Kastamonu is both a city and a province. Known historically as Castamon, this strategic city is thought to have been established in the 18th century BC and would have been a valuable trading post for the Byzantines. Having been captured by the Selcuk Turks in the 11th century it was finally absored into the Ottoman Empire in 1393.
Kastamonu Castle with its commanding position over the city, is thought to have been built in the Byzantine period and has been modified and re-constructed since. Kastamonu is a very pleasant city with a mix of modern and new architecture. The city straddles the banks of the Karaçomak River. Many of the older buildings in the city can be found in the vicinity of the castle. The 16th century covered bazaar and the mosques are certainly worth visiting.
The countryside around Kastamonu is green and wooded and the city lies about one and a half hours from the Black Sea coast. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made a historical speech here in 1925 where he wore a westernised hat and dress and launched the dress reforms which included the abolition of the fez and other items of clothing in an attempt to westernise Turkish society. The building in which he gave his speech is now the Museum of Kastamonu which provides more information and includes personal belongings of Atatürk.
There is much emphasis on cuisine in Kastamonu and some of the jams and freshly made food products are of outstanding quality. The breakfasts offered by local restaurants are delicious and the local fruits and meat products are especially good. Hacı Bekir the famous Turkish lokum producer was ogrinally from Kastomonu and he takes the credit for providing the world with “Turkish Delight”.
By far the largest contribution to employment comes from agriculture, followed by transport, services and industry. Forestry and the mining of resources such as copper also make a contribution as does tourism to a smaller extent.
Whilst you are here you should visit the Kastamonu Museum and Liva Paşa Mansion Ethnography Museum and the House Rock Tombs on south side of the city which date back to the 7th century BC. There is also the Clock Tower and gardens with commanding views over the city.
We stayed at the Kurşunluhan Hotel which is within a restored caravanserai complex dating back to the 16th century. The atmosphere and comfort levels are superb and its location in the centre of town make it an ideal place to stay whilst you visit Kastamonu. Check out our directory section for more information.