|• Mayor||Alaaddin Yılmaz (AKP)|
|• District||1,524.37 km2 (588.56 sq mi)|
|• District density||110/km2 (290/sq mi)|
Bolu (Greek: Βιθύνιον /Vithinion, Latin Bithynium or Claudiopolis) is a city in Turkey, and administrative center of the Bolu Province. The population is 131,264 (2012 census). The mayor is Alaaddin Yılmaz (AK Party) since local elections in 2004.
Bolu was part of one of the Hittite kingdoms around 2000 BC and later 500 BC became one of the leading cities of the Kingdom of Bithynia (279 BC - 79 BC) . Bebryces,Mariandynes, Koukones, Thyns and Paphlagons are native people of the area in antique era.Strabo (XII, 4, 7) mentions a Hellenistic town, Bithynium, celebrated for its pastures and cheese, which according to Pausanias (VIII, 9) was founded by Arcadians from Mantinea.
In the Ancient Roman era, as is shown by its coins, the town was commonly called Claudiopolis after Emperor Claudius. It was the birthplace of Antinous, the posthumously deified favourite of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who was very generous to the city, and his name was later added to that of Claudius on the coins of the city. Emperor Theodosius II (408-50) made it the capital of a new province, formed out of Bithynia and Paphlagonia, and called by him Honorias in honour of his younger son Honorius.
As Claudiopolis, it remains a titular see of Bithynia. It was the religious metropolis of the province (so in all Notitiae episcopatuum). Lequien (I, 567) mentions twenty titulars of the see to the thirteenth century; the first is St. Autonomus, said to have suffered martyrdom under Diocletian; we may add Ignatius, a friend and correspondent of Photius.
The Turkish era
In 1325, the town was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, becoming known under the present Turkish name (sometimes called Bolou or Boli). It became was the chief town of a sanjak in the vilayet (province) of Kastamonu and had a population of 10,000 inhabitants
Bolu is a busy market town rather than a large city. It has one long shopping street and an attractive forested mountain countryside. Students from the university and soldiers based in Bolu make an important contribution to the local economy, which traditionally depended on forestry and handicrafts. Market day is Monday, when people from the surrounding villages come into town for their weekly shop.
The main road from Istanbul to Ankara used to cross Bolu mountain, although more people would stop at the roadside restaurants than actually come into the town, and anyway now the Mount Bolu Tunnel is open most people will rush by on the motorway rather than climb up into Bolu, especially in winter when the road has often been closed due to ice and snow. Some of the service stations on the mountain road have already announced their closure or moved elsewhere.
Local specialities include a sweet made of hazelnuts (which grow in abundance here) and an eau-de-cologne with the scent of grass. One feature of Bolu dear to the local people is the soft spring water (kökez suyu) obtained from fountains in the town.
Bolu has an oceanic climate under the (Köppen climate classification Cfb), bordering a humid continental climate (Dfb), with cold and snowy winters and warm summers with cool nights. Unlike the low-lying, sheltered city center, many parts of the province, like Gerede, have humid continental climate (Dfb), due to very cold winters. January mean temperature is 0.7 ºC, and temperatures rarely rise more than 12.3 ºC and rarely drop below -14.7 ºC during winter months. July mean temperature is 19.9 ºC and temperatures rarely drop below 8.3 Cº and rarely rise up to 32.2 ºC in summer months. Lowest temperature recorded is -28.2 ºC on 30 January 1958, and the highest was 39.8 on 06 August 2006. Bolu is a usually cloudy and foggy city and annual sunshine hours are about to be 1,600.
|Climate data for Bolu (1960-2012)|
|Record high °C (°F)||19.8
|Average high °C (°F)||5.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.7
|Average low °C (°F)||−3.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−24.3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||57.7
|Avg. precipitation days||15.4||14.4||14.8||14.0||13.8||11.6||6.4||5.6||7.1||10.2||11.6||15.4||140.3|
|Avg. snowy days||14||11||6||0.4||0||0||0||0||0||0.2||3||9||43|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||34||66||100||155||196||213||244||232||185||96||54||28||1,603|
|Source: Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü |
Places of interest
The countryside around Bolu offers excellent walking and other outdoor pursuits. There are hotels in the town for visitors. Sights near the town include:
- The 14th-century mosque, Ulu Camii
- Bolu Museum has artifacts from Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods.
- The hot springs kaplıcaları
- The lake (Abant Lake) and village of Gölköy, near the university campus.
- The famous crater lake called "Gölcük".
- Alexandru Callimachi (1737–1821), Prince of Moldavia
- The industrialist and philanthropist Izzet Baysal was born in Bolu and has built a great number of schools, hospitals and other public buildings in the town including the campus of Abant Izzet Baysal University in the forest outside the town (founded in 1992).
- Another name you will see written in many places is Köroğlu as the mountains of Bolu are reputed to be the scene of the Epic of Köroğlu.
- Utku Varlık (born 1942) - Painter
- A number of gymnasts have trained in Bolu including:
- 2nd division Boluspor football club once played in the top flight.
- Bolu Kehinde - Later moved to Christs Hospital, England.
- "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
- "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
- Statistical Institute
- History of Bolu (tr)
- "Claudiopolis". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Bolu - Kartalkaya Accommodation - Kartalkaya Golden Key
- Izzet Baysal University official website
- Anatolia.com - Bolu
- Pictures of the city
- Informations about Bolu city
- Bolu News