Uzunköprü is a town in the province of Edirne in the Marmara region. There have been settlements in this area since ancient times but the site of the town of Uzunkopru was in swamp land and dense forest until the Ottomans cleared the way for the building of the first city in the Ottoman Empire. It was Murad II who ordered the building of a stone bridge that was completed in 1443. The town takes its name from this bridge which is still standing and still in use.
Uzunköprü is close to Edirne and the Greek and Bulgarian borders. It has everything you would expect in terms of shopping, restaurants and cafes. Whilst tourists come to visit the famous bridge, the town itself is often forgotten but it is worth a visit and does have some interesting things to see. This is the second most populous town in the Erdine province after the city of Edirne. As of 2021 it has a population of 40,500 inhabitants.
The Uzunköprü railway station ( Uzunköprü Garı) just north of Uzunköprü, in the village of Demirtaş, is the last railway station before the Greek border. In the centre of the city, in Telli Square, you will see the Telli Çeşme, a four sided drinking water fountain with taps that is thought to have been built at the turn of the 18th century.
The Uzunköprü (long bridge) is thought to be the world’s longest bridge. It spans the Ergene River and was of immense strategic importance to the Ottoman Empire. It would have been the gateway to the Balkans and Europe. Built by the famous architect Muslihiddin it was opened in 1444 by the Sultan himself. The bridge is 1238.5 metres long from the first arch to the last.
Places to visit
The Liberty Fountain
This is a monument erected in memory of the Ottoman Constitution which is an important milestone of Turkish democracy. The Kanun-i-Esasi ( Declaration of the Constitution ), on 23rd July 1908, transferred the Ottoman Empire’s regime to a parliamentary democratic regime. The Liberty Fountain was placed on the right hand side of the end of the bridge and is 6m in height and is mounted on a plinth.
Uzunköprü City Museum (Uzunköprü Belediyesi Kent Müzesi)
The city museum can be found in the centre of Uzunkopru in Eski Hükümet Street. Originally a private mansion, it was used by Tekel the state owned Tobacco and alcohol consortium before being restored and opened as a museum in 2013. The museum looks after ethnographic works, written documents, old photographs and artifacts. The upper floor of the musuem is dedicated to traditional Turkish life and customs. Entrance is free.
The Mosque of Murad II
Located in the Muradiye neighbourhood the mosques was commissioned by the same Sultan who build the bridge, Murad II, and was opened in 1444. Originally it would have been a religious complex with a hamam, public kitchen and other buildings but today only the mosque remains.
Gazi Turhan Bey Mosque and Tomb
Gazi Turhan Bey was one of the most famous military commanders of Sultan Murat II and Mehmet II (Mehmet the Conqueror). Records show that he was the son-in-law of Sultan Murat II and the brother-in-law of Sultan Mehmet II. After his death around 1456, the tomb was built in Kirkkavak village which is about 8 km away from Uzunkopru. There is also a mosque in the village that was provided in return for his distinguished military service in 1454.
Ataturk Cultural Centre ( Ataturk Kultur Merkezi )
The Ataturk Cultural centre is dedicated Performance & event venue. It holds several arts and entertainment performances throughout the year and is an active cultural centre.
Places to Stay
Uzunköprü Öğretmenevi, Keşan Caddesi No:41 Uzunköprü Edirne. Tel: 0284 518 24 11