This city is built on very rough lands and has a wet, rainy climate. Zonguldak has a typical Black Sea climate. An average sea water temperature between May and August is about 20 0C. 52% of the land is covered by forest.
With its rich history, green nature, thousand year old caves, natural and historical beauties, Zonguldak is among the “must see” places.
Zonguldak’s districts are Alapli, Caycuma, Devrek, Eregli and Gokcebey.
Zonguldak and its surroundings were colonized by Hittites, Frigs, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Selcuks, Danismends, Candarogullari and Ottomans. After finding of fossil coal in the area, the city center of Zonguldak was built as a settling area in 1849.
By the decision of TBMM in 20 April 1920, Devrek, Eregli, Mudurnu, Bartin, Goynuk was separated from Independent Bolu mutassariflik and bound to Kastamonu province. In 14 May 1920, Zonguldak province subdicision was announced as a province and the kaimakam of Zonguldak province subdivision Ahmet Cevdet Bey became a mutassarif representative. Thus, Zonguldak has become the first district to become a mutassariflik by the decision of TBMM - Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi (Turkish Grand National Assembly/Parliament).
Zonguldak – the first administrative province of Turkish Republic, with 1 April 1924 decision has became a province.
Museums and Ruins
Zonguldak Eregli Museum (Halil Pasa Residence)
With a ground floor and 3 floors on top it is a stone building of mid-hall type design. The building was constructed in 19th century by a dignitary of the city Halil Pasa Karamahmutoglu. This residence, being one of the most remarkable civil architecture examples or Eregli was started to be restored as a museum in 1993 and was opened to public in 1st of August, 1998.
On the first floor of the museum, marble gravestones, marble column caps with figures, glass pots, pieces of jewellery, various metallic works, oil lamps, figures and other archeological artworks that belong to Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods collected in Eregli and surrounding areas are exhibited. The third floor is designed as a museum-house in the style of its period. In the garden of the museum column caps, columns and column bases, various architectural pieces belonging to Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Selcuklu, and Ottoman periods and the cenotaph of sarcophagi and pantomime artist Crispos are exhibited.
Heraklela Pontike (Eregli)
The city was built in 550 B.C. by the Dor tribes during their invasion of the local population called “Mariandyn”.
They formed a strong Greek colony here during VI century B.C. (560) and the region was named Ereğli Herakleia Pontika during this period.
The antic name of the city comes from a name of a legendary hero named Hercules from the Greek mythology. The original name Hercules became Eregli with time. In the 2nd century B.C. the city got under the control of Bithynia kingdom and was invaded by Romans in the 1st century B.C. Later the city got under the control of Byzantium, Genoa and Ottoman Empire and was called “Bender-i Eregli” during the Ottoman period. Eregli, with its rich coal deposits and harbors the city played an important strategic role during the Kurtulus Savasi (War of Liberation) and was invaded by the French army. The city was liberated from the French occupation in 18 June, 1920.
Filyos (Tieion,Teion,Tion) Hisaronu
The history of the antic city Filyos built in the region where the Filyos River is pouring into the Black Sea goes all the way back to the end of the 4th, beginning of the 3rd century B.C. The most well known name of the city is Tieion. This word comes from the name of the founder of the city Tios. According to the archeological findings Filyos that nowadays has protected areas of the first and second orders, had one antic Tieion city acropolis, two necropolises and one antic mole that was left under water. Ruins found in the locality are believed to have Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Genoa origins.
A castle made during Roman period, ruins of an old temple, amphitheatre and a three arch wall that was once a part of a big structure, a water channel that carried water from Cayir Cave to the town are the cultural treasures the survived till our times. Also, many fractured bowl and pot antiquities were found in the region. Restoration works are currently being conducted on some of these historical artworks.
Places to visit
City wall ruins
Remains of the wall contain big and thick blocks of stones made of very hard, grey colored limestone and belong to Hellenistic period. These stone blocks are put together without daub and the small stone blocks in-between are supported by lateral lines. The city walls that embraces most of the city was restored and used by Genoas.
It is located on the hill that was surrounded by the city waters of Eregli. This castle and its surrounding walls that were built in the 13th century can be observed but, is in a bad shape.
Herakles (Hercules) Palace
This structure was built from large stone blocks with a special care and belongs to the antique period. Except for the walls on two sides, the palace is completely destroyed.
The water facilities that were built to meet the city’s water demands are believed to be built during the Roman period. The water network that originates in Kandilli (Bali Village) is carried to the city by about 16 km long line that ends up in a basin and distributed to the center of the city via several water canals. Water shafts were also used in the city.
The lighthouse is located in Cestepe, north from the Black Sea Eregli about 200m above the sea level and is believed to be built during the Hellenistic Period and later restored in the Byzantine Period. Nowadays, only 10 m portion of the lighthouse is remaining.
It was made in honors of Crispos – an Egyptian pantomime artist who lived, performed and died in Black Sea Eregli. Together with the base the cenotaph is 2.10 m tall and has a 19 line poem caved onto it.
Ayasofya Church (Orta Camii)
Hagia Sophia church built by Byzantines within the city area surrounded by walls was converted into a mosque and has been known as Orhan Gazi or Orta Cami since then.
Along the 80 km coastline there are numerous natural beaches and sandy seashores. Starting from the east side Sazkoy, Filyos, Turkali, Gobu, Hisararkasi, Uzunkum, Kapuz, Karakum, Degirmenagzi, Iliksu, Kireclik, Armutçuk, Karadeniz Eregli, Mevreke, Alapli and Kocaman are the most popular beaches with a lot of visitors during the summer season.
