Area: 1.376 km²
Population: İlçe 142.569, kent 94.818 (1985)
Traffic Code: 78
The province of Karabük is located in the Western Black Sea Region, and is a tourism paradise with its historical Safranbolu houses and ancient cities.
Karabük carries the rightful honor of representing the industrialization process in the history of the Turkish Nation. In the first years of the Republic, as a result of the revolution decision of the Great Leader Atatürk on the manner of industrialization, Karabük province was chosen for the foundation of the first integrated iron – steel facility of Turkey, because of its proximity to the mine coal catchment area and to the shoreline, because the province is located on the route of railway and because of its strategic convenience.
Districts: Karabük (Center) , Eflani, Eskipazar, Ovacık, Safranbolu, Yenice
Safranbolu is a town boasting a glorious collection of old Ottoman houses, with a rich collection of pieces of art which represent traditional Turkish life and culture. Its rich history and success in preserving it earned the town an inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Best known for its old Turkish houses, the town is attracting more attention especially as these 19th century homes are gradually disappearing from other areas of Turkey. Visitors enjoying walking along the old narrow cobbled streets, and seeing some of the traditional crafts and trades that are still practised today. It is also known as the Capital City of Preservation, acknowledging its ability to hold onto not only pieces of art, but also the atmosphere.
The climate in Safranbolu is a combination of the Black Sea and Central Anatolia. The summers are hot, winters are cold, spring and autumn are tepid and cool and very long.
Previously known as Paphlagonia, Safranbolu took its name from saffron and has hosted many different civilisations in its history including Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans. It was conquered by the Turks in 1196.
The town reached its economic and cultural peak during the Ottoman Empire, partly because its position as an important stop on the Istanbul to Sinop trade route in the 17th century improved the commerce and wealth of the region. During this period it had close relations with Istanbul and Kastamonu, and state officials from the Ottoman Palace had important pieces of art in Safranbolu. The wealthy inhabitants of the town built large houses made from wood and stucco, many of which still survive. During the 19th century nearly 25% of the population were Ottoman Greeks, who left after World War I.
How to Get
Safranbolu is accessible by bus, although most go from Karabuk 10km south and there is a regular dolmus service that shuttles between the two. From here there are regular services to Ankara (4 hours) and Istanbul (5 hours). Kirankoy is the modern part of Safronbolu and most buses will stop here.
Karabuk Bus Station Tel: (90 370) 412 89 93
The nearest station is at Karabuk, with a daily train stopping here going from Ankara to Zonguldak.
The nearest air connection is 240km south at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport, with flights to all parts of Turkey.
Esenboğa Airport Tel: (+90 312) 398 00 00.
Where to Visit
The town is best know for its old Turkish houses and has numerous pieces of art, of which over a thousand are under protection. There are two distinct areas: Carsi is the old area of town, to the south, and location of most of the winter houses, whereas Baglar has the summerhouses. Between them is Kirankoy, famous for the Greek houses that display more top quality masonry, and home to the Greek population until the early 20th century.
The area of most interest to the visitor is in Carsi, seen from the castle in the north, also known as Eski Safranbolu. Hidirlik Hill to the south is the location of two monuments, and was used as an open-air venue for rituals in previous centuries.
Some of the area’s most interesting historical locations are the castle and surroundings, which was the initial settlement area; the Old Government Building; a 200-year old clock tower still in working order; and the jailhouse, now disused.
Within the city there are 25 mosques with historical importance, the most famous of which are Koprulu Mehmet Pasa, and Sultan III. These were constructed by Selim’s Grand Vizier, Izzet Mehmet Pasa.
The newly restored Cinci Hani, the most famous building in the old part of town, is a caravanserai dating back to 1645. Next to that is Cinci Hamami, still working today with separate baths for men and women, with a marble interior and strong light coming in from the domed roof. Both were constructed by Cinci Hoca, from Safranbolu.
The business and commerce of the town are kept as close to the traditional means as possible, and goods are made and sold in the bazaars like Yemeniciler Arastasi. Iron, copper and tin are crafted in traditional means, and the Packsaddle Maker’s Bazaar has preserved the craft in the city.
Safranbolu has impressive areas of natural beauty in addition to its historical and architectural interest. Areas of dense forest, canyons and valleys all offer other activities such as trekking, mountaineering and cycling, as well as the more gentle activity of picnics.
Places of interest outside the town include Ancekaya Aqueduct and canyon, the houses of Yoruk Village, Bulak and Hizar Caverns, Hacilarobasi, Ucboluk and its surrounding rock tombs, Duzce Canyon, Saricicek Plateau and Uluyayla.
