Bolu Information

BOLU , Turkey

Bolu , Turkey

Bolu (Greek: Βιθύνιον /Vithinion, Latin Bithynium or Claudiopolis) is a city in Turkey, and administrative center of the Bolu Province. The population is 119,898 (2010 census).The mayor is Alaaddin Yılmaz (AK Party) since local elections in 2004.

Bolu is on the old highway from Istanbul to Ankara, which climbs over Mount Bolu, while the new motorway passes through Mount Bolu Tunnel below the town.

History


Antiquity

Bolu was part of one of the Hittite kingdoms around 2000 BC and later 500 BC became one of the leading cities of the Kingdom of Bithynia (279 BC - 79 BC) . Bebryces,Mariandynes, Koukones, Thyns and Paphlagons are native people of the area in antique era.Strabo (XII, 4, 7) mentions a Hellenistic town, Bithynium, celebrated for its pastures and cheese, which according to Pausanias (VIII, 9) was founded by Arcadians from Mantinea.

Bolu today

Bolu is a busy market town rather than a large city. It has one long shopping street and an attractive forested mountain countryside. Students from the university and soldiers based in Bolu make an important contribution to the local economy, which traditionally depended on forestry and handicrafts. Market day is Monday, when people from the surrounding villages come into town for their weekly shop.

The main road from Istanbul to Ankara used to cross Bolu mountain, although more people would stop at the roadside restaurants than actually come into the town, and anyway now the Mount Bolu Tunnel is open most people will rush by on the motorway rather than climb up into Bolu, especially in winter when the road has often been closed due to ice and snow. Some of the service stations on the mountain road have already announced their closure or moved elsewhere.

Places of interest

The countryside around Bolu offers excellent walking and other outdoor pursuits. There are hotels in the town for visitors. Sights near the town include:

    The 14th century mosque, Ulu Camii
    Bolu Museum has artifacts from Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods.
    The hot springs kaplıcaları
    The lake (Abant Lake) and village of Gölköy, near the university campus.
    The famous crater lake called "Gölcük".


Local specialities include a sweet made of hazelnuts (which grow in abundance here) and an eau-de-cologne with the scent of grass. One feature of Bolu dear to the local people is the soft spring water (kökez suyu) obtained from fountains in the town.

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