The Kastamonu Mansions
The historical Kastamonu Mansions (Kastamonu Evleri), which were built at the end of the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century, are important examples of civil architecture that reflects Turkish society life to this day. The mansions can be visited through the narrow streets and also sometimes by stairs due to the uneven structure of the city. Due to safety reasons and the geographical structure of the city, the mansions were built close to each other.
The most important feature of the mansions, especially those situated in the city centre where the front facade of each building has its own architectural design and aesthetics. The basic idea in civil architecture is to prevent a blockage from the neighbour's sun, shadow or view, as well as to make the most of the area. The former structure was implemented in the best manner possible in the Kastamonu Mansions.
In terms of mansion density, the districts İnebolu and Taşköprü are ranked after the city centre.
You can visit the restored mansions, stay overnight in one of the mansions serving as a hotel, and enjoy the local Kastamonu delicacies in the warm atmosphere of the mansions.
The Kastamonu Castle
This castle is one of the main symbols of Kastamonu, which is located in the highest point of the city. It was built by the Byzantine Komnenos Dynasty on the west side of the city on top of a central rock mass in the 12th century CE. Only the inner part of the original structure (the inner castle) has been preserved into the present day.
The castle is the best vantage point on Kastamonu, as it is 120 meters above the city, and easily accessible. Inside the castle, there are cisterns, dungeons, escape tunnels, and a tomb known as the “Bayraklı Sultan” (The Sultan with the flag).
The Saat Tower
The Saat Tower is situated on the Sarayüstü Hill (Sarayüstü Tepesi) and is one of the most important symbols of the city. There is also a legend surrounding the Saat Tower, which was built in 1885. It is believed that the clock was exiled to Kastamonu. The Legend says that the clock once upon a time used to be called Sarayburnu in İstanbul. But when the sound of its bell scared a pregnant palace lady such that she suffered a miscarriage, the clock was exiled to Kastamonu. The tower provides a unique view of Kastamonu.
The Government House
The Kastamonu Government House (Kastamonu Hükumet Konağı) is one of the most gorgeous and special public buildings in Türkiye. It was built in 1902 according to the plan of Architect Vedat Tek, one of the pioneers of the national architectural movement. The building which represents one of the symbols of the city is situated in a dominant position within the city’s square.
Nasrullah Kadı Social Complex
The mosque in the city centre constitutes a social complex with its square, fountain, bridge and a Madrasah, which was added later to the complex. It is the biggest mosque in Kastamonu. The calligraphies and ornaments inside the mosque were made by the famous calligrapher Ahmet Şevket Efendi.
A widespread legend among the people states that anyone, who drinks once from the fountain visits Kastamonu seven times in life or settles in Kastamonu.
Küre Akşemseddin Mosque
The Mosque was built by Hoca Şemseddin in 1473, who was known as the Minister of Finance (defterdar) of Mehmed the Conqueror. The mosque's dome and minaret are lead-covered. The main entrance is ornamented with mother of pearl inlay. The narthex is on the north side of the mosque has 3 domes. The tiles on the walls depict the Kaaba which date back to the year 1676. During the restoration, the entire lead-cover was renewed. When the restoration was completed in 2009 the interior rendering was completely scraped off and replaced by Khorasan mortar.
The mosque was built in 1272 in a rectangular shaped built of rubble stone. The mosque’s wooden roof is covered with tiles, and the minaret's pedestal is made out of cut stone; as for the body, on the other hand, is made out of bricks. The building was rebuilt after burning down in 1937. Mosque and its Complex are one of the hallmarks of Turkish-Islamic civilization founded on these soils 8 centuries ago. The inscription of the Yılanlı Complex (Yılanlı Külliyesi) indicates that it was built during the last period of the Anatolian Seljuq Empire (1273). The structure which contained a mosque, a fountain, tombs, and a mansion during Ottoman period, served as a Faculty of Medicine and thus was called “Dar al-Shifa” (House of Healing) during the Seljukian and Ottoman eras. This was the place of professional education in the realm of medicine.
The İsmail Bey Social Complex
Located in the İsmail Bey Neighbourhood of the city centre, the complex is located on the Şehinşah Rock, which has two rock tombs from the 7th century BCE.
The Complex contains a group of buildings, including a mosque, a tomb, a madrasa, a Han, a hamam and a library, which exhibit the best examples of the art of the Beylik Period. The camel’s inn and madrasa in the complex, which was a base of trade and knowledge at the time, now serve as a centre for regional cuisine and handicraft.
Kastamonu is home to a number of mosques, complexes, tombs and madrasas that remained from the periods of the Seljuqs, the Beylik of Jandar, and the Ottomans. In Kastamonu, also known as the “City of Awliyas”, the Atabeygazi Mosque was built in 1273, and the Küre Akşemseddin Mosque was built in 1473. These mosques are definitely are among the places to visit.
The Archaeological Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi) is one of the country’s leading museums with regard to the number of historical works.
The museum is divided into three main sections. The first section, titled Stone Artifacts Section, exhibits statues, funerary stelae and sarcophagi. One of the most intriguing works in this section is the Statue of Satyr (Satyr Heykeli), which is exhibited together with the items in the sarcophagus since it was discovered during the excavation of a tumulus.
The second section is dedicated to “M. K. Atatürk and the Hat Revolution”. When Atatürk visited Kastamonu, he held his second speech on the Hat Revolution in the building of the CHP, the then People's Party, which is now a museum. This section exhibits Atatürk's belongings, and documents concerning the revolution.