Yoruk Koyu, 11km east of Safranbolu, is a village of old houses and the feel of an open-air museum. The houses, most of which are affluent, and streets are under protection and are in good condition. Highlights include Kaymakcioglu Konagi, Sipahiler Konagi, Ahsap Cami and Camasirhane, which is a restored art gallery. There is a couple of relaxing restaurants set within shady gardens.
NATIONAL and NATURAL PARKS
Safranbolu has impressive natural beauties besides historical piece of arts and houses. Dense forest areas, canyons and valleys are maintaining possibilities for other touristic activities such as trekking, mountaineering and cycle as much as it is appropriate for picnic.
Incekaya Aqueduct and canyon, marvelous houses having Yörük Village, Bulak and Hizar Caverns, Hacılarobası and Üçbölük Village surrounding Rock Tombs, Düzce Canyon, Sariçiçek Plateau and Uluyayla, Gürleyik Picnic Area are the other tourism areas of the city.
Many of the oldest houses have been made into museums by cultural departments, and most have attractive tea gardens. Kileciler Evi is one of the best, and has been restored and organised by the Ministry of Culture as a good example of an old Safranbolu house and its lifestyle. Other well known ones are Mumtazlar Konagi (Mansion with pool) and Karauzumler Evi.
What to Eat
There are many places to eat in town, most of which serve traditional Turkish and Ottoman food, and the most atmospheric are restaurants inside the restored houses. Some of these also have live traditional music, and those around the Carsi area are livelier especially during summer evenings. Almost as famous as the Ottoman houses are the sweets, with many shops selling locally made yaprak helvasi, which is layers of helva with walnuts.
What to Buy
Traditional handicrafts are still widely produced in Safranbolu, especially copper and yemeni, a special type of shoe, which can be bought in the Bakircilar bazaar. Souvenirs are widely available in the Carsi district and Arasta, including goods made in the nearby town of Kastamonu like textiles, wood, leather and ceramics.
Don’t Leave Without
Enjoying the view from the top of Hidirlik Hill,
Visiting the museum houses,
Visiting Incekaya Aqueduct and Yoruk Village,
Staying in a restored house,
Eating the local sweets,
Listening to traditional music in the evenings.
Head Official’s Office: (+90 370) 712 11 80
Municipality: (+90 370) 712 41 16
Police: (+90 370) 712 12 22
Provincial Directorate: (+90 370) 712 12 29
Tourism Information Office: (+90 370) 712 38 63
How to Get
Reaching to the province of Karabük is possible via highway and railway. The nearest airport to the province is Ankara Esenboğa Airport (240 km.).
Highway: Reaching to the province of Karabük is possible via Ankara – Istanbul highway . You should take the road separated at the Gerede turn and the city is 80 km distant. The bus station is located at the city center.
Telephone of the Bus Station: (+90-370) 415 55 37
Railway: It is possible to reach Zonguldak and Ankara provinces from Karabük by railway. Travelling in the direction of Zonguldak by railway is more convenient than travelling by highway although reaching to Ankara takes longer than normal with railway. Therefore transportation to Ankara via highway is recommended. The distance between the railway station and the city center is approximately 2 km.
Telephone of the Railway Station: (+90-370) 424 15 49
Where to Visit
The most important element, which brought Safranbolu forward in our country and in the world at the scope of the culture tourism, is the Safranbolu houses constructed in the style of the traditional Turkish architecture. These houses are attractive both in the scope of urban positions and their architecture styles. There are approximately 2000 traditional Turkish houses at the district center constructed at the beginning of 18th and 19th century. The houses are grouped in two different regions of the Safranbolu district. The first region is the winter residence known as the city and the second region is the summer residence known as bağlar (orchard).
As a result of the archeological excavations and studies executed in the Karabük province the ruins of the ancient Hadrianapolis city had been discovered inside the borders of the Eskipazar district which was assumed to be founded in BC 64, in the Roman civilization period. Another important settlement area belonging to this ancient city is Kimistene, located at the Asar Hill.
There is an ancient settlement belonging to the Roman civilization period at the Akören village of Safranbolu district.
There are 32 normal sized and 4 large sized tumulus inside the borders of the Karabük Province.
The important mosques and churches of Karabük Province would be counted as St. Stefanos Church (Ulu Mosque) located in Safranbolu district, Eski Mosque (Old Mosque)(Gazi Süleyman Paşa Mosque), Köprülü Mehmet Paşa Mosque, Hidayetullah Mosque, Taş Minare Mosque (Stone Minaret Mosque), Dağdelen Mosque, İzzet Mehmet Paşa Mosque, Akçasu Mosque and Küre-i Hadit Mosque located in Eflani District.
