So today we are heading out on another adventure near to home in the district of Ezine in Canakkale. We are going to try and find an old building in the middle of nowhere. We have heard about an old Ottoman hunting lodge, a square enchanting building, that was built for Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasa or Hasan Pasha of Algiers. He lived from 1713 to 1790 and he was bought as a Georgian slave in Eastern Turkey by a merchant from Tekirdag who raised him like one of his own sons.
He became an Ottoman Admiral and Grand Vizier and although he was based in the town of Çeşme, this hunting lodge was his. A colourful character, he would take his pet lion with him everywhere he went.
So we set off towards Mahmudiye and then Üvecik village, where we turn right and right again, taking the road to Yenikoy Papaz Plaj, meaning New Village by the Priest’s Beach. About 5km from the Üvecik you will see a sign for Cezayirli Hasan Pasa on your right. This is a dirt track. Depending on weather conditions it may be difficult for an ordinary car. It can get quite muddy. From the tarmac road it is listed as 3.5km. I am not sure this is correct. It seems a bit shorter than this.
And finally we arrive at our destination. Wow. Standing out on its own in the middle of nowhere is this perfectly square shaped building. This mansion, or hunting lodge would have been built around 1785 which is extraordinary considering how intact it still is, exposed to the elements in this flat countryside. Originally there would have been a village here called Kesikköy but absolutely nothing of the village remains except for the foundations of a building nearby.
Hasan Pasha would have wanted to secure lands at the entrance of the Dardanelles and this large area of land would have extended inland and on the land upon which this building is built, the surrounding countryside providing an excellent hunting ground.
Originally there would have been steps leading up to the raised entrance of the building but these have gone as has the roof. However, looking inside we can see traces of the original timbers that would have formed the two floors. There is evidence of a chimney and you can see where the staircase would have been.
Just outside there is an entrance in the ground and a tunnel which appears to lead towards the house. This may have been used for entry to the basement level of the building but I can’t be sure. Inside the building there also appears to be evidence of a well. The ornate vantage points at each corner on the roof of the building would have provided some spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. One of the corners structures is not present and has probably suffered from earthquake damage of the test of time.