Your Turkish Guide to Taraklı & Göynük
Did you know you could visit these two lovely villages as a day trip from Istanbul? You don't have to spend the night even. Good for those who have limited time but still yearn for an activity and want to get away from hectic city? Districts of Sakarya & Bolu respectively, spending half day in Taraklı and Göynük is the perfect itinerary.
Becoming famous in 2010 with TV commercials as Mümkünlü, the town where anything is possible, Taraklı has earned the badge of citta slow with its quiet and unique atmosphere. Its name originates from the wooden combs (tarak in Turkish) which is referenced at Evliya Celebi's travel book.
Once a school then the City Hall, now the Ethnography Museum or Culture House will take you back in time with many pieces like kitchenware, carpets, saddles, spoons, toys and agricultural implements, looms, wrought iron models, works of famous calligraphist Saim Özel and folk costumes.
Being on the Silk Road, historical hostelry Hacı Atıf Han has served as the place where caravans used to stop over. Mansions Çakırlar, Kadirler, Vali and Fenerli House will most definitely draw your attention.
Rüştiye School has served from Ottoman times until the Republic Era.
Yunus Paşa (Kurşunlu) Mosque owes its name to its lead dome. A piece of Sinan the Great, it has been built during Yavuz Sultan Selim's Egypt voyage. The hammam next door used to be the heating source of the mosque.
Another attraction is the 7 century old historic plane tree. It's a tradition in Ottoman Empire to plant a plane tree to the conquered towns.
There are 2 cisterns dating back to 10-20th century BC on Hisar Hill which offers you panoramic views of the town.
I was surprised to hear that a kind of improvised theatre called "yalaza" still carries on the spirit of Nasreddin Hodja among locals with a sense of humor & wit. You'll be surprised how warm they are, go and try to make up a conversation 🙂
Last but not least, don't forget to try the uhut desert that is made of wheat.
Originally called Koinon Gallicanon, the town has carried the meaning of "matured ". Since it hasn't been invaded ever since Ottoman era, the town is full of preserved mansions of 150 years old. The typical wooden houses of West Black Sea region has great weight in attracting tourists. Selected as an urban protected area, Göynük has 158 civil landmarks including mosques, fountains, mausoleums and houses.
Göynük has become citta slow in 2017. The Victory Tower is the first monument to have been built in Republic Era to symbolize Göynük's support in war of independence. The three storey tower offers wonderful views of the town.
Visit Arasta, the typical Anatolian bazaar. You'll find anything from craftsmanship to souvenirs here.
Spare some time to take a closer look at one of the famous mansions; Akşemsettinoğlu (biggest in town) , Müderrisler (currently a hotel) and Postacılar Mansions (where Atatürk 's mother has been) , to name a few. The first is the biggest whereas the latter serves as a hotel today. Georgian Mansion Museum is another option where you could witness the daily life once upon a time and observe the exhibits made by women; from swashbuckler clothes to women's engagement gowns, copper products and ornaments.
Gazi Süleyman Paşa Mosque and the Hammam right next door are worthy of visiting too.
Have a chat with Şevket Amca who earns a living out of making oil-lamps. He’s the face of Göynük, welcomes all local & foreign visitors. You can leave a note to his memory book 🙂
10 minutes from the center, the ruins from phrygian can be found as open air museum.
Lake Çubuk is only 14km north of Göynük. A landslide from Kayabaşı Hill had blocked the valley and thus formed this very lake. You can't resist breathing fresh air on the wooden pier, enjoying the glamour of the lake, surrounded by pine trees. Peace & fairytale could be the two words popping up in your mind, beware 😉
Funny fact is that the 7 windmills here were constructed for a movie set.
You'll come across quince trees everywhere you look. Paşazade Restaurant is the culinary address to eat keşli cevizli kaşık sapı mantısı (ravioli) and güveçte kaşarlı kanlıca mantarı (mushroom). Trust me, you won't regret any.
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