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KARAAĞAC

"Black Tree" suburb

agacKaraağac is really just a southern suburb of Edirne, albeit one that's separated from it by a lengthy strip of Kent Orman (City Forest).

It's a sleepy place of mainly one-storey houses with gardens set in tree-lined streets. The main focus of interest is the huge station that the architect Kemalettin Bey built here for Edirne and that now houses Trakya University's Fine Arts Dept.

Actually, it's not Kemalettin Bey's finest work, being somewhat on the top-heavy side. However, the grounds are also home to a redundant steam train and, more importantly, to the Losan Anıtı (Lausanne Monument).

This commemorates the Treaty of Lausanne that drew the Turkish War of Independence to a close in 1923. It features a women holding a copy of the scroll and a dove, and stands on three legs said to symbolise Thrace, Anatolia and Karaağac itself.Karagac2

Nearby a small Losan Müsezi (Lausanne Museum) is only open on weekdays. A cafe is housed in an imposing building that once formed part of the station complex.

More cafes lurk by the gates of the complex but the most interesting places to stop for a meal are back on the road towards Edirne where a fake windmill acts as a landmark.

Turn left at the windmill as you return to Edirne to find the Tarihi Edirne Konağı (Historic Edirne Mansion), a grand house in a large garden that once belonged to Dr Bahattin Oğutmen. Stop for a snack here and you will get to see what the houses of the elite looked like in the early 20th century. Its ceiling frescoes have been carefully restored.

agac2Tarihi Edirne Konağı (Historic Edirne Mansion)Right beside the fake windmill stands a huge building in a lovely garden that was once a buzhane (ice house) and briefly served as a church for local French and Italians. It now houses the Cafe Dirmen, although the owner harbours plans to turn it into a hotel with views across to the Selimiye Cami in Edirne town centre from its top floor. 

Transport info

Minibuses to Karaağac run down Maarif Caddesi in Edirne or you can walk the two km from the Meriç Köprüsü (Bridge).

The Treaty of Lausanne, signed on 24 July 1923 at the end of the Turkish War of Independence, effectively laid the foundations for the Turkish Republic by defining all of its borders except the one with Iraq. İsmet İnönü signed the treaty on behalf of Turkey while Eleftherios Venizelos signed on behalf of Greece and Lord Curzon on behalf of the British. 

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