Kocaeli travel guide
Also known as Izmit, Kocaeli is a beautiful and charming town which draws thousands of visitors to it each year like moths to a flame. The history and culture of the region is extraordinarily rich, the seat of ancient powers and where devastating battles once took place, and as such the city and surrounding areas are full of cultural attractions and things to do. Yet despite this, the town is very quiet surrounding by lush orchards, making it a very relaxing place to visit.
One place your city guide to Kocaeli will urge you to visit is the Iznik Foundation. Created in 1995, it was set up to research how the stunning Iznik tiles were created centuries ago. These high quality tiles adorn various buildings in several cities and you can buy them from the Foundation itself. Here you can see how the tiles are created and the history of them. The ancient designs are not sold here as there is a genuine trepidation that they could be sold as the real deal. If you wanted to learn how to create them yourself, the Foundation offers occasional workshops onsite.
The iconic monument of Kocaeli is the Izmit Clock Tower. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, a number of clock towers were erected in honour of Sultan Abulhamid II’s 25th coronation anniversary. The clock tower was created by Vedat Tek in 1901, commissioned by the governor of Kocaeli, Musa Kazim Bey. The clock tower consists of four floors, each intrictly embellished with the clock situated on the 4th floor.
Next to the Izmit Clock Tower is the beautiful Sultan’s Palace, also known as the Sultan’s Hunting Pavilion. Built by Abdulaziz, the pavilion is a magnificent example of the beauty and prestige of Ottoman architects and designers. Here, Abdulaziz received Claude Ferrare, the French author. In 1999, the pavilion was damage due to an earthquake but has been restored and established as a museum.
Kocaeli is home to various mosques but one you shouldn’t miss out on visiting is the Fevziye Mosque. Originally, the mosque was created in the late 16th century to and named in the honour of Mehmet Bey who had just passed away in 1576. In 1719, the mosque was damaged due to an earthquake. Rebuilt, it was additionally damaged by fire in 1757 before being rebuilt and damaged again in 1836. After this reconstructed, Sultan Mahmut II renamed it Fevziye Mosque.
Restaurants in Kocaeli will be both a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Chefs lovingly prepare and present your meals and will transport you to heaven with every single bite.
There is a wide selection of hotels in Kocaeli, all which will vary according to taste and your budget. There is a number of cheaper accommodation in the city, but it is best to book as far in advance as you can.
Kocaeli is a magnificent town to visit. Full of history, full of culture, full of charm, it is everything that you could possibly ask for in a holiday destination.