Safranbolu, an Anatolian city that brings history to life through its mosques, market, neighbourhoods, streets and original houses, was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. The city is represented as three parts in the World Heritage List: Çukur, Kıranköyu and Bağlar.
The City has a known history that dates back to 3000 BD and is located in the Paflagonia region that was described in Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad. The city has been ruled by Hittites, Phrygias, Lydians, Persians, Hellenistic Kingdoms (Ponds), Romans, Seljuks, principalities of Çobanoğlu and Candaroğlu, and Ottomans respectively.
Safranbolu’s current layout and features were established in the 17th and 18th centuries. Safranbolu was one of the few cities that remined in tact through the second half of the 19th century and grew organically over time.
Safranbolu’s sconomic strength and culture are reflected in everyday city life. The Safranbolu Houses are important representations of Turkish city culture. Out of 2000 traditional Turkish houses in the country, 1100 are under legal protection. The houses with modest floor plans, customs and traditions, are a unique spatial account of Turkish lifestyle and culture.
The overhanging first floor extensions of the houses give the city a different sense. The house windows are specially designed as narrow and tall windows. The timber window frames and sashes feature timber grills called “muşabak”.
Details such as timber ceilings, decorated timber wall surfaces, wrought iron door fittings, locks and keys, malakari (shallow gypsum) decorations applied on timber exteriors, and the quality of masonry work, are important demonstrations of the intricate detail of the houses’ construction.
Safranbolu is a must for those who wish to explore traditional Turkish city culture and breathe in history. One can enjoy the splendid architecture and hospitality of Anatolia in Safranbolu.
World Heritage List: City of Safranbolu
Some selected examples (please click on pictures to enlarge):