Cinci Inn: The inn is located at the Çeşme Quarter of Safranbolu District at the middle of the bazaar. This magnificent structure is constructed his hometown, Safranbolu by the Rumeli Kazaskeri Cinci Hoca (Real name Hüseyin), who had gained power and became rich during the period of Sultan İbrahim.
There are two other inns other than Cinci inn in Safranbolu named Pamukçu and Tuzcu Inns. The Katırcı Inn located in the Eflani district , which was constructed by the beginning of 20th century.
Eski Hamam (Old Bath): The bath is located in the Çeşme quarter of the Safranbolu district. It was from the Byzantine period.
Yeni Hamam (New Bath) (Cinci Bath): The bath is located in the Çeşme quarter of the Safranbolu district inside the Bazaar. This bath was also constructed by Cinci Hoca.
Yazıköy Bath: The bath is located inside the borders of Safranbolu District and the exact date of construction in not known. It is estimated to be constructed at the mids of 1800.
Bulak Bath: The bath is located in the Karabük province and the exact construction date is not known. It is estimated to be constructed in the year 1780. It is a creation of the Ottoman period.
There are 93 officially registered fountains with and without inscriptions as cultural riches in the Safranbolu district.
Taşköprü: The bridge is located to the east of Safranbolu district and 200 meters north of Konarı village. The bridge is constructed over the Eflani Creek and the exact construction date is not known.
Tokatlı Bridge The bridge is located at the Aşağı Tokatlı Quarter of Safranbolu district. The construction date is assumed to be the 18th century.
Sorkun Plateau; The Sorkun Plateau is located inside the borders of Karabük – Yenice – Eskipazar and has an approximate altitude of 1650 meters. The plateau has a vast area and is available for trekking purposes.
Ulu Plateau: The Ulu Plateau is located at the north of Safranbolu district and is covered with abundant forests with vast and green meadows. The combination of wooden plateau houses and forests exposes a paradise like adobe. The plateau is suitable for camping and trekking purposes.
Sarıçiçek Plateau: The plateau is located inside the borders of Safranbolu district and has an altitude of 1700 meters. The plateau is covered with forests. The plateau is suitable for trekking, horse riding, mountain bike riding and camping.
Boduroğlu Plateau: The plateau is located in the Ovacık district and has an unmatched beauty. Every year festivals are arranged in the plateau.
Göktepe Nature Park: This park is located in the Yenice district. It has advantages like natural beauties, suitable climate and clean air and convenient reaching. The plateau is suitable for sportive activities, camping and caravan tourism.
Gökpınar Relaxation Resort: This resort is located inside the poplar forest region of Yenice district, on a mountain peak called as Gökpınar plateau.
Çetiören Promenade Place: This promenade place is located at 10 km. distance to the Eskipazar district. The area has rich fauna and flora and wild life. The area has unique beauties. The music and oiled wrestling festival is arranged at the second weekend of August each year..
Eğriova Promenade Place: This promenade place is located at 25 km distance to Eskipazar district in the locality of Eğriova with 12.000 m2 surface area and an artificial lake with 5 m. depth. It is a suitable place for trekking and camping purposes.
Eflani locality: This area has broad plains and plantation
CAVES AND CANYONS
Bulak (Mencilis) Cave: This cave is located at the at the Bulak village. With its 6,5 km length, it is the 4th largest cave of our country. The cave is a natural wonder with its stalagmites, stalactite travertine, small lakes and underground river.
Other various caves inside the city borders are the cave located in the Sipahiler village reached via 61 stairs and the Hızar cave located inside the borders of Safranbolu district.
Canyons: The canyons hold a peculiar place among the natural beauties of Karabük. The canyons are mostly formed by the deep cracking of limestone layers in Safranbolu Region. These canyons made the land structure of the region interesting and the most important canyon of the region is the İnce Kaya canyon. This canyon hosts the İnce Kaya water arch and has very steep and deep slopes.
The Düzce (Kirpe) Canyon charms and fascinates its visitors with the natural beauties. The length of the canyon is extremely long. Other canyons of the province are Tokatlı, Sakaralan and Sırçalı canyons. The Şeker Canyon at the Yenice district is another important canyon with 6.5 km length and hard passages and attracts professionals.
Hunting and Line Fishing: As the 60 % of the Karabük Province is covered with forests, the city has a suitable medium for hunting. Every type of hunting games are present in the forests and drive hunts are arranged by Hunting societies. The 3 lakes at the Eflani district are suitable for line fishing.
Trekking: The geographic structure of the province is covered with mountains and therefore it hosts numerous natural trekking areas. The major trekking activities are arranged in the Sorkun Plateau, Ulu Plateau, Sarıçiçek Plateau, Boduroğlu Plateau, Avdan Plateau and the Tokatlı and Düzce Canyons passing through the Safranbolu district.
