The Location of Safranbolu and Its Neighbouring Provinces, Sub-provinct and Villages
Safranbolu is a sub-provincial centre in the north-western Black Sea region, located at the cross-section of the 41° 16′ northern latitude and 32° 41′ eastet longitude. According to the present administrative system the neighbouring provinces are: Zonguldak, Kastamonu, Cankiri, Bolu; and the sub-provinces are: Karabuk, Eflani, Ulus, Bartm, Aras, Eskipazar, Bulak, Tokatli, Gayiza (Incekaya) Danakoy, Ciftlik, Kirpe (Duzce), Yazi, Konan, Yuruk, Akveren, Ogulveren, Davutobasi, Cercen, Hacilarobasi, Bostanbuku, Kant, Baskoy, Kilavuzlar ar Kapullu are some of the villages in the same region. Among these Bulak, Tokat Gayiza, Danakoy, Yazi, Konan, Yuruk, Kant, Bostanbuku and Kilavuzlar are special significance to Safranbolu.
Yuruk village has long been an important centre close to Safranbolu, with large houses and the labour it supplies to Istanbul, primarily in bakery.
Safranbolu is surrounded by mountains on the northern and western side. These mountains make access to inland Anatolia and to the sea difficult. The city is only 400-600 metres above sea level.
Safranbolu is encircled by Panayir (Inyakasi) (1544 m) in the north-west, with the Sanricicek plain (1666 m) rising behind; the Camlikoy (Kizyakasi) hills (11 m) in the south; Keltepe hill in the south-west and Davuloglu hill (Bul; mountain) (955 m) in the west.
The Tokatli stream coming from the north, takes the name of Gumus after entering Safranbolu, and, running between Kirankoy and the castle it joins the Akcasu coming from the north-east. Jointly they run down south, this time taking the name of Tabakhane. Further on, in the east of Bostanbuku, they join the Arac river. The Bulak stream which runs between Baglar and Bulak village crosses the Karabuk-Safranbolu road and joins the Arac river in the west of Bostanbuku. Following a winding course the Arac river flows west and joins the Soganli river coming from the south-east, inside Karabuk. They run towards the north-west with the name of Yenice and finally flow into the Black Sea, this time under the name of Filyos river. None of these waterways dry in summer, the only decrease seen is in the regular flow of Akcasu. Water-mills built on these streams depend fully on their flows.
Safranbolu is on a transitional belt between the climates of the Black Sea a inland Anatolia. Severe winters and arid summers which characterize the inla climate are not common in Safranbolu. Rainfall is noted in all seasons. However, being under the influence of the inland climate, the major part of it falls during the first half of the year. Winters and springs are long. Summer starts at the beginning of July and lasts till the end of September. Snowfall starts December.
- The hottest months are July and August (max. average 40°C).
- The coldest months are January, February and March (min. average -10°C).
- Highest variations in daily temperature: in summer 21.2°C, in winter 17.5°C.
- Months with heavy precipitation are January, February and June (monthly average 50 mm).
- Months with minimum precipitation are July, August and September (monthly average 20 mm).
- The highest daily precipitation is noted in June and July (40 mm). The yearly average of precipitation is 721 mm.
- The yearly average of rainy days is 67.6 days.
- The days under snow cover: average 25 days; max. 41 days.
The yearly average is 60 percent.
The prevailing winds blow mainly from the west, then from the south-west, south-east and north-west, respectively, and the strongest winds blow from the west, south-west, south-east and north-west.
The “Sehir” and “Carsi” region (the winter settlement area close to the commercial centre and the centre itself) is located in the valley, which is closed to the winds. Therefore, it is protected from cold winds in winter; but can be very hot in summer. This is one reason why the residents choose to move to a summer resort: the Baglar region which is a higher plateau sloping slightly towards the south, where summers are much cooler.
Safranbolu is within a secondary degree seismic zone of the. Earthquakes within the north Anatolian seismic zone effect the environment of Safranbolu without causing any serious harm.
No land slides which could cause harm to the buildings have been noted in the settlement areas.
The streams flow through deep courses. For this reason there are generally no floods which could threaten the settlement areas. However at the beginning of this century , the Akarsu stream unexpectedly flooded twice causing loss of lives and material damage in and around the Carsi
Sources of Building Materials
The stone used in building construction is obtained from the limestone rocks in the area. This hard, blue stone is utilized also for the manufacture of good- quality lime. Another local material, “kufunk”, a porous, lightweight stone is used as infill in the wood-frame construction and also for building chimneys; being easily sawed into shape.
Although every type of soil could be used in making adobe, those made out of the soil brought specifically from Koprucek were preferred.
Roof tiles were hand-shaped in the villages of Cercen, Bostanbuku and Camlica, and burnt in kilns.
Looking at the houses in Safranbolu we can see that very good quality wood has been generously used. Even today, more than half of the surrounding area is covered with forests. We can definitely say that this ratio was much higher in the old days. Today, 38 percent of the trees within the Karabuk Forestry Management Area are firs, 30 percent beeches, 20 percent pines and 9 percent oaks.
Wood used in construction is mainly fir and pine; walnut and poplar have also been used sparingly. Orders for the required wood for buildings were made to mountain villages such as Gayiza, Tokatlikoy, Danakoy, Karaevli, Susundur, Aricak and Baskoy. They shaped the lumber which they had already felled with axes, and then fastening them to sides of mules brought it down mountain trails. Oxen pulled down the thicker trees. Wood was cut either with hand saws or at saw-mills. In the first half of the 20th century there were three saw-mills in Danakoy.
Lime: Good quality lime is produced from the blue limestones in the area which are burned in the forest land near Gayiza.
Mud mortar: It is produced from every type of soil in the same way as adobe clay is prepared.