Kırklareli

Originally a Byzantine Greek city called Saranta Eklisies or forty churches, it came under Turkish rule in 1923 and was renamed Kirklareli, meaning the Place of the Forties. During the Balkan wars the city was occupied by Bulgaria but most of the Turks who live in the city today would have come from Thessaloniki which is now in Greece. The city has good connections to the rest of Turkey, and it is close to the border of Bulgaria.

Kirklareli is also a province and the written history of this district can be traced back to the bronze age. The surrounding countryside is known for it natural beauty with unspoiled forests and moorland. The Longos forests, the largest in Europe, have been a national park area since 2007. The Istranca Mountains provide the backdrop for some excellent hiking and camping opportunities and hunting and fishing is popular in this district.

Within striking distance from Istanbul, this area of Thrace or Trakya in Turkish, has a number of interesting places to visit. The city itself has a famous old Railway Station and a street which is a popular tourist destination and social meeting place. You can relax and have a drink here and take some time to soak in the athmosphere. There is also a museum which provides artifacts and history of the archaeology and ethnography of Kirklareli and the surrounding area. The city is a mix of modern and new and has some fine Ottoman buildings and everything that you would expect in the way of hotels, restaurants and cafe bars. The Hızır Bey Külliye, a religious complex, features a mosque, baths and bazaar. The Hizir Bey Mosque dates back to 1383, having been restored in 1824. A copy of Ataturk’s house in Thessaloniki is also worth visiting for those interested in Turkish history.

Just 58 km from the city centre you can find the Dupinisa Cave in Sarpdere Village. It was opened in 2003 and is a popular tourist destination. Those wishing to head to the sandy beaches of the coast do not have far to travel to get to Igneada and Kiyikoy.

Places to stay

Kırklareli Merkez Öğretmenevi,Demirtaş Mah . Mehmet Akif .Cad No:1 Kırklareli. Tel: 0288 214 24 11 Double Room: 140 TL

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