Date of Inscription to the World Heritage List: 17.12.1994

List Reference: 614 Criteria: Cultural



Safranbolu, an Anatolian city that brings history to life through its mosques, market, neighbourhoods, streets and original houses, was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.The city is in the Paflagonia region that was described by Homer in his epic poem, The Iliad and its known history dates back to 3000 BC. The city was ruled by the Hittites, the Phryigians, the Lydlans, Persions, Hellenistic Kingdoms (Ponds), Romans (Byzantines), Seljuks, Beyliks of Cobanoglu and Candaroglu, and the Ottomans respectively.

Safranbolu’s present layout and physical features were established in the 17th and 18th centuries. Safranbolu, which was one of the few cities that remained intact even In the second half of the 19th century, extended in accordance with the changing needs in time in harmony with nature.

Safranbolu’s economic muscle is reflected in the life of the city, and Safranbolu Houses reveals the city culture In an original manner. The Safranbolu Houses are the building blocks representing the Turkish city culture as Its living reminder in our times. There are about 2000 traditional Turkish houses In the county seat. Out of them, about 800 houses are under legal protection. The houses have plans that reflect the Turkish lifestyle, customs and traditions in a rich spatial arrangement. The houses are modest buildings shaped with an understanding of respect for nature and neighbour.

The overhanging extensions of the first floors of Safranbolu houses disturb the unwanted uniformity of all houses. The house windows are specially designed as narrow and tall windows. The timber window frames and sashes feature timber grills called “musabak”. 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 and demonstrate how aptly they complete the whole. Safranbolu is a must for those who wish to explore a city and breathe In history. Enjoy the splendid architecture and shake hands with the hospitality of Anatolia.

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