Throughout history, Kocaeli has been a gateway connecting Europe with the Middle East and Asia.It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Bithynia and a crucial trade centre for the Eastern Roman Empire.
Today, along the commercially active Black Sea and the Marmara Sea shorelines, Kocaeli boasts 34 ports and industrial facility docks, making it a logistics heaven and a gateway to global markets.
Production Center Of The Nation’s Industry
The defining characteristic of Kocaeli, however, is that it is a “City of Industry and Investment.” Almost without parallel globally, 13% of Kocaeli’s GDP is generated from its manufacturing industry. The province’s industry based economy accounts for 13% of Turkey’s Industrial Production.
Alongside its industry, the province is also striving to develop its sea and lake tourism, and to some extent, its winter sports, providing alternatives for water sports along the beaches of the Black Sea and a ski resort on the hills of Kartepe. Horse breeding is also a growing trend in the province. The nation’s best race horses are bred at stud farms located here in Kocaeli.
What to do & What to see ?
- Seka Park
- Seka Paper Museum
- İzmit Clock Tower
- Faruk Yalçın Zoo
- Eriklitepe Natural Park,
- Uzuntarla Natural Park
- Ballıkayalar Natural Park
- Gazilerdağı Natural Park
- Kocaeli Science Center
- Gayret Gemi Museum
- Kartepe Ski Center
Kocaeli Museums and Ruins
Osman Hamdi Bey Museum
It is at a distance of 2200 m to İzmit, Gebze, Eskihisar village station and 5 km to Gebze.
Osman Hamdi Bey has become familiar with Eskihisar from his father’s mansion in Gebze. In 1884, he had his mansion, painting house and boathouse and other outbuildings built on the western shore of the village and has spent his summers there for 26 years.
Each of the very beautiful flower paintings he made on the tables of the wooden doors of the ground floor in between 1901 – 1903 is at the level of the value of the tables of today.
The mansion has been assigned to the headquarters commander during the 1st World War, İsmet Pasha (İnönü) has spent a few days here while going to the Independence war, in 1933, Atatürk has visited the mansion and the garden. In 1945, a fire has taken place in the painting house and the wooden upper floor has burnt.
The forest and the buildings have been registered in 1966 and the museum building, its outbuildings and land have been nationalized by the Ancient Works and Museums General Directorate of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 1982.
In order to be able to construct a museum worthy of the founder of our museums, the relief and application projects have been prepared by İstanbul Directorate of Reliefs and Monuments of General Directorate of Ancient Works and Museums of Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the works for the restoration of the main building, the painting house and other buildings in compliance with their originals and for the garden arrangement have been started in 1985.
After the repair works that continued for two years, the goods used by the great museum man and painter Osman Hamdi Bey that could reach today, photographs belonging to himself and his family and various tables painted by him have been exhibited in the building and the building has been arranged as Osman Hamdi Bey House and Museum.
Osman Hamdi Bey
(December 30th 1842 – February 24th 1910)
He is the eldest son of Grand Vizier İbrahim Edhem Pasha, who was a technical and political man educated with Ottoman and western cultures. He was born in 1842 in İstanbul. Osman Hamdi, who completed his primary school education in a school in Beşiktaş, started Maarif – i Adliye School in 1856. He has been sent to Paris for law education in 1860. When he returned to his country in 1869, he undertook the mission of Bağdat Province Foreign Affairs Director at a young age. When he came back to İstanbul in 1871, he has been assigned as the Palace Protocol Director Assistant.
Osman Hamdi Bey, who performed various duties at high levels of the state, has been assigned to the Empire Museum (Müze – i Hümayun) Directorate on September 11th 1881. With this assignment, a new and productive term has been opened not only in his life, but also in Turkish museum activity. In 1883, he founded Sanayi – i Nefise Mekteb – i Ali (Fine Arts School) and became the director of this school.
He issued and put into application Asar – ı Atika Regulation prohibiting to take ancient works abroad, which was a big step in terms of Turkish museum activity and protection of ancient works, in 1884.
Osman Hamdi Bey made excavations at Nemrud Mountain, Lagina Temple and Sayda. For the exhibition of the sarcophagi and other works including the Alexander Sarcophagus he found in Sayda excavation, which are accepted as the masterpieces of Archaeology world, he laid the foundations of today’s İstanbul Archaeology Museum in 1881, which is the first Turkish museum building and he opened this museum to service in 1891.
Osman Hamdi Bey, who continued his painting works together with the museum activities, has been a successful representative of Turkish painting art with his figured compositions painted with eastern understanding. His paintings are included in many domestic and foreign museums and collections.
Osman Hamdi Bey has shut his eyes to life on February 24th 1910 in his shore house in İstanbul Kuruçeşme.
It has been constructed in the Byzantine period at the sea shore, in northeastern of the village, on a hill having a steep slope in order to protect the harbor. The walls of the fort are covered with bricks. It has been left careless for long years, which accelerated its destruction. In recent years, some parts have been restored by Ministry of Culture.
Fatih Sultan Mehmet’s Pavilion
In 1481, Fatih Sultan Mehmet erects his flag in Üsküdar and announces that a campaign would be made towards east; in spite of his illness, he establishes his pavilion on Hünkar Çayırı and dies there. In his memory, the fountain and open – air prayer place have been constructed in the 16th century at the same place (Gebze). The bridge has been used for the transfer of the army and for transportation purposes on Bağdat road.
Saatçi Ali Efendi Mansion – Ethnography Museum
The mansion, which has been constructed on a sloped skirt of İzmit seeing the sea, in1774 has reached today as one of our civil architecture samples reflecting its period in the best way with its plan, wooden shuttered and wrenched windows with barriers and pen – made ornaments on its external and internal walls.
The mansion, which is located on İzmit Veli Ahmet Quarter, Alaca Mosque hill, has three floors in total, namely the basement, ground floor and the upper floor. In the mansion, which has the characteristics of a museum – house, besides the arrangements such as main room, dining room, bride’s room, ethnographic works reflecting the culture of the region are exhibited.
The mansion has been opened to service as Ethnography Museum on September 29th 1987, by this way one of our cultural assets has been evaluated and inherited to the future generations.
The characteristic clock tower of the city, located between the hunting mansion and Atatürk Sculpture has been had constructed by İzmit governor Musa Kazım Bey, for the 25th anniversary of Sultan Abdülhamit II’s ascending the throne. It has been constructed in neoclassical method and is made of Hereke Tavşancıl and travertine stones.
It is at İzmit Hacı Hasan Quarter, Yeni Çeşme Street. It has been constructed by İzmit governor Sırrıpaşa in the second half of the 19th century. The garden wall of the mansion is ornamented with archaic sculptures and architectural parts. The building is an important historical treasure of our city with its being a civil architecture sample belonging to the 19th century, which could survive until today, the archaeological works on the garden wall and the pen – made ornaments in it.
Üçtepeler Large Tumulus
A rescuing excavation has been made by İzmit Museum Directorate on the old İstanbul road at three km distance to İzmit centre. No findings could reach today from the grave, which is understood to be subject to theft in its own period. But in terms of dating, the grave architecture has shown that it is a tumulus grave belonging to Late Hellenistic – Early Roman Period.
Büyüktepe Necropolis Area
It is near the highway in İzmit Gültepe Quarter. The Archaic Period necropolis and the holy building ruin belonging to the Byzantine Period have been found during the road work carried out by the directorate of highways. The findings found in the archaeological works carried out in the region by İzmit Museum directorate in the region, such as large earthenware jar, tear bottle, mirror have been provided to the museum.
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