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Bolu is located in Turkey
Country Turkey
Province Bolu
 • Mayor Alaaddin Yılmaz (AKP)
 • District 1,524.37 km2 (588.56 sq mi)
Population (2012)[2]
 • Urban 131,264
 • District 172,355
 • District density 110/km2 (290/sq mi)
Website .tr.bel.boluwww

Bolu (Greek: Βιθύνιον /Vithinion, Latin Bithynium or Claudiopolis) is a city in Turkey, and administrative center of the Bolu Province. The population is 131,264 (2012 census).[3] 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 1
    • Antiquity 1.1
    • Bishopric 1.2
    • The Ottoman era 1.3
  • Bolu today 2
  • Climate 3
  • Places of interest 4
  • Notable people 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7



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.[4][5]

In the Ancient Roman era, as is shown by its coins, the town was commonly called Claudiopolis after Emperor Claudius. It was the birthplace of Antinous, the posthumously deified favourite of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who was very generous to the city, and his name was later added to that of Claudius on the coins of the city. Emperor Theodosius II (408-50) made it the capital of a new province, formed out of Bithynia and Paphlagonia, and called by him Honorias in honour of his younger son Honorius.


The bishopric of Claudiopolis became the metropolitan see of the Roman province of Honorias, with five suffragan sees: Heraclea Pontica, Prusias ad Hypium, Tium, Cratia, and Hadrianopolis in Honoriade. It appears as such in the Notitiae Episcopatuum of Pseudo-Epiphanius of about 640 and in that of Byzantine Emperor Leo VI the Wise of the early 10th century. Lequien mentions twenty bishops of the see to the 13th century; the first is St. Autonomus, said to have suffered martyrdom under Diocletian; we may add Ignatius, a friend and correspondent of Photius. The city was known as Hadrianopolis under Byzantine rule. Turkmens migrating west settled the city in the 11th century and it was referred to as Boli, Turkicized short for Polis. It fell under Ottoman rule in the 14th century and lost to Heraclea Pontica the metropolitan dignity. It ceased to exist as a residential bishopric in the 15th century.[6][7][8][9][10] Accordingly, it is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[11]

The Ottoman era

In 1325, the town was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, becoming known under the present Turkish name (sometimes called Bolou or Boli). It became was the chief town of a sanjak in the vilayet (province) of Kastamonu and had a population of 10,000 inhabitants. In the late 19th and early 20th century, (after 1864 with Vilayetler Nizannamesi) Bolu was part of the Kastamonu Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. Bolu was an Ottoman state ( eyalet ) until Vilayetler Nizannamesi 1864 and was covering from Beykoz kazasi of İsmid Sanjak to Boyabat kazasi of Sinop Sanjak.

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.

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.


Bolu has an humid continental climate under the (Köppen climate classification Dfb), bordering an oceanic climate (Cfb), with cold and snowy winters and warm summers with cool nights. Unlike the low-lying, sheltered city center, many parts of the province, like Gerede, have humid continental climate (Dfb), due to very cold winters. January mean temperature is 0.7 °C, and temperatures rarely rise more than 12.3 °C and rarely drop below -15.0 °C during winter months. July mean temperature is 19.9 °C and temperatures rarely drop below 8.3 °C and rarely rise up to 32.2 °C in summer months. Lowest temperature recorded is -28.2 °C on 30 January 1958, and the highest was 39.8 on 06 August 2006. Bolu is a usually cloudy and foggy city and annual sunshine hours are about to be 1,600.

Climate data for Bolu (1960-2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.8
Average high °C (°F) 5.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.7
Average low °C (°F) −3.3
Record low °C (°F) −24.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 57.7
Average precipitation days 15.4 14.4 14.8 14.0 13.8 11.6 6.4 5.6 7.1 10.2 11.6 15.4 140.3
Average snowy days 14 11 6 0.4 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 3 9 43
Mean monthly sunshine hours 34 66 100 155 196 213 244 232 185 96 54 28 1,603
Source: Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü [12]

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 Jamii.
  • Bolu Museum holding artifacts from Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods.
  • The hot springs Kaplıcalar.
  • Lake Abant and village of Gölköy, near the university campus.
  • The famous crater lake called Gölcük.

Notable people

  • Antinous (c. 111 - c. 130), favourite of Roman Emperor Hadrian
  • Alexandru Callimachi (1737–1821), Prince of Moldavia
  • The industrialist and philanthropist Izzet Baysal was born in Bolu and has built a great number of schools, hospitals and other public buildings in the town including the campus of Abant Izzet Baysal University in the forest outside the town (founded in 1992).
  • Another name you will see written in many places is Köroğlu as the mountains of Bolu are reputed to be the scene of the Epic of Köroğlu.
  • Utku Varlık (born 1942) - Painter
  • Deniz Sahin (born 1970) - Turkish Windsurf Champion 1989, Balkan Windsurf vice-champion 1992, businessman, entrepreneur, investor
  • A number of gymnasts have trained in Bolu including:
  • 2nd division Boluspor football club once played in the top flight.


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  2. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  3. ^ Statistical Institute
  4. ^ History of Bolu (tr)
  5. ^ Bolu
  6. ^ Raymond Janin, v. 1. Claudiopolis, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XII, Paris 1953, coll. 1077-1079
  7. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. I, coll. 567-572
  8. ^ { Sophrone Pétridès, "Claudiopolis" in Catholic Encyclopedia" (New York 1908}]
  9. ^ Heinrich Gelzer, Ungedruckte und ungenügend veröffentlichte Texte der Notitiae episcopatuum, in: Abhandlungen der philosophisch-historische classe der bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1901, pp. 529–641
  10. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 442
  11. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 838
  12. ^

External links

  • Bolu - Kartalkaya Accommodation - Kartalkaya Golden Key
  • Izzet Baysal University official website
  • - Bolu
  • Pictures of the city
  • Informations about Bolu city
  • Bolu News


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