BOLU: The city blessed with natural beauties.
Located in the western Black Sea Region, Bolu with its lofty mountains, thick forests, beautiful lakes, health-giving thermal springs and ski centres is one of the popular cities of Turkey. Set amid the two large metropolises, Ankara and Istanbul, this lovely city is 190 km from Ankara and 260 km from Istanbul. The roads connecting these metropolises run through this city. The city was founded by the Bithynians 2000 years before this day and named after their commander, “Claudio”. In the course of time it was called as “Poll”. The Turks who dominated the region in the 14th century named the city on Bolu. In Bolu, the dominant vegetation is the forests. 61% of the land is covered with forests. A moderate and rainy climate of the Black Sea Region predominates in the city. Occupying an area of 8458 square km, the city has a total population of 270,000.
YEDIGOLLER NATIONAL PARK
The Yedigoller National Park, 42 km north of Bolu, consists of seven fakes in various sizes. 550 hectares of the area was taken under protection as a National Park in 1965. Linden, elm, poplar, beech, fir, oak, alder, Scotch pine, larch and maple trees are the common species that are encountered in the park which also provides habitation of numerous wild animals such as bear, wild boar, wolf, fox, deer, weasel, rabbit and wild duck. The park is an ideal location for picnicking, trekking, camping and sportive hunting. There are bungalow houses with a bed capacity of 40. Transportation to the park is only possible by private car through Bolu and Mengen.
This lake, spreading over 125 hectares area with an elevation of 1325 m, is located 34 km southwest of the city centre. Surrounded by pine, fir and beech trees, the lake area under the control of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is a popular site for summer and winter retreats. White and yellow water lilies that blanket the surface of the lake give a cosy atmosphere to the area which also provides habitation for deer.
Picnicking, camping, sportive fishing, nature walking, horse riding and phaeton trips are some of the activities to enjoy the lake area. On the lakeside there are 2 luxury hotels, bungalows, camping area and restaurants.
The Golcuk Lake located 13 km south to the city centre is an artificial lake occupying an area of 45,000 square m. Surrounded by pine and fir trees, the lake offers a superb view in winters. On the lakeside there is a lovely facility of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and a restaurant open year-round. The area draws many visitors in each season.
The Sunnet Lake with a depth of 22 m spreads over an area of 18 hectares, 27 km east of Goynuk district. On the lakeside there is a lovely accommodation facility and a hotel with a bed capacity of 115. Picnicking, nature walking and sportive fishing are some of the activities that the lake area offers. Trout breeding in the lake is very delicious.
50 km to the village of Mudurnu and 9 km to the old Akyazı Road, the Suluk Lake is within the borders of Akyokuskavagi Village. This amazing lake providing the best setting for trekking is under protection as a National Park.
In the Yenicaga district centre on the Bolu-Ankara highway, Yenicaga Lake hosts various lake birds and karabalik, a freshwater fish. There is a bird watching tower nearby lake.
KIBRISCIK KARAGOL LAKE
On the Kibriscik-Beypazari road is the beautiful Karagol Lake surrounded by forests. It is an ideal spot for camping, picnicking and retreats from the city life.
GOLKOY DAM LAKE
Located in close proximity to the city centre (10 km west), the Golkoy Dam Lake, surrounded by forests, is one of the popular sites for retreats from the clamour of the city for fishing and picnicking. The deepest point of the lake is 20 m. Among the lakes suitable for picnicking, camping, sportive fishing, trekking and relaxation are also Mengen Sirinyazi Lake, Mudurnu Karamurat Lake and Goynuk Cubuk Lake.
Akkaya travertines are also spectacular to visit on the Mudurnu road, 10 km southwest of Bolu. The travertine formations are named as the “Pamukkale of Bolu Province”.
BOLU AND ALADAG PLATEAUS
At the skirts of the Koroglu Mountains, some 20-30 km south of Bolu is the Aladag Plateaus encircled by pine forests. Aladag Scout Camp is here on the site. There are picnicking and camping areas and a beautiful small lake to enjoy sportive fishing. Degirmenozu, Golcuk, Saraycik, Ustyaka, At and Sarialan are the plateau groups in Bolu. Moreover, there are numerous plateaus in all districts of Bolu province.
