The Sultan Abdülaziz Imperial Hunting Lodge was built in the second half of 19th century in a neoclassical European oriented style, during the construction of the Anatolian-Balkan Railway. It is referred to as ‘Sultan Abdülaziz Sarayı’ (= Palace of Sultan Abdülaziz), ‘Av Kasrı’ (= Hunting Lodge), ‘Hünkâr Köşkü’ (= the Ruler’s cottage) or ‘Kasr-ı Hümayun’ (= Imperial Lodge).
Due to its location above the Izmit Gulf, it has become one of the most important elements of the urbanscape.
After the Turkish republic was established, the lodge has been used as the centre of local government and then as a museum. It has been affected by a number of major earthquakes and following its latest restoration in 1998, it suffered great damage during the Kocaeli/Gölcük earthquake of August 17, 1999.
The damage was further aggravated as the building had not been well maintained, had been the subject of inappropriate repair interventions and left exposed to the effects of climatic conditions.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: Yegan KAHYA (Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture).
& Website of ‘Art Nicomedia Derneği’.