Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi, Sanat Tarihi Bölümü, İstanbul/ Türkiye

Keywords: Ottoman architecture, westernization, hospital, Gurebâ Hospital, Isparta.


In the last century of the Ottoman Empire, civil hospitals started to be constructed as a reflection of modernization in health services. These civil hospitals, while first example being Bezmialem Vakıf Gurebâ Hospital, which is built in Istanbul in mid-19th century, were named as “gurebâ” hospital with a specialized definition. The construction of gurebâ hospitals, starting with the Tanzimat Period, especially during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid the Second, became widespread throughout the Ottoman geography, in the provincial and district centers. Another example for these hospitals, which were also called / named as “Hamidiye Gurebâ Hospital” in reference to the name of the Sultan, was built in Hamidabad / Isparta, which is a district of Konya Province.

The construction of Isparta Gurebâ Hospital was started in 1903 with the initiatives of Hüseyin Hüsnü Bey, the governor of the period. The hospital, which was officially opened in 1904, on the day corresponding to the sultan’s enthronement, was given the name of the sultan just like in other building examples of the period. Allocations were made for the permanent expenses of the Isparta Gurebâ Hospital, which was built with assistance just like in the other hospitals of the period. The hospital, which served for about ten years, was damaged during the great earthquake in 1914 and was demolished to be rebuilt. It took many years for a new hospital to replace this building, which was the first hospital of Isparta.

Isparta Gurebâ Hospital, which has not reached today and has very limited information in publications, is examined through the construction book dated 1903 in the Ottoman Archive along with the plân and facade drawings and photographs in its annex. The twostory, neoclassical masonry building has a rectangular plan shaped according to the “courtyard” space as defined in its original plan. The spaces are placed on both sides of this corridor, which is defined as courtyard and extends in the middle of the narrow sides in the plan. The space distribution that was seen in other hospital examples of the period is also present here. Wards special for women and men, pharmacy, doctor’s room, examination room and other service spaces are located on both sides of the courtyard / corridor.

Isparta Gurebâ Hospital attracts attention with its facade layout. On the facade with neoclassical style, on both sides of the entrance, which is defined as “medhal” in the original drawing, there are towers of polygonal cross section that extend beyond the facade. The building, in which the monumental entrance order is used in this form, offers a very similar look with the industrial school that was completed a few years ago, in the beginning of the century in the center of Konya Province within the same region. Although it is known that the building of the Gurebâ hospital is an early example of the First National Architecture style of Konya Industrial School and there are also other examples of buildings in this style, Isparta Gurebâ Hospital is one of the rare applications with its tower entrance layout in neoclassical style. However, the towers placed on the facade corners were used in different styles in period architecture.

It is understood from the discovery book dated 1903 and the name and seal on the drawings that the hospital was designed by “Engineer Kalfaoğlu Yanko”. This person, who was the construction engineer of the district, also carried out the construction of Kutlu Bey / Ulu Mosque, which was built from the beginning as a masonry structure in Isparta. It is possible that Engineer Yanko worked on other architectural works during this period. The fact that the designer of Isparta Gurebâ Hospital being known is important in terms of exemplifying who designed the gurebâ hospitals of the period.