Safranbolu retains its best-protected site title
KARABUK - Anadolu Agency
60 percent of the 865 houses have been restored in 35 years. AA photoSafranbolu, located in the central-northern province of Karabük, has been declared by UNESCO as one of the 20 best-preserved sites around the world in its list of world cultural heritage cites. It maintains the title of best-protected tourism site with its Ottoman traditional houses built in the 18th to 20th century.
Despite its small size, it has one fifth of Turkey’s cultural attractions. Having once been a center for caravan trade for centuries, it has a large variety of historic buildings, the oldest one dating back to the 14th century with its preservation reflecting its authentic heritage.
The town continues its restoration of its Ottoman buildings and 60 percent of the 865 houses have been restored over the last 35 years. Karabük governor İzzettin Küçük said roughly 100 mansions were currently under restoration and were being run as hotels for accommodation for visitors from all around the world.
Around 300 of the historical Turkish baths, bridges and mansions have been renovated through the cooperation of state institutions and Safranbolu residents.
The town has seen an increase of visitors in 2013 with 240,000 tourists, a 7 percent increase from last year, and a fifth of them are foreign tourists. With day visitors, the numbers tripled and reached 750,000. It is also estimated that about six million tourists visited Safranbolu in the last 19 years.