Renovation work has been panned on the "Catherine Mansion," a historical hunting lodge in Kars's Sarıkamış district constructed on the order of Russian Czar Nicholas II following the Russo-Turkish War. The 119-year-old mansion will be transformed into a hotel with 50 beds. The Culture and Tourism Ministry approved the restoration project and it will be undertaken by an Antalya-based company. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Hakan Doğanay, the head of Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate, said the ministry aims to improve the region's tourism potential by assessing the present historical and natural beauties. The appropriation process is still underway, Doğanay said.
"The firm has been invited to conclude a preliminary contract within a month. After that stage, the firm will prepare a project draft in six months and complete the necessary process," Doğanay added. Nestled within the forests of Sarıkamış, an area which was under Russian occupation for 40 years, the mansion is located on a 6,500-square-meter area. The 28-room mansion and a wooden house near it feature Baltic architecture of the 19th century. The wooden house is a nail-free structure, as the mansion's walls were made of both stone and wood. The mansion was used for military purposes by the Sarıkamış Brigade Commandership until 1994. Later, it was taken over by the Treasury and then allocated to the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
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