A team of 50 women including restorers, architects and engineers are involved in the works initiated to restore historical buildings in the eastern province of Kars, with the efforts expected to lure 1 million visitors.
Within the scope of the project, facade improvement is being carried out for 22 registered and 10 unregistered buildings on Haydar Aliyev Street.
A tourist route of 680 meters will also be created along the street.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.
“We weave history stitch by stitch,” said architect and restorer Yeşim Karslı, one of the 50 women taking part in the restoration works. “It has always made me very happy that women are in such fields.”
Noting that the aim is to achieve the original texture in the restoration of the buildings, field architect Şebnem Sadıkoğlu said, “It is a pride for all of us that a woman’s hand touches historical textures.”
The EU is financing the project under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
Implemented by the Industry and Technology Ministry, the project is expected to lure 1 million tourists to Kars when it is completed.
After the 1877 Ottoman-Russian war, Kars remained under Russian rule for 40 years up until 1917.
When the Russians occupied Kars, they started to create grid-planned avenues that cut the streets perpendicular to each other. On these streets, single or two-story, ornate buildings, mostly in the style of Baltic architecture, were built.
Basalt stone, which is hard and durable, was used in the construction of these buildings. Since basalt stones are dark in color, they add a dark atmosphere to Russian architecture in general.
Some of these buildings have been bought and restored and used as hotels and restaurants.