Average altitude of the Seben Plateaus is 1400 m. Tasliyayla and Kizik is the most popular of these plateaus with its special old houses built by interlocking pine wood without nails.
GEREDE PLATEAUS and ESENTEPE
The plateaus and resorts on Esentepe and Arkut Mountain are places of resting for domestic and foreign tourists in summer. With an elevation of 1300 m, Mount Arkut rises in the north of Gerede district. Because of its continuous winds, the name Esentepe was given to the area by Mustafa Kemal ATATURK, the founder of the Turkish Republic. Besides grass skiing, picnicking and camping in summers, the area also is suitable for winter sports. A 3 star hotel provides accommodation. Yunlu Plateaus provide green picnic areas in the 20 km south of Gerede.
In the province of Bolu are many natural hot water sources
and thermal springs because of its geological situation.
BOLU THERMAL SPRINGS
Thermal springs in Bolu are in Karacasu location, 5 km south of the city centre. Surrounded by forests, this location was declared as a thermal tourism centre by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The natural thermal waters are said to be beneficial for dermatological, rheumatic and heart diseases. The history of the Bolu Thermal Springs with a temperature of 45 °C stretches far back to the Byzantines. Next to the historic bath is the Thermal Hotel with 4 stars which offers special bath cures that are consisted of two parts alternately for men and women. Access to the area is very easy by the dolmus (midi-bus-a practical means of transport) that runs from the Bolu centre in every 15 minutes. There are also many other thermal springs in Bolu: Mudurnu Babas Thermal Spring (40 °C), Mudurnu Sarot Thermal Spring (66 °C), Seben Kesenozu – Pavlu Thermal Spring (78 “C).
KARTALKAYA SKI CENTRE
Located on the peak of the Koroglu Mountains (2378 m) 38 km south of Bolu, the Kartalkaya Ski Centre is the most popular spot for winter sports fans. The most suitable skiing conditions are between December and April. The centre offering comfort hotels with a total capacity of 1600 beds is equipped with 13 ski runs (30 km length in total) and 9 ski-tows.
GEREDE MOUNT ARKUTSKI CENTRE
Ski centre is 5 km north of Gerede. It is very easily accessible. The 900 m. course is ideal for beginner and amateur skiers. Moreover, it has been hosting international skiing in winter and mount cycling in summer contests with its 5 km long running with ski and endurance course.
CULTURAL & HISTORICAL VALUES
Bolu Museum in the city centre exhibits archaeological and ethnographical artefacts found in the region. Earthenware jars, a sundial, the head of a statue thought to belong to the Roman
Emperor Antonius, various statues and coins displayed in the museum were brought to light during the excavations at Hisar Hill and Seben. Tomb stones, figurines, glass vessels, coins from Ottoman and Byzantine periods and ethnographical items such as clothes, napkins, carpets and traditional headgears can also be seen in the museum. There are 16000 works of arts in the museum totally. Bolu Museum can be visit every day, from 08.00 to 17.00, except
BUYUK MOSQUE (YILDIRIM BAYEZIT MOSQUE)
The mosque, built by Yildirim Bayezit in 1382, was damaged by fire in 1899 and the current one was raised in its place. Located in the Bolu city centre, single domed Buyuk Mosque has two minarets and Turkish motif decorations. Among the historic mosques in Bolu are Kadi, Imaret, Sarachane, llica and Karakoy Mosques in the city centre, Suleyman Pasa Mosque in Goynuk, Yildirim and Kanuni Mosques in Mudurnu, Asagi Tekke and Yukari Tekke Mosques in Gerede and Yildirim Mosque in Yenicaga.
TOMB OF AKSEMSETTIN
The hexagonal planned tomb of Aksemsettin, the tutor of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror is standing within the courtyard of Gazi Suleyman Pasa Mosque in Goynuk. Restored in 1987, the tomb with its beautiful wooden carvings is worth seeing. A commemoration day for Aksemsettin is held in May every year.
