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Established in the Byzantine era, Safranbolu has still not become one of the world’s most popular touristic destinations. However, the entire historical part of the city  with its stone streets, high hills, architectural monuments, and beautiful scenery, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The city comprises of nearly 2,000 historical architectural buildings, 800 of which are protected by the state.

Located in the center of the Karabük Province on the western Black Sea Coast, Safranbolu's mentioned in chronicles dating back to centuries BC. The city at the intersection of East and West was under the jurisdiction of Lydia, Persia, Hellenic, Roman, and Byzantine states. In 1196, Safranbolu was conquered by the Seljuks. The Romans called the city Dadibra, while the Seljuks named it Zalifre.

Due to its convenient location, Safranbolu was considered an important caravan stop on the East-West trade route which existed in the 13th-20th centuries.

The city has an old mosque built by the Ottomans in 1322, a bathhouse, and the Suleyman Pasha Madrasah. The prosperity of the city dates back to the 17th-19th centuries.

Safranbolu is divided into two parts, and the historical center is preserved in the so-called old city part. It has 25 mosques (most notably the Koprulu Mosque, built between 1656 and 1661), a private museum, mausoleums, several Turkish baths, a historic clock tower, a sundial, and numerous historical artifacts including castles. The city has historic bridges, rock tombs, and ancient settlements.

In the heart of the city, there is a market, around which craft workshops and old houses are built. The houses of Safranbolu allow visitors to the city to see the traditional Turkish way of life thanks to their unique architecture and location. The houses of the Ottoman Empire are still perfectly preserved there.

The road and streets leading to the square in the city center are completely covered with stone. Same goes with the countryyards and squares of the houses. The existing paving style reduces moisture, resists flooding, and ensures sufficient water reaches tree roots.

A coffee museum has been established in Caravanserai, which is located in the market part of the city. Visitors can get acquainted with 40 types of coffee. In addition, 100-150-year-old coffee pots, coffee grinders, cups, and all accessories for preparing this aromatic drink are displayed in an exhibition. The museum displays cups and coffee pots used by Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamit Han, Sütçü İmam, and the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Photo credits: Umidjon Mamarasulov

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