The third section exhibits stone, metal, terra-cotta, and glass artifacts from and around Kastamonu in a chronological order from prehistory to the Byzantine period. Each of the objects in this section are remarkably interesting. The most important ones among them are the metal objects found during the excavations in Devrekani Kınık.
Especially the Bull's-Head Rhyton, which is a type of vase used during religious rituals, as well as the bowl inscribed with Hittite Hieroglyphs are the most important ones. The hieroglyphic inscription on the bowl shows the name Taprammi. The most important feature of the bowl is the depiction of two pairing unknown animals. Such an image is not found on any other Hittite Era works found in our country - a feature which makes the museum important. Another work in this group found during excavations is the statuette of a warrior with a crested helmet. There are not a lot of similar works in other museums in Türkiye nor across the world.
Another rare archaeological exemplar is the seashell manufactured of Hittite-period glass, which was found during the same excavations. Also, the statuette of the warrior with a crested helmet from a later era is very important.
Since 1997, after the completion of restoration, the Ethnography Museum is situated in a very distinguished venue - the Liva Paşa Mansion (Liva Paşa Konağı), which was built in 1887.
The mansion is a four-story building which includes a basement. Three of these four stories are of active use. The first story has a picture gallery, exhibiting pictures from the recent past of Kastamonu, and also a museum library. The second story is the area which exhibits the thousands of years of folk culture and crafts. Rope making, weaving, lithography, woodworking, shoemaking and Yemeni-shoemaking sections showcase the rooted and sophisticated culture in Kastamonu.
One of the most valuable works exhibited in this section is the door of the Kasaba Köyü Mahmutbey Mosque (Mahmutbey Cami). This door is utterly a masterpiece of art and one of Kastamonu’s most precious works.
The upper story of the Museum is the section are the mannequins which depict scenes of life in the Kastamonu mansion, and the functions of other rooms. This section is important, as it is a showcase of the urban culture in Kastamonu. Also, it is an expression that it was inhabited by the urban nobles.
The İnebolu Houses
The diversity of housing in the region of Kastamonu is primarily expressed through the authentic houses of the seaside district İnebolu. The houses of İnebolu have definite features like their roofs, which are covered with indigenous marlstone; their red ochre painted facades, and their eye-catching white and blue embellishments.
The Old Town Hall
One of the first municipal governments of the Ottoman Empire was the Municipality of Kastamonu and was established in 1868. The construction of the former town hall building started in 1921 and was finished through the support of the guilds and tradesmen in 1924. Today, the restored building is used by a private company as hotel and restaurant, operating under the name “Osmanlı Sarayı”.
It is suggested that this inn, located in the town centre of Hanönü was originally built as a church by Justinian, which than was used as a caravanserai by the Turks.
Taşköprü is 45 km from Kastamonu. The name is derived from the bridge across the Gökırmak River (Gökırmak Nehri), which was built in 1336. The bridge has 7 arches and is 68 m long. It is believed that the bridge was built in the pre-Byzantine period.
In Taşköprü you can saunter among the traditional wooden houses, visit the Pompei polis Ancient City and Museum and taste the Kuyu Kebab, which is unique in tase as compared to other districts of Kastamonu.
The Rock Tomb-Houses of Evkaya
These tomb-houses are located on the surface of bedrock just south of the city centre. There are totally 8 rock-cut tombs in the area, including three monumental tombs. Each burial chamber, in two of the monumental tombs, contains two deathbeds. In particular the Evkaya tomb-house, after which the area is named, is very intriguing due to its front side with columns, and its pediment with the image of “Potnea Theron” – “The Mistress of Animals”. The tombs were built under the influence of the Phrygian culture at the beginning of the 7th Century BCE and were conceived as an open-air cult site rather than rock-tombs.
Built on steep slopes, İnebolu is a lovely seaside town with its historical ochre painted red and burgundy houses and its vivid narrow and steep streets.
İnebolu is the only district that received a medal because of its great service during the War of Independence. We invite you to embrace the vicious waves of the Black Sea; to taste the delicious Döner Kebab and Etli Pide, which are immediately sold out during the lunchtime. To visit the İnebolu Türk Ocağı building - the buildings where Atatürk held his speech on the Hat Revolution- to see the İnebolu City Museum (İnebolu Şehir Müzesi).
Along the İnebolu-Ankara road line is the so-called İstiklal Yolu (National Road), which was of great importance in gaining victory during the War of Independence. The İstiklal Yolu is Türkiye's third-longest trekking route. The 95 km-trekking-route through a spectacular nature is signed according to the international signing system.
The Mahmut Bey Mosque
The Mahmut Bey Mosque (Mahmut Bey Cami) is located 18 km away from the city centre, on the road to the Daday District, in the Kasaba Village. It is also known as the “Çivisiz Cami”. The word “Çivisiz” means without any nail because the mosque was built without using any metal elements. The mosque was built by Emir Mahmut Bey in 1366, during the reign of the Candaroğulları Sultanate. The Mahmut Bey Mosque was built by using a special technique (called Bindirme) to unify wood pieces and has entered the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The mosque with the plain exterior appearance has a gorgeous woodwork from the inside. The wooden surfaces and their root colour paintings have been preserved in the way they were made in 1366.
Pompeiopolis (Zımbıllı Hill Tumulus)
Pompeiopolis was a Roman city in ancient Paphlagonia founded by the Roman general Pompey the Great in 64/63 BCE; and is located at the centre of the Black Sea Region. Due to the climatic conditions, and because it was exploited as a quarry, there is not much left of its remains above the surface.
Important data about the ancient city have emerged in the excavations carried out so far. The excavations across the area partially revealed the lines of the fortification walls from the late antiquity, public baths, marketplaces, villas and other remains of buildings.