TOMB OF TOKAD-I HAYRETTIN
The tomb of Tokad-i Hayrettin who died in 1535 according to the religious sources is located 13 km west of Bolu. The other tombs are Omer Sekkin Tomb in Goynuk, Asagi Tekke Tomb in Gerede, Babahizir Tomb in Mengen and Ummi Kemal and Kasim Dede in Bolu.
This inn nearby the Buyuk Mosque was constructed by Abdullah
Aga in 1804. It serves as a commercial building today.
TRADESMEN INN WITH CHURCH
It is a two-storey building in Gerede, in 1800. The first floor has an animal shelter, a shopping center and cafe house and the second floor has bedrooms. The inn on the historical Silk Read which was a place of accommodation for tradesmen and caravans has a cross on the locking stone of one of the windows on the eastern side meaning that this place was used as a church.
Built by Yildirim Bayezit in 1388 in Bolu, Orta Hamam is still in service as a bath house and sauna. Tabaklar Hamam in BOLU, Suleyman Pasa Hamam in GOYNUK, Yildirim Hamam in MUDURNU and Yildirim Hamam in YENICAGA are among the historic baths in Bolu.
Research shows that the Seben and Kibriscik districts of Bolu were largely inhabited in the early Christianity period. It is possible to see multi storied houses with windows, storages and water cisterns carved out of rock at the steep slopes of the deep valleys in Celtikdere, Uludere, Hocas, Kasbiyiklar and Yuva villages. In the Solaklar, Alpagut and Muslar villages of the district are also rock carved houses while in the Celtikdere Valley are the ruins of a
It is 5 km north of Gerede. The castle occupies an important place in the history of Gerede, which is a place of accommodation on the historical Silk Road, and has survived until today. Having been built in the Middle Ages, Keci Castle dates back to between 7th and 13th centuries A.D. It was restored in 1995 in its original form. The other historical castles are Hall Castle in Bolu, Asar Castle in Gerede and Mudurnu Castle in Mudurnu.
Goynuk district is dotted with traditional Ottoman houses dated to the beginning of the 20th century. Topped by hipped roofs with fixed tiles, these houses have single or two stories over the ground floor. The living rooms in some of them have ceiling decorations. In front of the houses are courtyards called hayat. Nowadays, these houses under protection are undergoing restorations and converted to pensions.
Mudurnu houses that are also under protection have similar characteristics with the Goynuk houses on the historical Silk Road. Among them, Armutcular, Keyvanlar, Haci Abdullahlar, Haci Sakirler, Kazanlar and Yariskasi Mansions which are worth seeing houses in Mudurnu.
Besides its historic and natural attractions, Bolu region has also a rich cuisine and Mengen is known for its good chefs around Turkey and The World. Cookery is a traditional occupation in Mengen where is also a Cookery Vocational High School and College. Chefs trained in Mengen can be encountered in most of the tourist facilities around Turkey. “Chefs Festival”, featuring the culinary art along with the Turkish specialities, is held every year in Mengen in June.
Bolu was once home for Koroglu, one of the famous folk poets of minstrel literature in which lyrics and music complement each other. Lived in the 16th century, Koroglu showed opposition at many imperial edicts concerning him and became a courageous symbol of rebellion against social problems. He expressed mostly heroism and bravery in his poems. In honour of him, an impressive statute was erected in the city centre.
WHICH OBJECTS FAMOUS IN BOLU:
Bolu : Hazelnut sugar, special chocolate, potatoes, pine honey, high plateau butter, village bread, cream.
Mudurnu : Palace halva, foam halva, gift babies and handicrafts.
Goynuk : Sugar beans Ugut sweet, and wooden handicrafts.
Seben : Apples, grapes and tomato.
Gerede : Saksak halva, leather and cooper handicrafts.
Kibriscik : Rice and pileless carpets.
Yenicaga : Special flower ground and colognes.
Dortdivan and Mengen‘s cheeses.
DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT;
Visiting the beautiful lakes, verdant plateaus and historical places,
Tasting delicious local specialities,
Having SPA therapies,
Skiing in Kartalkaya or Esentepe
Buying the regional handicrafts.