COMPLEX OF SULTAN BAYEZID II HEALTH MUSEUM
This museum was brought to life in Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Hospital situated in Yeniimaret quarter in the centre of Edirne, which is one of the most important projects that Trakya University realized in the field of cultural heritage and conservation.
Thanks to this project, Trakya University saved this historical work situated in Edirne, which was the second capital city of the Ottoman, from being destroyed completely and made this work a trademark in tourism life of the city.
The reason Trakya University kept these important structures is that it undertook a mission of protecting the history of higher education and medicine in Edirne since the medical school of this complex, which opened to service in 1488, was a university where basic sciences of medicine were taught and its hospital was the place where the students practiced.
Trakya University, which currently gives medical education, shows its responsibility and sensitiveness to history by making the understanding of education and practice applied 5 hundred years ago live today.
The fact that Edirne experienced bad days that started after Ottoman-Russian War, during which the city was occupied, and reached the peak especially with the Balkan Wars caused many constructions like the complex to be abandoned. These important structures of our history, which were in danger of being destroyed completely due to the economic problems that appeared after Republic and negligence in cultural heritage, were transferred to Trakya University in 1984 and started to be used as educational institutions after restoration process.
The hospital part of the complex, which was converted into a museum in 1997, was awarded Council of Europe European Museum Prize for the year 2004- one of the most prestigious museum awards of the world-, which was an important chance of promotion.
Here, an” Ottoman bimarhane”(bimar:patient, hane:house) which was built five hundred years ago was brought to life. These places where the sound of water, music, pleasant odors and occupation were used in treatment besides the medical knowledge of the period bring history to present with a strong visual expression.
As soon as you enter the first courtyard, the strong tunes attract you. When you enter “the History of Psychiatry Section” the main part of the museum, you find yourself in a music therapy environment from centuries ago. The sound of water spurting from the fountain in the middle joins the mystical sound of reed flute and takes you on a journey back in time.
A successful animation… Patients, doctors, nurses, singers and players all seem to be living creatures. Lighting and sound system also support this animation.
All these take place in one of the most magnificent structures –or rather a group of constructions -in history of architecture near the River Tunca in Edirne.
The mosque with its marvelous stone work, imaret, guesthouse, bridge, medical school and hospital…
Here is the complex which consists of integrated units. Its architecture catches people’s eye and more than a hundred big and small domes make the complex more mystic.
The graphical structures that harmonize with each other constitute an elegant unity.
This museum, which has showed many successes and become one of the most important centers of Edirne’s cultural life although it is very young, will continue to introduce our historical values to the world by including the other units of the complex in the future.
The purpose of the establishment of the complex was to provide a hospital for Edirne, which was one of the most important cities and the 2nd Capital of the period. Other units of the complex, which were considered to be multifunctional, composed of social, cultural and religious aspects, which supported the hospital service directly or indirectly. The facilities of all units directed to the same goal reflect understanding of the health and social aid in that age. It was the indicator of the economic and technical power of the empire that the establishment of the complex as a whole was finished in a period as short as four years.
Units of the Complex
3. Medical School (Basic Sciences Faculty)
5. Imaret (Soup Kitchen, Dining Hall, Candle Workshop, Bakery, Warehouse, etc.)
6. Bridge (over the River Tunca)
7. Public Bath
8. Water Mill and Tank
9. Elementary School
10. Military Band (Conservatoire)
11. Muvakkithane (The unit which indicates the calendar and time of the day). Among these units, those, which stood up till today, are the ones between 1-6.Those between 7-11 were destroyed. 9, 10 and 11 were not included in the foundation of the complex and they were added later on.
The Staff of the Hospital in its Foundation Years
Among the staff of the hospital, there were 1 head doctor, 2 doctors, 2 ophthalmologists, 2 surgeons and 1 pharmacist. The number of the staff including the other personnel was 21. This number changed in different ages.
SECTIONS OF THE MUSEUM
The museum consists of three main sections.
First Courtyard: There are various exhibition in the detached rooms used as outpatient rooms in the past next to the columns in the first section. The rooms opposite the exhibition rooms were used as kitchen, laundry, and syrup house and staff room. The old kitchen of the hospital is animated in this section. Here, there is also an exhibition of photographs of Edirne. In same courtyard, there are the two long halls which were used as a pharmacy and medicine store and also women’s ward in a period. Nowadays, one of these rooms (the one on the left from the entrance) functions as the exhibition room which includes the drawings of Edirne Palace and also as the presentation room, the other one is used as the exhibition room of “History of Medicine”.
Second Courtyard: In the second courtyard, there is a small garden and four rooms facing each other. These rooms were used as administrative rooms in the past. At present, a room is still being used by the museum administrator and a room is animated with the mannequins as a head doctor’s room. Also there are two rooms dedicated to Dr. Rıfat Osman and Ord. Prof. Dr. Süheyl Ünver in this section.
Inpatient Section: The third section is the place where the patients stayed and got treatment in the past. Here, there are four rooms for summer, six rooms for winter and a music (concert) stage. Water spurts from the fountain of the pool in the middle. This place famous for its acoustics where the mentally ill were treated by music, water sound and beautiful smells is arranged (decorated) with mannequins and lighting system suitable for the atmosphere of the time by İstanbul Association for Readaptation of the Mental Patients. The visitors visiting this section live exactly the past treatment atmosphere with successfully designed mannequins, music and the sound of the water spurting from the fountain.
Medical School: The education section of the complex called “Medresetü'l Etibba”, which was used as the medical school in the past where the doctors of the period were brought up, was arranged as a new section of the museum by the contributions of Rotary International District 2420 and opened to public on 23rd April, 2008 with a ceremony. There are 18 student rooms and a classroom and a courtyard in the middle surrounded by the rooms. This section, in which watchman's room, students' and professor's rooms, a classroom and a library were designed with mannequins, also attracts the visitors’ attention as much as the hospital part.