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The province of Kocaeli is one of the smallest urban areas in Turkey, yet one of the most developed. This area is the perfect combination of natural beauty and historical expression through a large number of monuments and cultural buildings. Those who will visit Kocaeli will have the opportunity of discovering a land of a great culture and diversity. More than 5000 years of history can be felt under the feet of any traveller who decides to visit this growing region. The province is also known as Kocaeli Ili and its capital is Izmit. Another large city in the province is Gebze, where many cultural and natural riches can be encountered.
Being located in the Marmara Sea, in the north-western side of Turkey, the province is bordered by Sakarya, Istanbul, the Black Sea, Bursa and Yalova. Kocaeli is considered to be the industrial capital of the country. Its 21 districts were born in the modern era, but Kocaeli’s history begins more than 5000 years ago, when the Phrygians used to live on this territory. Archaeological evidence points that these lands were populated since the 12th century BC, which means that the culture and the development of Kocaeli have a long and tumultuous history. Historical sources show that the city of Izmir was founded in 262 BC by Nicomedes, a king whose mission was to conquer Anatolia. During that period, the city was known as Nicomedia and it became an important Hellenistic city that was ruled by Romans later on.
Today, the coastal city of Izmir offers important knowledge and reveals its routes between Asia and Europe. Thanks to the rich history of the place, tourists from the entire world can have a pleasant time while visiting the Turkish touristic gems, such as Izmit Saat Kulesi, which is an architectural treasure, the Museum of Archaeology & Ethnography, Eskihisar Osman Hamdi Bey Museum, the Floating Museum of Kocaeli, the Maritime Museum and many more that are worth visiting by those who are interested in admiring the evidence of the previous generations’ existence.
Those who are passionate about architecture will find the Kasr-I Humayun’s Palace and Museum to be a stunning structure and the clear expression of the Ottoman era. There are a few mansions that should not be missed, such as the Blacksmith’s Mansion, Pink Mansion, Old Governor’s Mansion and Kaiser Wilhelm’s Mansion. The Mausoleum, the Mevlevi House and Imre Thokoly Memorial House are extremely important objectives in Kocaeli, but the relaxing spots such as Suleiman Pasha Hamam should be visited, too. A great architectural style can be discovered in the mosques, too, as well as a spiritual atmosphere that is specific for the Turkish culture. Therefore, the Orhan and Fevziye mosques, the Coban Mustafa Pasha Mosque complex and Pertev Mehmet Pasha complex are recommended to the visitors of Kocaeli in order to closely observe some of the most important elements of the Turkish spiritual inheritance.
The active tourists are encouraged to practice sports and enjoy many outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, horse riding, cycling, climbing, diving, birding and many others. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the beauties and the advantages of this city and province, during the summertime and the wintertime, too. This destination is complex and welcomes anyone who wants to have a good time on the Turkish coastline to come and visit an old and fulfilling place such as this one.
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