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

Town of Safranbolu
Town 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
RegionBlack Sea
 • MayorElif Köse (CHP)
 • District999.99 km2 (386.10 sq mi)
485 m (1,591 ft)
 • Urban
 • District
 • District density55/km2 (140/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)370
Licence plate78
CriteriaCultural: ii, iv, v
Inscription1994 (18th Session)
Area193 ha

According to the 2000 census, the population of the district was 47,257, of which 31,697 lived 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).

According to the Ottoman General Census of 1881/82-1893, the kaza of Safranbolu had a total population of 52,523, consisting of 49,197 Muslims and 3,326 Greeks.[5]

The Old Town preserves many historic 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 (πόλις) meaning "city",[6][7] since Safranbolu was a trading place and a center for growing saffron.[6][7] Today, saffron is still grown at the village of Davutobası to the east of Safranbolu, with a road distance of 22 kilometres.[6][7]

Safranbolu was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1994 due to its well-preserved Ottoman era houses and architecture.[8]


It was founded by the Ottomans.


A panoramic view from the historical town

Sister citiesEdit

Notable nativesEdit

See alsoEdit


  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 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  4. ^ Statoids. "Statistical information on districts of Turkey". Archived from the original on 2010-07-24. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  5. ^ Kemal Karpat (1985), Ottoman Population, 1830-1914, Demographic and Social Characteristics, The University of Wisconsin Press, p. 138-139
  6. ^ a b c "Safranbolu". World Heritage Site. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Saffron Harvest in the Land of the Golden Plant". Cornucopia. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  8. ^ "City of Safranbolu". UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  9. ^ Elabuga and Safranbolu become sister cities Archived May 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine


Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

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