Safranbolu City History Museum takes visitors back in time
Thousands of years of history and cultural heritage of the Safranbolu district, located in the northwestern province of Karabük province, are on display at the Safranbolu City History Museum.
The district was an important stop on the main East-West trade route in the region. Its iconic sites of the Old Mosque, Old Bath and Medresse of Suleyman Pasha were built in the early 13th century, according to UNESCO.
The City History Museum’s grand building, built between 1904-1906 with Ottoman architecture under the leadership of local administrators with the financial support of people in the region, was used as a military, civil and judicial administration center.
The building was transformed into a museum after it was restored in 2006.
In the three-story museum, also known as the “Old Government Office,” there are publications on culture, satellite images, clothes and items unique to Safranbolu.
In the Tradesmen and Craftsmen Bazaar established inside the museum, the production of “Yemenis,” traditional flat-heeled shoes used by the Ottoman army and in the War of Independence, is also on display.
Through an original animation technique, the museum also displays ancient work environments of ironmasters who produced armor, shields and swords for the Ottoman army.
Apart from that, Pharmacy, Turkish delight and confectionery sections in the museum also greatly draw the attention of tourists.
The museum is surrounded by many historical structures such as a clock tower, ammunition building and old prison. It was visited by around 20,000 local and foreign tourists last year.
Important place for cultural tourism
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, researcher and author Aytekin Aytekin, who has written many books on the district, said the museum building was used for many purposes and remained inactive for a while after it was severely damaged by a fire in 1976.
He said the building was later restored and has been used as a museum to showcase the district’s abstract and concrete heritage since 2007.
“The museum is a three-story building. There is a model of a market depicting the traditional production process in Safranbolu on the ground floor. There are documents on the history of Safranbolu and various objects on the ground floor and upper floor,” he said.
Expressing his gratitude to those who donated different works in the museum, Aytekin said there were published books about Safranbolu in the museum and a section on domestic life and ethnographic materials used in traditional Safranbolu houses.
Noting that the district has a history of thousands of years, he said: “Safranbolu is doing good things in the context of protecting its own culture, keeping it alive, and transferring it to future generations. It has a very important place in terms of cultural tourism.”