Keeping History Alive: Safranbolu

Although the history of Safranbolu, a city on UNESCO’s Natural and Culture Heritage List, goes back thousands of years, today it preserves the fabric it acquired in late Ottoman times.

To survey the town’s extensive  history, start by paying a visit to the  City Historical Museum.

See the famous Safranbolu houses as you gaze down on the town from the top of Hıdırlık Tepesi with its ancient castle.

Pick up some souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones at the Ironsmiths’ and Coppersmiths’ Market.

Try Safranbolu ‘bükme’ as a main course and follow it up with saffron-flavored ‘zerde’ for dessert, or a coffee and Safranbolu Turkish delight. 

Id card

What: A city
Where: Karabük (Black Sea region)
When: Circa 3,000 B.C.E.
When added to UNESCO list: 1994

The saffron plant is the main asset of this town which lay on the Silk Road in the Ottoman period. The name of the town, Safranbolu (thought to mean place of abundant saffron), is said to come from that of the plant, which is one of the world’s most precious spices.