City of Safranbolu

City of Safranbolu

From the 13th century to the advent of the railway in the early 20th century, Safranbolu was an important caravan station on the main East–West trade route. The Old Mosque, Old Bath and Süleyman Pasha Medrese were built in 1322. During its apogee in the 17th century, Safranbolu's architecture influenced urban development throughout much of the Ottoman Empire.

Ville de Safranbolu

Du XIIIe siècle à l'apparition du chemin de fer au début du XXe siècle, Safranbolu a été un poste caravanier important sur la principale route commerciale entre l'Orient et l'Occident. Sa Vieille Mosquée, ses bains, et la medersa de Shleyman Pacha ont été construits en 1322. À son apogée au XVIIe siècle, son architecture a influencé le développement urbain d'une grande partie de l'Empire ottoman.

مدينة سفرنبلو

من القرن الثامن وحتى ظهور السكة الحديد في مطلع القرن العشرين، شكلت سفرنبلو محطة هامة للقوافل على الطريق التجارية الرئيسة بين الشرق والغرب. وقد تم بناء مسجدها القديم وحماماتها ومدرسة سليمان باشا عام 1322. وإذ بلغت المدينة أوجها في القرن السابع عشر، أثرت هندستها في تطور التخطيط المدني لجزء كبير من الامبراطورية العثمانية.

source: UNESCO/ERI

萨夫兰博卢城

随着13世纪到20世纪初铁路的出现,萨夫兰博卢便一直是东西贸易线上的一个重要驿站。它的老清真寺和老浴室建于1322年。在17世纪它的建筑影响了奥斯曼帝国大片地区的城市发展。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Город Сафранболу

Начиная с XIII в. и до времени появления железных дорог в начале XX в., Сафранболу был важным пунктом на главном караванном торговом пути Восток-Запад. Старая мечеть, Старые бани и медресе Сулейман-паши были построены в 1322 г. Во времена своего расцвета в XVII в. архитектура Сафранболу оказывала влияние на развитие городов в значительной части Османской империи.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Ciudad de Safranbolu

Desde el siglo XIII hasta la llegada del ferrocarril, a comienzos del siglo XX, Safranbolu fue una etapa importante de las caravanas que se desplazaban por la principal ruta comercial terrestre entre Oriente y Occidente. La vieja mezquita, los antiguos baños públicos y la madraza de Solimán Pachá se edificaron el año 1322. Durante su período de apogeo, en el siglo XVII, la arquitectura de esta ciudad ejerció una acusada influencia en las realizaciones urbanas de una gran parte del imperio otomano.

source: UNESCO/ERI

サフランボル市街
首都アンカラの北約160kmにある小都市。オスマン帝国時代(1299~1922年)、東西交易ルートを担う隊商貿易の拠点として栄えた。1322年建造のモスクや大浴場など、歴史的建造物多く残り、帝国内の都市の建築に影響を与えた。木と石と赤煉瓦の家屋も100軒近くあり、トルコ様式の窓やバルコニーが見られる。

source: NFUAJ

Safranbolu (stad)

Safranbolu is een typisch Ottomaanse stad die vanaf de 13e eeuw tot de komst van de spoorweg begin 20e eeuw een belangrijke rustplaats was voor reizigers op de handelsroute tussen oost en west. Veel belangrijke gebouwen zoals de oude moskee, de oude badplaats en de Süleyman Paşa Medresesi zijn rond het jaar 1322 gebouwd. Tijdens haar hoogtepunt in de 17e eeuw beïnvloedde de architectuur van Safranbolu de stedelijke ontwikkeling van een groot deel van het Ottomaanse Rijk. De stad is sinds de prehistorie bewoond geweest, wat blijkt uit menselijke nederzettingen en in rotsen uitgehakte tombes.

Source: unesco.nl

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City of Safranbolu © UNESCO
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The City of Safranbolu is a typical Ottoman city, with typical buildings and streets, and played a key role in the caravan trade over many centuries. The settlement developed as a trading centre after the Turkish conquest in the 11th century, and by the 13th century, it had become an important caravan station. Its layout demonstrates the organic growth of the town in response to economic expansion, and its buildings are representative of its evolving socio-economic structure up to the disappearance of the traditional caravan routes and beyond.

