Kışla-i Hümayun (Yellow Barracks)

Prior to the construction of Yellow Barracks, the filled area was occupied by soap factories, taverns and a Jewish guesthouse. During its 126 years of life, from its inauguration in 1829 to its demolition in 1955, the Kışla-i Hümayun was the most colossal and symbolic structure of Izmir. It was almost the size that the entire Atatürk (Konak) Square is today. The design of Yellow Barracks intended to show the power of state in the cosmopolitan and strategic Izmir during the final years of the Ottoman Empire. The architect of the building was Efstratios Emmanouil Kalonaris. The building takes its name from the color of its primary construction material, the local “sarımsak” (garlic) stone. Roughly U-shaped, with the open side facing the sea, the three-story building consisted of three main units and two additional buildings on the south end. As the home of the newly established Ottoman army in Izmir, the building had a large pool surrounded by 25 fountains in the wide courtyard, called the training field. The three main buildings each had an entrance in the middle, but the main entrance of the complex was on the northern side, facing the Clock Tower. The building was converted into a temporary hospital to care for wounded British soldiers during the War of Crimea. In 1922, moving the structure from the city center was discussed. Upon the agreement of the Municipality and the Ministry of National Defense, the Army moved to the new buildings allocated by the Municipality, and the Yellow Barracks were demolished by the Municipality in 1953.

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