Bolu is a city in Turkey, and administrative center of the Bolu Province. The population is 131,264 (2012 census).[3]

Beyazıt Mosque in Bolu city centre.
Beyazıt Mosque in Bolu city centre.
Bolu is located in Turkey
Bolu is located in Europe
Bolu is located in Asia
Bolu is located in Earth
Coordinates: 40°44′05″N 31°36′27″E / 40.73472°N 31.60750°E / 40.73472; 31.60750Coordinates: 40°44′05″N 31°36′27″E / 40.73472°N 31.60750°E / 40.73472; 31.60750
 • MayorTanju Özcan (CHP)
 • District1,524.37 km2 (588.56 sq mi)
726 m (2,382 ft)
 • Urban
 • District
 • District density110/km2 (290/sq mi)

The city has been governed by mayor Tanju Özcan (CHP) since local elections in 2019. It was the site of Ancient Claudiopolis and has also been called Eskihisar ("old fortress") (and as such has several Turkish namesakes).

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.


The Bronze Age artifact in Bolu Museum
The statue from Antonine Dynasty period, 2nd century AD, of crystalline white marble and stems from Bithynia - Claudiopolis in Bolu Museum.

Antiquity until the Seljuk TurksEdit

Sculpture of the Peace Dove at the town hall in Bolu, Turkey

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 (Greek: Βιθύνιον), 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 lover 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 and successor Honorius.

The city was known under Byzantine rule as Hadrianopolis (like many others; not to be confused with Hadrianopolis in Honoriade, also Constanti(n)a, now Viranşehir). Turkmens migrating west settled the city in the 11th century and it was referred to as Boli, Turkicized short for the Greek Polis 'city'. It was recaptured by Byzantines in 1097 but was conquered by the Great Seljuk Sultanate of Rum in 1197.

The Ottoman eraEdit

In 1325, the town was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, becoming known under the present Turkish name - sometimes called Bolou or Boli. It was also ruled by Candaroğlu between 1402 and 1423. It became the chief town of a sanjak in the vilayet (province) of Kastamonu and had a population of 10,000 inhabitants. Bolu was an Ottoman eyalet (state) until the Charter of States (Vilayetler Nizannamesi) of 1864, and was within the area stretching from Beykoz kazasi of İzmid sanjak to Boyabat kazasi of Sinop sanjak. In the late 19th and early 20th century, following the 1864 Vilayetler Nizannamesi, Bolu was part of the Kastamonu Vilayet of the Empire.

Ecclesiastical historyEdit


As secular capital of the Roman province of Honorias, in the civil Diocese of Pontus, the bishopric of Claudiopolis became the metropolitan see, in the sway of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, 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, ranking sixteenth viz. seventeenth among the Patriarchate's Metropolitans.

The city, known as Hadrianopolis (like many others) under Byzantine rule fell to Turkmens migrating west in the 11th century who called it Boli, was recaptured by Byzantines in 1097, besieged unsuccessfully by the Sultanate of Rum in 1177 and reconquered in 1197. Under Ottoman rule since the 14th century it lost to Heraclea Pontica the Metropolitan dignity. It ceased to exist as a residential bishopric in the 15th century.

Michel Lequien mentions twenty bishops of the see to the 13th century; documentary mentions are available for the following incumbent (Arch)bishops :

  • the first is St. Autonomus, said to be an Italian missionary who suffered martyrdom under Diocletian.
  • Callicrates (mentioned in 363 in Socrates Scolasticus' church history)
  • Gerontius (first actual historically documented bishop, in 394 attending the council against Metropolitan Bagadius of Bosra.
  • Olympius (in 431)
  • Calogerus (449 - 458)
  • Carterius (menzionato nel 459)
      • Hypatus (circa 518) [dismissed by Janin]
  • Epictetus (in 536)
    • Vincentius (in 553) [dismissed by Janin]
  • Ciprianus I (in 680)
  • Nicetas I (in 787)
  • Ignatius, a friend and correspondent of Patriarch Photios I of Constantinople
  • Ciprianus II (869 - 879)
  • Nicetas II (10th-11th centuries)[6]
  • John (1028 - 1029).

Titular seeEdit

The archdiocese was nominally restored by the Roman Catholic Church as a Latin Metropolitan titular archbishopric no later than the seventeenth century, first named Claudiopolis (Latin) / Claudiopoli (Curiate Italian), renamed in 1933 as Claudiopolis in Honoriade (Latin) / Claudiopoli di Onoriade (Italiano) / Claudiopolitan(us) in Honoriade (Latin).[7]

It has been held by:

  • Alfredo Bruniera (1954.12.12 – 2000.03.26)
  • Alain Guynot de Boismenu, Sacred Heart Missionaries (M.S.C.) (1945.01.18 – 1953.11.05)
  • Georges-Prudent-Marie Bruley des Varannes (1924.02.13 – 1943.05.29)
  • Giuseppe Fiorenza (1905.12.11 – 1924.01.27)
  • Giovanni Battista Bertagna (1901.03.26 – 1905.02.11)
  • Joseph-Adolphe Gandy, M.E.P. (1889.01.15 – 1892.09.29)
  • Eugène-Jean-Claude-Joseph Desflèches (范若瑟), Paris Foreign Missions Society (M.E.P.) (1883.02.20 – 1887.11.07)
  • Carlo Gigli (1880.12.13 – 1881.08.24)
  • Stephanus Antonius Aucher (1796.07.05 – ?)
  • Tommaso Battiloro (1767.11.20 – 1767.12.14)
  • Titular Bishop: Joannes Nicastro (1724.09.11 – ?)
  • Titular Bishop: Walenty Konstantyn Czulski (1721.02.12 – 1724.02.10?)
  • Titular Bishop: Piotr Tarło (1713.01.30 – 1720.12.16)
  • Jean-Baptiste Adhémar de Monteil de Grignan (1667.08.03 – 1689.03.09)
  • Titular Bishop: Tomás de Paredes, Augustinians (O.E.S.A.) (1652.10.14 – 1667.02.17)

