Kırklareli (see also its other names) is the capital of Kırklareli Province in the European part of Turkey, known as Eastern Thrace. In the city, the ongoing archeological excavations state that the area was the first organized settlement on the continental Europe.
It is not clearly known when the city was founded under what name. Byzantines called it "Forty Churches" and in the XIV Century, this was translated to Turkish and called "Kırk Kilise" . During the Republican Period, Sandjaks became cities and on December 20, 1924, Kırk Kilisie's name changed to Kırklareli. The Bulgarian name of the town is Lozengrad, which means "town of vineyard".
In Balkan Wars, she was occupied by Bulgaria. After World War I, Kırklareli and its neighborhood was occupied by Greeks and was reconquested by Turks in November 10, 1922. During the Greek indepency war (conducted by Greeks and Bulgarians against Ottoman empire) the city was damaged. According to the Lausanne Treaty, minorities here were exchanged with Turks in Greece. Most of the inhabitants of the city are from Thessaloniki
Immovable Cultural Assets
Hızırbey Complex: This consists of Hızırbey Mosque, Hızırbey Bath and Arasta (Bazaar)
Hızırbey Mosque: Located at the center of the city, it was built on a square plan by Köse Mihalzade Hızırbey in 1383. Built of cut stone and having one minaret, it was repaired by Yusuf Pasha from Aydost in 19824. Still used today, the final praying place and garden walls of the mosque were built afterwards.
Hızırbey Bath: Also located at the center of the city and built adjacent to Bath and Arasta by Köse Mihalzade Hızırbey in 1383. There are two entrances, one each for ladies and gentlemen, and so it is also called "Paired Baths". As understood from an inscription in the Bath of ladies, Hacı Hüseyin Ağa repaired it between 1683 and 1704. Still used today, the outer walls are regular and built from coarse sandstone. It's a Turkish Bath in the traditional Ottoman architecture style.
Arasta (Bedesten): Built adjacent to Hızırbey Bath in a "T" form, it has arch-type walls. The upper cover is a vault 15 m long. There were 12 shops inside formed by three beams. It was repaired in 1704.
Kırklareli is also host to the only cave that is open for touristic trips in Thrace, Dupnisa Cave (which is believed to have formed 4 million years ago).