable institutions, the Jews being socially well endowed in this respect, The Greeks have a literary society, and there is a well-organized club to which members of all the native communities, as well as many foreigners, belong.

The economic condition of Adrianople was much impaired by the war of 1877-78, and was just showing signs of recovery when, in 1885, the severance from it of Eastern Rumelia by a Customs cordon rendered the situation worse than ever. Adrianople had previously been the commercial headquarters of all Thrace, and of a large portion of the region between the Balkans and the Danube, now Bulgaria. But the separation of Eastern Rumelia isolated Adrianople, and transferred to Philippopolis at least two-thirds of its foreign trade which, as regards sea-borne merchandise, is carried on through the port of Burgas (q.v.). The city manufactures silk, leather, tapestry, woollens, linen and cotton, and has an active general trade. Besides fruits and agricultural produce, its exports include raw silk, cotton, opium, rose-water, attar of roses, wax and the dye known as Turkey red. The surrounding country is extremely fertile, and its wines are the best produced in Turkey. The city is supplied with fresh water by means of an aqueduct carried by arches over an extensive valley. There is also a fine stone bridge over the Tunja.

Adrianople was originally known as Uskadama, Uskudama or Uskodama, but was renamed and enlarged by the Roman emperor Hadrian (117-138). In 378 the Romans were here defeated by the Goths. Adrianople was the residence of the Turkish sultans from 1361, when it was captured by Murad I., until 1453, when Constantinople fell. It was occupied by the Russians in 1829 and 1878 (see RUSSO-TURKISH WARS).