Places of interestEdit

Panoramic view of the Municipality Square in Bolu
Lake Gölcük is a popular tourist destination
Bolu Governorship
Town hall or municipality building in Bolu, Turkey
A former hammam building, now used as a shoe shop and a restaurant, in Bolu, Turkey
Lake Abant Nature Park is the most popular tourism destination near Bolu.
Lake Abant Nature Park exhibits a diverse flora.
Wildlife within Yedigöller National Park includes, but is not limited to, red deer, roe deer, wild boar, brown bears, wolves, red fox, lynx, jungle cats, otters and squirrels.

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


Architecture and sightsEdit

Bolu is home to examples of Ottoman architecture. The Grand Mosque dates to 1899, but was originally built by Bayezid I and is home to decorations that resemble embroideries.[10] The Kadı Mosque is perhaps the best example of classical Ottoman architecture in the city, having been built in 1499 and having its entrance embroidered with ornate kündekari works.[11][12] Other Ottoman mosques in the city include the İmaret Mosque, built in the 16th century,[13] Saraçhane Mosque, built in 1750, Ilıca Mosque, built in 1510–11, Karaköy Cuma Mosque, built in 1562-63 and Tabaklar Mosque, built in 1897.[11]

The remains of the ancient city of Bithynium have been found in four hills in the city centre, Kargatepe, Hisartepe, Hıdırlıktepe and the Uğurlunaip Hill. In Hıdırlıktepe, a tomb and the remains of a theatre have been uncovered. In Hisartepe, a temple believed to have been built by the Roman emperor Hadrian for his lover Antinous has been excavated.[11] In 1911, it was noted that "in and around [Bolu] are numerous marbles with Greek inscriptions, chiefly sepulchral, and architectural fragments."[14]

Bolu Museum was established in 1975 to display and protect artifacts found in the Bolu area. It functions as both an archaeological and an ethnographic museum and is home to 3286 archaeological and 1677 ethnographic artifacts, as well as 12,095 historical coins. The archaeological artifacts chronicle the history of the area from Neolithic to Byzantine eras.[15]


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 is home to 12 local newspapers published in the city centre, two local TV channels (Köroğlu TV and Abant TV), three local radio stations and six local magazines.[16]


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.


Bolu has a borderline oceanic climate and humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb, or Trewartha climate classification: Dcb), with chilly, snowy winters and warm summers with cool nights. Bolu is a usually cloudy and foggy city and annual sunshine hours are about 1,600. Unlike the low-lying, sheltered city center, many parts of the province, like Gerede, have a colder humid continental climate (Dfb/Dcb), due to cold winters. January mean temperature is 0.7 °C, July mean temperature is 19.9 °C.The lowest temperature recorded was -34 °C (-29.2 °F) in February 1929, and the highest was 39.8 °C (103.6 °F) in August 2006. Record snow thickness was 72 cm (28.3 inches) in February 1950.

Climate data for Bolu (1991–2020, extremes 1929–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.8
Average high °C (°F) 5.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.1
Average low °C (°F) −2.4
Record low °C (°F) −31.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 55.6
Average precipitation days 12.97 11.50 13.03 13.00 14.47 12.53 6.23 6.00 8.13 10.97 10.50 12.83 132.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 52.7 76.3 117.8 156.0 198.4 225.0 260.4 251.1 186.0 127.1 90.0 52.7 1,793.5
Mean daily sunshine hours 1.7 2.7 3.8 5.2 6.4 7.5 8.4 8.1 6.2 4.1 3.0 1.7 4.9
Source: Turkish State Meteorological Service[17]

Notable peopleEdit


  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[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ History of Bolu (tr) Archived May 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Bolu
  6. ^ Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Fogg Museum of Art, vol. IV, 2001, p. 21
  7. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 838
  8. ^ Hayreddin-i Tokadi site
  9. ^ Location of Hayreddin-i Tokadi
  10. ^ "Büyük Cami (Yıldım Bayezit Camii)". Bolu Directorate of Culture and Tourism. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  11. ^ a b c Büyük Larousse, vol. 4 (1992), p. 1781, Milliyet Gazetesi Yayınları, "Bolu".
  12. ^ "Kadı Camii". Bolu Directorate for Culture and Tourism. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  13. ^ "İmaret Camii". Bolu Directorate for Culture and Tourism. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  14. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Boli" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  15. ^ "Bolu Müzesi". Bolu Directorate for Culture and Tourism. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  16. ^ "BOLU İLİ MAHALLİ BASIN KURULUŞLARI". Bolu Governorship. Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Resmi İstatistikler: İllerimize Ait Mevism Normalleri (1991–2020)" (in Turkish). Turkish State Meteorological Service. Retrieved 27 June 2021.

Sources and external linksEdit

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. {{cite encyclopedia}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Boli" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • Bolu - Kartalkaya Accommodation - Kartalkaya Golden Key[permanent dead link]
  • Izzet Baysal University official website
  • - Bolu
  • Pictures of the city
  • Information about Bolu city
  • Bolu News
Bibliography - ecclesiastical history
  • Konrad Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, vol. 2, p. 130; vol. 4, p. 153; vol. 5, p. 161; vol. 6, p. 169
  • Raymond Janin, lemma '1. Claudiopolis', in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XII, Paris 1953, coll. 1077-1079
  • Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. I, coll. 567-572
  • { Sophrone Pétridès, "Claudiopolis" in Catholic Encyclopedia" (New York 1908}]
  • 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
  • Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 442