There is no official museum established in the Karabük province. The “Iron – Steel Museum” belonging to Kardemir, “Ahmet Demirezen Yemenicilik Museum” in Safranbolu and some Safranbolu Houses (Kaymakamlar House, Kileciler House, Karaüzümler House, Mümtazlar Mansion) restored and open to visit by Ministry of Culture, Head Official of the district and private persons are serving as museum.
Iron – Steel Museum: The museum was established in the Yenişehir quarter in 3 April 1984. The museum introduces the foundation of Iron – Steel Factories, first iron production, and technological improvement with photographs and materials.
Ahmet Demirezen Kerchief Artisanship Museum: The museum was arranged by Kerchief Artisan Ahmet DEMİREZEN in the Safranbolu Kerchief artisans bazaar section, 3 numbered shop. The equipment and materials used in the production of shoe called Yemeni are exhibited in the museum and was founded in 1989.
Kaymakamlar Museum House: The house is located on the Çarşı Hıdırlık Ascension Street of Safranbolu district. This museum is nationalized and founded from a splendid Safranbolu house in the scope of “Safranbolu Improvement and Preservation” project of Ministry of Culture in 1979 and had been restored and arranged. The house had entered service in 1981 as Education Center and Museum House and had been named as Kaymakamlar House because of its former owner. It is open for visit in daylight hours.
The climate of the Karabük Province is partially Black Sea climate but as is located inland, away from the sea the province can not make use of the moisture air of the Black Sea and therefore is mostly under the effect of terrestrial climate. However the severe winter colds and dry summer hot temperature of Central Anatolia is not encountered. The most precipitant months are spring and winter months.
Karabük had become a province during the Republic period. Karabük was formerly a 13 housed quarter of a village of Safranbolu, which had become a district and bounded to Zonguldak Province in 1927. After the establishment of Ankara – Zonguldak railway in 1 June 1934 the station was called with the name of this 13 housed quarter and therefore the name Karabük was officially stated on the maps of T.R. Governmental Railways for the first time. As it was a 13 housed quarter until 1937, after the foundation of the Iron – Steel Factory in 3 April 1937, name of Karabük had been learned countrywide and worldwide.
Where to Eat
There are numerous restaurants and entertainment centers in Safranbolu district of Karabük province after the restoration of these traditional Turkish houses. You can listen to live music at the entertainment centers in the evening hours which are intensified at the Bazaar section. Gözleme (pancake), kuyu kebab (well kebab), yayım macaroni , su böreği (water pastry) and house made baklava are the local food and desert varieties. The Safranbolu Turkish delight which is as famous as Safranbolu Houses are sold fresh every time and sold with varieties like with hazelnut, with pistachio nut and with rose.
What to Buy
As tourism is intensified in Safranbolu there are shops producing and selling hand crafted products and souvenirs. Yemeni (some sort of leather shoe), copper products, wooden carving take the first place among these souvenirs. There are numerous shops in all of the streets of the bazaar region and Arasta where you can find souvenirs. Clothing and wraps made from Kastamonu weavings, wooden, ceramic and leather objects, Safranbolu house models could be counted among the souvenirs.
Don’t Leave Without
– Visiting Safranbolu,
– Visiting the Mencilis Cave in Karabük Bulak Village,
– Camping at the Yenice Forests in Autumn and taking photos,
– Camping in Ulu Plateau and Sarıçiçek Plateau and visiting Şeker Canyon and Düzce Canyon,
– Visiting Yenice Arboretum (Open Air Forest Museum),
– Visiting Eskipazar Hadrianapolis ancient city,
– Fishing at the Eflani Small lakes,
– Visiting Ovacık Karakoyunlu Tombs of the Kings,
– Tasting Kuyu Kebab, Zerde, Water Pastry and gözleme (pancake) in Safranbolu,
– Participating Golden Saffron Documentary Film Festival,
Registered Immobile Cultural and Natural Heritages in Karabük
Archaeological Sites: 15
Urban Sites: 6
Natural Sites: 2
Historical Sites: –
Cultural (at Single Construction Scale) and Natural Heritages: 1508
Governorship : (+90-370) 424 31 56
Municipality : (+90-370) 412 89 93
Hospital : (+90-370) 424 11 61- 424 11 62 – 424 11 63
Police : (+90-370) 412 52 75
Gendarme : (+90-370) 415 36 64
Provincial Directorate : (+90-370) 712 12 29
Tourism Information Office : (+90-370) 712 38 63
Provincial Cultural Directorate
Tel: (370) 415 38 04
Faks: (370) 415 38 04
Karabük Governorship http://www.karabuk.gov.tr/
Karabük Municipality http://www.karabuk-bld.gov.tr/