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MUDURNU

Heart of chicken-rearing country                                            Population: 5,250

MudurnuhouseArmutcular KonağıOld name: Moderna

 Market day: Saturday 

Ask a Turk what they know about Mudurnu and they will probably come up with the chicken factory which has given its name to a chain of fast-chicken restaurants.

These days the factory is a pale imitation of its former self but Mudurnu is a surprisingly lovely, predominantly Ottoman town set on the banks of a river in one of Turkey’s greener corners.

Around town

Like Safranbolu and Kastamonu, it retains a large number of wonderful wooden mansions, some of them of stupendous size, an indication of the town's greater importance in the days when it straddled the Silk Road. The best of them, including the superb but crumbling Armutcular and Haytalar Konakları, stick close to the river; others have been restored to house comfortable hotels and restaurants.MudurnuclockMudurnu clocktower was originally built in 1891 but rebuilt after fire in the 1960s

Strolling through the town centre you’ll quickly discover the bazaar which resembles a cut-down version of the more famous one in Safranbolu. Here tiny kiosks still echo to the clatter of the copper-beaters, while elderly saddlemakers sit cross-legged on the floor to stitch their wares.

A small museum is housed on the top-floor of the large stone building that once housed the local courthouse (the ground floor has at atmospheric cafe). You may need to ask to be let in for a look round (the town's official museum is out on a limb in an old schoolhouse and contains much the same sort of items as the town-centre museum). 

Also in the town centre is the superb, newly restored Yıldırım Beyazıt Hamamı which dates back to 1374. It is still open regularly for male visitors although women who want a massage may need to make an appointment. Just across the road is the large mosque to which it was originally attached. 

MudurnuhamamYıldırım Beyazıt Hamamı

Eating

Mudurnu is too small to have much of a dining scene but nevertheless I thought the food at the Tarihi Mudurnu Meram Restaurant, tucked away up a fllght of stairs on Ankara Caddesi in the town centre, was unexpectedly tasty and nicely presented.

Sleeping

Of Mudurnu’s places to stay, the Haci Şakirler Konağı, with its low-ceilinged, wood-panelled Ottoman-style rooms, is the most atmospheric.

However, the Keyvanlar Konağı is larger, open every day and has a great riverside location as well as an outdoor restaurant for romantic alfresco meals.

The Yarışkaşı Konağı, housed in an imitation Ottoman building on the northerly outskirts, offers great views over a quiet valley.

Prices at all these hotels tend to rise significantly at weekends.

Fuatbeyler Konağı. Tel: 0374-421 2444

Haci Abdullahlar Konağı

Hacı Şakirler Konağı

Keyvanlar Konağı

Mudurnu İpekyolu Otel. Tel: 0374-421 2010

Yarışkaşı Konağı

Transport info

Driving from İstanbul, you take the main Ankara highway and turn south at Bolu. There are hourly buses along a plesant country road from Bolu town centre to Mudurnu and then from Mudurnu to Lake Abant (25km, summer only). One bus a day also heads south from Mudurnu to Göynük and vice versa.

Day trip destinations

Abant Gölü (Lake Abant)

Bolu

Göynük

Read more about Mudurnu: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-312518-mansions-mosques-and-memories-of-old-mudurnu.htmlMudurnucats

 

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