The known history
of Safranbolu, located near the north western coast of Anatolia,
dates back as far as 3000 BC. Once a city of Roman Province of "Paphlagonia"
Safranbolu has hosted many civilizations including the Roman, Byzantine
Seljuk and Ottoman Empires throughout its history. During the Ottoman
era the town served as an important junction on the Kastamonu-Gerede-Istanbul
route of the famous silk road. Safranbolu was at the same time a popular
residence for Ottoman Royalty close to the Sultan and Grand Vezirs. The
city received its name from the saffron which is native
in Safranbolu. The powder obtained from its flower is a very strong dye.
Used in very small quantities, Saffron adds a delicate flavor, distinct
aroma and a very unique color to deserts and other food. Also unique in
Safranbolu is the famous Çavus grapes with its extremely
thin skin and sweet flavor.
Safranbolu displays its extremely rich historical
and cultural heritage through 1008 architectural structures
all preserved in their original environment. These structures include
the public buildings such as Cinci Hodga Kervansaray and Cinci Hodga Hammam,
Mosques of Koprulu Mehmet and Izzet Mehmet Pashas, The Tanneries Clock
tower, Old hospital premises, The guild of shoe makers, The Incekaya aqueduct,
The old city hall and fountains as well as hundreds of private residences.
Rock tombs and tumulus just outside the city are also of interest.