Leonhard’s Trail

Leonhard's Trail

Leonhard’s Trail

Prof. Dr. Richard Leonhard was the director of German Archeology Institute in Istanbul in late 19th, early 20the Century. He made three trips into the Asia Minor and the third was to Paphlagonia in 1903. Afterwards he wrote the book PAPHLAGONIA / Reisen und Forschungen im Nördlishen Kleinasien which was published in Berlin 1915. His trip to Safranbolu was in a rainy October. He came from Daday thru Eflani; made extensive archeological surveys in Kocanos Region as well as his notes on the social life are important. He entered to the City of Safranbolu on October 15, 1903 just before the sun set. He stayed in Kıranköy which was an Orthodox Christian Quarter, for three days. It seems that Safranbolu was a torn out town with population of 4705 Moslem and 2795 Orthodox, as he wrote “The industry, which may have been previously lively goes everywhere due to cheap European imports” actually after the heydays in 18th Century. He left the City of Safranbolu to Sora and Hadrianapolis all were Episcopal settlements, before. He stayed at Hacilarobası and visited the archeological sites in the valley of Soğanlı Su. The valley is still very much attractive with its strikingly beautiful geomorphology, flora and present settlements like Ilbarıt, Hacılarobası, Karakoyunlu, Çavuşlar, etc. You can find the English translation of Leonard’s trip in Safranbolu at https://gulevisafranbolu.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/travels-and-su…ern-asia-minor/ ‎

Leonhard’s Trail follows generally the route from Araç Su to the Soğanlı Su Valley with very rich cultural heritage terrain.



Drive along Kastamonu Highway22 km (from the Historic Center of Safranbolu) until Çerçen Bridge along Araç Çayı. Pass the bridge and climb up by following the arrows to Üçbölük Köyü . Asar which is explained in Paphlagonia is on your left around 30th km. We recommend visiting Asar on the way back to Safranbolu, later. Ilbarıt is around 35 km. You shall visit the very unique Village Museum which was founded and kept alive by Mr. Recai Demiröz, if he is not in the Museum you can find him in his atelier while painting.


Ilbarıt was an Episcopal settlement in 5th Century. You can see the remaining of the stone graves scattered in the surrounding which were destroyed by treasure hunters.

Drive down to the canyon of Soğanlı Su thru the historic wine yards which are mostly not cultivated anymore. The north bank of the canyon with good orientation and soil should be an important wine region in the heydays.

On a junction about 38th km turn right and follow to Hacılarobası Village. Until recent dates while the surrounding village including Ilbarıt was Christian, Hacılarıobası was a Bektaşi (heterodox Moslem) village. If you refer to Paphlagonia, you will see the indications. We like you to have your lunch at Hacılarobası Köy Odası (community center). The host is the head of the village Mr. Zekai Özay (phone: +90 546 5396707). The hospitable and handy women of the village will be making and cooking gözleme and will serve Çapaçul a specialty which is made out of Kaplıca bulgur and wine leaves (recipe will follow). Of course they will serve baklava, as well.


Hacılarobası was founded in 16th Century by the Turkic nomads at the buttom of the canyon. Hacılarobası is called “fortified village”. Although having very friendly relation with the neighbor Christian villages, the fortification should be related to the past Celali Upraises, in 16th Century which created terrible turbulence in the Ottoman periphery.

Hacılarobası Village

Hacılarobası Village

After a rest you may drive to Sallar and KarakoyunluVillages along the upper Soğanlı Su. Leonhard, suggest that the villagers of Karakoyunlu had Circassian origin referring to the gooses they raise. You will pass the bridge and visit one of the most striking rock graves of Soğanlı Su from Paphlagonian period.


You will drive thru SallarVillage with a beautiful view to take a breath where friendly villagers present you Turkish tea. Destination is Asar where you may have drinks and snacks.




This trip can be arranged for groups of 6 – 12 explorers.

Project partners are Gulevisafranbolu and Batuta Tourism.

Please call Gül Canbulat (+90 530 2430045, gulevi@canbulat.com.tr) for your questions and price.

Çapaçul Aşı

Material: (for 6 persons)

Kaplıca[1] Bulgur: 2 cups

Dry Onion: 2 medium size

Butter: 4 table spoon

Yoghurt: 1 cup

Wine leaves: 15-20



Wash bulgur and drain the water. Cut 1 onion into small pieces. Fry in a pot with 2 table spoon of butter until golden. Add bulgur and fry little bid then add hot water as much us cover the bulgur and keep cooking on low heat until al dente[2]. Wash the leaves, drain, remove tick veins and cut irregular pieces. Add leaves and mix for few minutes on fire. Add yoghurt. If it is too tick add some hot water. Meantime, cut the other onion into segments. Fry with the remaining butter until caramelized, slowly. Share to the plates and taste with fried onion.

[1] wild wheat, in other names farro, einkorn, siyes; Latin: triticum monococcum

[2] Bulgur is precooked wheat, therefore do not overcook.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s