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UNESCO World Heritage Site
City of Safranbolu
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Traditional houses in old town
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv, v
Reference 614
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1994 (18th Session)
A street in historical Shoe-makers market of Safranbolu
A street in historical Shoe-makers market of Safranbolu
Location of Safranbolu within Turkey.
Location of Safranbolu within Turkey.
Safranbolu is located in Turkey
Location of Safranbolu
Coordinates: 41°15′N 32°41′E / 41.250°N 32.683°E / 41.250; 32.683
Country  Turkey
Region Black Sea
Province Karabük
 • Mayor Necdet Aksoy (AKP)
 • District 999.99 km2 (386.10 sq mi)
Elevation 485 m (1,591 ft)
Population (2012)[2]
 • Urban 43,060
 • District 55,170
 • District density 55/km2 (140/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 78xxx
Area code(s) 370
Licence plate 78
Climate Cfa

Safranbolu (from Greek: Σαφράμπολις) is a town and district of Karabük Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey. It is about 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Ankara and about 100 km south of the Black Sea coast, or more precisely about 9 km north of the city of Karabük. Former Turkish names of the town were Zalifre and Taraklıborlu and in Greek Theodoroupolis, Θεοδωρούπολις (i.e. city of Theodorus or female Theodora) and latter Saframpolis, Σαφράμπολις. It was part of Kastamonu Province until 1923 and Zonguldak Province between 1923 and 1995.

According to the 2000 census, the population of the district is 47,257, of which 31,697 live in the town of Safranbolu.[3] The district covers an area of 1,000 km2 (386 sq mi),[4] and the town lies at an elevation of 485 m (1,591 ft).

The Old Town preserves many old buildings, with 1008 registered historical artifacts. These are: 1 private museum, 25 mosques, 5 tombs, 8 historical fountains, 5 Turkish baths, 3 caravanserais, 1 historical clock tower, 1 sundial and hundreds of houses and mansions. Also there are mounds of ancient settlements, rock tombs and historical bridges. The Old Town is situated in a deep ravine in a fairly dry area in the rain shadow of the mountains. The New Town can be found on the plateau about two kilometers west of the Old Town.

The name of the town derives from 'saffron' and the Greek word 'polis' (city),[citation needed] since Safranbolu was a trading place and a center for growing saffron. Today saffron is still grown at the village of Davutobası which is 22 km east of Safranbolu and probably one of the best quality saffrons in the world.

Safranbolu was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1994 due to its well-preserved Ottoman era houses and architecture.


A panorama from historical city

Sister cities[edit]

Notable natives[edit]

  • Türker İnanoğlu, film producer.
  • İzzet Mehmed Pasha, 18th century Ottoman Grand Vizier.
  • Karabaşzade Hüseyin Efendi (Cinci Hoca) - Mentor of Sultan İbrahim
  • Ali Gümüş, President of Association Internationale De La Presse Sportive (International Sports Press Association, or AIPS) Wrestling Commission, Journalist and author.


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ Turkish Statistical Institute. "Census 2000, Key statistics for urban areas of Turkey" (in Turkish). Archived from the original (XLS) on 2007-07-22. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  4. ^ Statoids. "Statistical information on districts of Turkey". Archived from the original on 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  5. ^ Elabuga and Safranbolu become sister cities Archived May 3, 2014 at the Wayback Machine

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°14′57.80″N 32°40′59.52″E / 41.2493889°N 32.6832000°E / 41.2493889; 32.6832000