Safranbolu consists of three distinct historic districts; the market place area of the inner city, known as Çukur, the area of Kıranköy, and Bağlar (the Vineyards). Çukur lies in the lower part of the town and has a triangular shape defined by two rivers. Its centre is the market place, surrounded by the houses and workshops of craftsmen. The segregation of the city centre is very typical for Anatolian cities. Kıranköy was formerly a non-Muslim district, with a socio-architectural pattern similar to that in contemporary European towns, with the artisans and tradesmen living above their shops. The houses in this district are built of stone, in contrast to the wooden houses in Çukur, which illustrates how the separation of Muslim and non-Muslim quarters during the Ottoman Period enabled each community to establish settlements according to their own traditions.

The pattern of settlement in Bağlar (the Vineyards) consists of single houses set within large gardens. This district on the northwest slope of the city, looking to the south, was the summer resort for the city.

The streets in Çukur and Kıranköy are narrow and curved, creating a wider view at the corners following topographic lines, and the various consoles of the houses contribute to creating interesting street perspectives. The streets feature stone paving, sloping inwards to evacuate surface water, and older houses are half-timbered, while the spaces between the timbers are filled with various building materials. There are no windows on the street frontage, so that stone walls resemble extensions of garden walls. The main rooms on the first floors are usually panelled with built-in cupboards, fireplaces, shelves and benches. Many of the ceilings are lavishly carved and painted. The rooms serve different purposes and are connected together with halls called “sofa”, which are very important elements of the house. 

Criterion (ii): By virtue of its key role in the caravan trade over many centuries, Safranbolu enjoyed great prosperity. As a result, it set a standard in public and domestic architecture that exercised a great influence on urban development over a large area of the Ottoman Empire.

Criterion (iv): For centuries, the caravan trade was the main commercial link between the Orient and Europe. As a result, characteristic towns developed along its route. With the emergence of railways in the 19th century, these towns abruptly lost their raison d’être, and most of them were adapted to other economic purposes. After the collapse of the caravan trade, Safranbolu’s proximity to the Karabük steel works gave it a new socio-economic role, although it preserved its original form and buildings to a remarkable extent.

Criterion (v): Safranbolu is a typical Ottoman city that displays an interesting interaction between its topography and historic settlement. 

Authenticity

There is no doubt about the authenticity of the street layout and the general townscape of Safranbolu, which is evocative of pre-industrial Turkey. However, the level of authenticity in individual buildings is largely related to changes that have occurred in the interior parts as a response to modern needs and industrialization. With tourism growth, there has been a trend to renovate houses and turn them into tourism facilities, e.g. hotels, restaurants, etc. Although this has played an important, revitalising role and contributed to the restoration and use of vacant historic buildings, careful monitoring is required to ensure that conditions of authenticity in terms of form and design continue to be met. Some of the factors that may threaten the authenticity of the property are inadequate tourism practices, predominantly the souvenir shops within the Çarşı region, the decreasing number of experienced local masters performing restoration works, and the deterioration of the traditional houses; those factors require monitoring and appropriate management measures. 

Integrity

The architectural features of the buildings and the street patterns continue to convey the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The integrity of the historic settlement pattern within the three districts, Çukur, Bağlar (the Vineyards) and Kıranköy, are largely intact. Safranbolu has preserved its original appearance and buildings to a remarkable extent and the boundaries of the property are adequate to reflect the site’s significance. There have been no major changes to the integrity of the property since its inscription, but it remains vulnerable to external pressures, and continuous efforts are needed to better preserve the traditional townscape and retain its integrity. 

Protection and management requirements

The site was declared as urban and natural site according to the National Conservation Law No 2863. Management of the historic areas of Safranbolu is under the responsibility of the Municipality of Safranbolu and the approval of the Regional Conservation Council must be obtained for physical interventions and functional changes in registered buildings and conservation sites.

The Regional Conservation Council approved a conservation plan. In order to provide more efficient and integrated conservation within the property, a buffer zone was defined during the preparation process of the conservation plan and approved by the conservation council in 2008. With the conservation plan, detailed conservation and restoration principles and standards were defined and different interventions have been carried out, attempting to balance conservation and use.

Resources for conservation, maintenance and protection action are derived from tourism activities, and are reinforced by amendments to the conservation legislation.

