Historic Town of Beypazari

Historic Town of Beypazari

Located about 100 km west of the capital Ankara, Beypazarı is a district that has been inhabited since ancient times and boasts a rich history and natural assets. Throughout its history, it has changed hands among various empires and dynasties such as the Hittites, Phrygians, Galatians, Romans, Byzantine Empire, Seljuk Turks, and Ottoman dynasties. During the Seljuk rule, it was an important trade center on the Silk Road between Constantinople and Baghdad, while during Ottoman rule, it served as a military center of government.

One of the most beautiful regions of Beypazarı is the Inozu Valley located in the north of the city. It is a region abundant in natural vegetation and architectural attractions, with numerous human-made caves on its rocky slopes on two sides. These caves were used as housing, churches, and graves during Roman times and are also thought to have served as cenotaphs and rock churches dating back to early Byzantine times when religious services were held.

Historic Town of Beypazari

The vineyards and orchards on the slopes of Beypazarı, as well as the wine cellar homes at the bottom of the valley, are prominent features of local vineyard life. The region is also abundant in water resources, including streams, groundwater, and hot springs, making it attractive for its fertile soil and economic activities such as irrigated agriculture. All these factors led to the formation of the town of Beypazarı.

At the center of Beypazarı's urban fabric lies the 200-year-old bazaar, a bustling marketplace that was one of the largest in the region during the Ottoman period. In fact, the name "Beypazar" is derived from "bazaar."

The traditional Turkish houses in Beypazarı are characterized by a distinctive exterior, interior, and center plan. These three-story buildings typically feature stone ground levels and upper levels constructed of stone or mud-brick. While the ground floors serve different purposes due to their rocky flooring, the first and second floors are meticulously designed as main living spaces. The exterior homes consist of a series of rooms with a sofa in front, while stairs are usually situated in the middle of these areas or within the sofas. Rooms facing the garden or road are typically located at the front, with smaller rooms positioned at angles along the walls. Service areas may or may not be found on this floor, while rooms with internal sofas are located on either side of the main sofas. Stairs connect the different levels.

Beypazarı is an exemplary representation of Ottoman urbanism from the 19th century. It embodies the administrative, ecological (Inozu Valley), aesthetic, economic (bazaar), technological (house design), and sociocultural conditions of the period. The area features intact examples of Seljuk and Ottoman religious architecture, as well as precious instances of traditional Turkish houses with internal and external spatial layouts, material specialties, structural elements, internal design components, and street textures that work with nature.

In 2020, the Historic Town of Beypazarı was added to the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.