Tsar Nicholas II's Hunting Lodge
in Sarikamis to be Restored

Turkey has announced plans to restore the former hunting lodge of Nicholas II
Photo: Cumhuriyet

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Turkey has announced plans to restore the former hunting lodge of Nicholas II of Russia, which was constructed more than 100 years ago in the town of Sarikamis in the Kars Province of the country’s Eastern Anatolia region.

Popularly known as the Katarina Hunting Lodge Pavilion, it is one of many quintessentially Russian structures built in and around Sarikamis. It exhibits the delicate lines that characterize Baltic architecture. Located on the edge of a pine forest, It was constructed without nails out of scotch pine, the Director of the Culture and Tourism Department in Kars, Hakan Doganay, told national media.

The lodge is believed to have been built between 1900-02. According to the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, the hunting lodge hosted the Russian Tsar Nicholas and his wife in 1914.

The region around Sarikamis in the 19th century became a n area of conflict between the Ottoman and Russian empires. Battles took place at nearby Zivin in 1829, 1855 and 1877 respectively.

After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, Sarikamis became part of the Russian empire and lower Sarikamis developed into a small, modern town. Being close to the Ottoman border, it was also a military station with barracks for two regiments.

Extensive barracks from the Russian period surround the town and are still in use by the Turkish army. Other historical buildings include the town's former Russian cathedral, known locally as Yanik Kilise, now used as a mosque after being used as a cinema for many years.

After 1917, the Katrina Hunting Lodge Pavilion was closed after Turkey regained this area. Since that time, the historic building has been left to decay. According to Hakan Doganay, the restoration of the hunting lodge is expected to take two years.

by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
Source: Cumhuriyet News & Balkan Traveller
2 July, 2010