In addition, there is a Faculty of Architecture and a Vocational High School dedicated to restoration in Safranbolu, which provide technical support to the Municipality in the field of conservation. NGOs and the University contribute to raise public awareness in the City of Safranbolu.

The management and conservation of the property require sustained investment and monitoring in order to safeguard its Outstanding Universal Value. Management and conservation tools need to be continuously revised to continue to respond to emerging trends and threats.

Long Description

Safranbolu is a typical Ottoman city that has survived to the present day. It also displays an interesting interaction between the topography and the historic settlement. By virtue of its key role in the caravan trade over many centuries, Safranbolu enjoyed great prosperity and as a result it set a standard in public and domestic architecture that exercised a great influence on urban development over a large area of the Ottoman Empire. The architectural forms of the buildings and the streets are illustrative of their period. The caravan trade was for centuries the main commercial link between the Orient and Europe. As a result, towns of a characteristic type grew up along its route. With the coming of railways in the 19th century, these towns abruptly lost their raison d'être, and most of them were adapted to other economic bases. Safranbolu was not affected in this way and as a result has preserved its original form and buildings to a remarkable extent.

The site of Safranbolu has been occupied by human settlements since prehistory, as evidenced by rock-cut tombs. The Turks conquered the town in the 11th century and in the 13th century it became an important caravan station on the main east-west trade route. Surviving buildings from this early period include the Old Mosque, Old Bath, and Medresse of Süleyman Pasha, all built in 1322.

The caravan trade reached its apogee in the 17th century, when the central market was extended to meet the requirements of travellers. Many buildings survive from this period, including the Cinci Inn with its 60 guestrooms (1640-48), Koprülü Mosque (1661) and Let Pasha Mosque (1796), as well as many stores, stables and baths. Changes in trading structures and the advent of the railways brought this long period of prosperity to an end in the early 20th century. The town underwent a period of economic deprivation until the building of the Karabük steelworks, which provided a great deal of employment in the region.

Safranbolu consists of four distinct districts: the market place area of the inner city, known as Çukur (The Hole), the area of Kıranköy, Bağlar (The Vineyards), and an area of more recent settlement outside the historic area. The original Turkish settlement was immediately in the south of the citadel and developed to the south-east.

Çukur is so named because it lies in the lower part of the town; its centre is the market place, which is surrounded by the houses and workshops of craftsmen, such as leather workers, blacksmiths, saddlers and shoemakers, and textile workers. The area is triangular in shape, defined by two rivers.

Kıranköy was formerly a non-Muslim district, with a socio-architectural pattern similar to that in contemporary European towns, in fact the craftsmen and tradesmen living above their workshops, cellars used for winemaking and storage, etc. The pattern of settlement in Bağlar is one of single houses set within large gardens.

The streets in Çukur and Kıranköy are narrow and curved, following contours. They are surfaced with stone paving, sloping inwards to evacuate surface water. The older houses are half-timbered, the spaces between the timbers being filled with various materials (clay, brick, etc.). There are no windows on the street frontage, so that the stone walls resemble extensions of garden walls; the main rooms are on the first floor. Many of the ceilings are lavishly carved and painted.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The site of Safranbolu has been occupied by human settlements since prehistory, as evidenced by rock-cut tombs and a Roman temple in the vicinity. The present settlement developed as a trading centre after the Turkish conquest in the 11th century. In the 13th century it became an important caravan station on the main east-west trade route. Surviving buildings from this early period include the Old Mosque, the Old Bath, and the Medresse of Siileyman Pasha. all built in 1322.

The caravan trade reached its apogee in the 17th century, when the central market was extended to meet the requirements of travellers rather than the local inhabitants. Many buildings survive from this period, including the Cinci Inn with its sixty guest rooms (1640-48), the Kopriilii Mosque (1661), and the Izzet Pasha Mosque (1796), as well as many stores, stables, and baths.

The 19th century saw considerable investment in private estates and a sharp increase in the size of the town. The richer inhabitants donated public buildings, including eighteen fountains, the ~ and Hamadiye mosques, the Ali Baba convent, and the town hospital.

Changes in trading structures and the advent of the railways brought this long period of prosperity to an end in the early 20th century. The town underwent a period of economic deprivation until the building of the Karabiik steelworks, which provided a great deal of employment in the region. Safranbolu residents who went to work at Karabiik preferred to retain their original homes, thus bringing limited economic stability back to the town.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation