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Safranbolu, the place that smells of history;

We can date the known history of Safranbolu, which is located in the northwestern part of Anatolia in the region called Paphlagonia in history, to 3000 BC. In this region between the Kızılırmak and Filyos river, the Hittites, Phrygians, indirectly Lydians, Persians, Hellenistic Kingdoms (Ponds), Romans, Seljuks, Çabanoğulları, Candaroğulları and the Ottoman Empire continued to dominate. The hill where the Safranbolu Castle, today’s City History Museum or the old Government House is located, is under the absolute sovereignty of the Turks, Seljuk Sultan II. It was passed in 1196 by Kılıçarslan’s son, Melik Muhiddin Mesut.

Safranbolu houses

Safranbolu changed hands between various civilizations throughout history, as well as between Turks and Byzantines, and even between Turkish principalities and Ottomans. We learn the oldest information about Safranbolu from archive documents and especially traveller’s notes. For example, the travel notes of Ibn-i Batuta. During the Safranbolu leg of his Anatolian tour in 1332, Batuta recorded his stay at Safranbolu Castle and the Quran he listened to in his travel notes. In fact, Candaroğlu described the meeting with Ali Bey, the son of “Süleyman Sultan” , in a short but descriptive way. These notes of Batuta are especially valuable because of his verbal description of the fortress Safranbolu as a military base, Kalealtı settlement and Cami-i Kebir districts. Indeed, in 1326, Candaroğlu Süleyman Pasha took Safranbolu under his dominion and gifted the town the oldest surviving religious and civil structures of Safranbolu, such as the hamam, madrasah and mosque, which we can still see today.


Safranbolu was first taken by the Ottomans, probably in 1354, by the son of the Ottoman Sultan Osman Bey, Şehzade Gazi Süleyman Pasha. After this date, Safranbolu again changed hands between the Ottomans and the Candarogullari. In 1423, during the reign of Sultan Murad II, Ottoman sovereignty was established in the region and Safranbolu was connected to the Bolu sanjak as a district. To summarize, Safranbolu consisted of two districts during the Ottoman period. The first is “Medina-i Taraklı Borlu” (which is today’s historical Safranbolu), located in the center, and the other is “Yörükan-ı Taraklı Borlu”, which we know as today’s Yörük Village. In 1811, these two banners were removed and Sultan II. During the reign of Mahmud, Viranşehir sanjak was established. The center of this sanjak was Safranbolu. In 1870, the administrative structure in the Ottoman Empire was reorganized, and Safranbolu was made a district within this framework and was connected to the Kastamonu sanjak. In the same year, the municipality was established and the first Mayor was Hacı Muhammed Ağa.

Safranbolu was connected to Zonguldak Province in 1927. Ulus Sub-District, which is affiliated to Safranbolu, was separated from Safranbolu in 1945 and Eflani and Karabük Sub-Districts became districts in 1953. However, with the establishment of Turkey’s first heavy iron industry in Karabük in 1937, Karabük showed a rapid development and in 1995, Karabük became the 78th province of Turkey and Safranbolu was also connected to Karabük.


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