The museum is situated at the hospital (Darüşşifa) section of the Complex of Sultan Bayezid II. This Complex was built by the 8th Ottoman Emperor Sultan Bayezid II who was the son of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror. Sultan Bayezid II laid its foundation before the Akkirman War in 1484 and it was constructed in four years (a short period of time) and opened to public. There is a common belief that the architect of the complex was Hayreddin. However, this belief has not been proved by definite historical documents today. Some researchers have claimed that the architect of the complex was Yakup Şah Bin Sultan Şah.
Throughout centuries, students of medicine were brought up, patients were healed and the hunger of the poor was allayed in this complex. The mosque, which was considered to be the most purely and the most simply designed building of the complex in Muslim view, became a very important place for worshipping. Candles, which lightened Edirne, were produced in its candle production section; guests were welcomed in its guesthouse section.
Hospital section was one of the most important Health Centers of its period. It served for all kinds of ill people and thus 2 surgeons and 2 ophthalmologists were mentioned when the staff of the hospital in the institutional foundation was being told. Therefore, it is obvious that people who were suffering from eye disorders were cured in these places in the 1500s.
In later years, the hospital began to serve lunatics. Patients were treated with the sound of water, music, odorous scents, various occupations, as well as medical knowledge and medicine.
This hospital, in which lots of patients were cured for long years, became a neglected institution in which only lunatics were isolated in the 1850s. This building was both neglected and destroyed by the over-flowing of the River Tunca.
Safvet Pasha who visited Edirne, called upon the complex and saw the awful state of the building and reported this situation to the Grand Vizier. Just after this, Ottoman-Russian War broke out 1877-78 and Edirne was occupied, therefore the patients who were treated here were sent to İstanbul. Thereupon, Edirne Governorship received an order from İstanbul that there was nowhere to place these patients and the lunatic asylum was demanded to be restored and opened again. Then it was restored in 1896 and it was used for isolation and treatment of the mentally ill for a period of time. In 1910, it was renovated again by the German Architect Cornalius.
Transfer of the Complex to Trakya University
The ownership of all sections of the complex, excluding the Mosque, was transferred to Trakya University by General Directorship of Foundations. The Departments of Restoration and Wall Decoration of Edirne Vocational School at Trakya University went on their education and training here.
The efforts of converting the hospital into a museum of health under the body of Trakya University began in 1993. Thanks to invaluable efforts of the Rector Prof. Dr. Osman İnci and long-term work, it was officialized with the approval of Ministry of Culture dated 11.04.1997, the section of lunatic asylum was restored as the Section of History of Psychiatry under the auspices of Association for Readaptation of Mental Patients. It was animated with mannequins in harmony with its original history with the works of Türkan Kafadar who was an Art&Design Director. The section, which was ornamented with costumes and accessories reflecting all characteristics of that age, attracts the visitors’ attention.