The green vegetation that covers more than the half of the province lands include forests with coniferous and wide-leaf trees and diverse flora on the forest floor are used as picnic camps on summer season. These areas are excellent for trekking, photo-safari, fishing and hunting. Forest resting facilities located in Ulutan, Goldagı, Beycuma Yayla, Bostanduzu, 100. Yil, Milli Egemenlik and Kocaman regions provide infrastructure services like water, WC, sitting groups and telephone. Also, shopping and eating out options are available. In autumn season the area becomes amazingly colorful. Tent camping areas, six mountain houses, deer and salmon trout production areas are available during this period and fishing is being done in the lakes.
The highest point of the province – the Bacakli Plateau (1637 m) and the Boluklu Plateau beneath it, with their mountain houses, live mountain traditions and rich flora are great summer camping grounds.
Harmankaya and Degirmenagzi waterfalls in the center of Zonguldak and Gunesli waterfall in Black Sea Eregli are good for trekking and walking.
There are no natural lakes within the borders of the province. Ulutan Artificial Lake in the Central region, Kizilcapinar and Guluc Artificial Lakes in Black Sea Eregli and the Derekoy Pond located in the Catalagzi region is for drinking and industrial pusposes. The surroundings of these lakes are the favorite resting places of the local public.
Harmankaya Fall in Merkezi Kokaksu Region, Degirmenagzi Fall in Kozlu Region and Gunesli Kayalidere Fall in Black Sea Eregli are the most important waterfalls of the region and are great for trekking and picnics.
Cehennemagzi Caves, Gokgol, Kizilelma, Inagzı and Cumayani Caves are worth seeing.
Cehennemagzi Caves (Karadeniz Ereglisi)
Cehennemagzi Caves (Kehanet Caves) named as “Caves in the Acheron-Akheron Canyon” during the antic is located in the Inonu District, known as Ayazma District in the past and is a common name for four separate caves.
Cehennemagzi Caves were also mentioned in the Greek Mythology and served as a secret worshiping place for prayers during the periods when Christianity was forbidden.
This cave is located in the Uzulmez region, right on the side of the Zonguldak - Ankara highway. Water coming out of the cave pours into the Uzulmez Valley. The entrance of the cave is wide and high between the blocks of rocks. About 250 m from the entrance starts a siphon. Although siphon is 10 m long, it can be passed by walking during the summer season when water is drawn back. Once the siphon is passed, you enter an underground valley. A yellow mud brought by the flood waters accumulate on the floor of the valley and it is possible to see some accumulated water. After this point the cave splits into two branches that pass through extremely rich and beautiful formations. 3200 m long cave progresses in curves. Although the rivers and internal lakes can be easily passed by walking, sudden floods can happen during heavy raining. Because of this potential danger the cave expeditions must be done in summer and autumn seasons.
The cave is located in Zonguldak province, Gelik region, Ayici Village, Kizilelma district and can be easily reached by a vehicle. The waters of Aydin and Buyuk Ay valleys sink into an active ponor opening. The entrance to the cave is through a 30x10 m fossil opening on top and water starts about 100 m ahead. The cave progresses along with water in a horizontal direction. After the first 100 m, the next 400 m can be passed crawling. At the end of these 400 m pathway there is a siphon. This siphon can be passed during autumn seasons. After passing the siphon the tunnel in the cave becomes very huge.
About 3200 m ahead in the cave that basically continues as a single active tunnel, there is a sky opening 80 m high that is intense enough to illuminate the lake at the bottom. The cave continues for another three kilometers with lakes and ends up with two siphons. The water from here was determined to come out from Cumayani Cave.
This cave is in Zonguldak province, inside the city, on the 15th km of Kilimli Road, on the coast of the city. The fossil entrance of the cave is facing the sea and the cave is 800 m long in total. After 50 m, the passage becomes only wide enough for one person to pass and continues as a runlet at some places. 400 m ahead there is a siphon that can be crossed by walking during summer seasons. The cave then continues for another 400 meters and ends up with a siphon.
The cave is located in the Cumayani region, three kilometers away from the Catalagzi ditrict. It is a part of the Kizilelma- Cumayani underground water system and has many opening to the outside. The tunnel can be reached either by walking 100 m form the entrance where the water comes out or walking 75 m from the dry entrance on top. The tunnel starts with an incredibly beautiful Travertine that plays the role of a bridge on the underground valley. 60 m high, 70 m long tunnel has a thick layer of mud on its floor and ends with a siphon. If you walk to the left from the Travertine, in the direction of the water flow you’ll reach siphon in the Kizilelma Cave direction. You’ll need a boat in this tunnel.
Due to sudden floods during rain seasons or unexpected heavy raining the cave imposes a life threatening danger.
Citdere Nature Protection Zone
It is located in the Sekermeşe and Dibekyani regions of the Yenice district. This area can be reached by 45 m long road that branch from the Zonguldak – Ankara highway near Yenice. With its rich ecosystem that brings together many diverse tree specie, oak trees (Quercus hartwvissiana) of a rare height and proportions, numerous wild animals some of which are very rare and have a risk of becoming extinct are taken into shelter in this zone.
Zonguldak exhibits a great combination of water and vegetation. Nature beauties like forests, rivers, rivulets and caves are great places for taking photographs. Resting facilities in the forests of Bostanduzu, Goldagi, 100. Yil, Milli Egemenlik, Ulutan, Yayla Regions, Harmankaya, Gunesli, Degirmenagzi valleys and waterfalls, Gokgol, Sofular, Kizilelma, Cumayani Caves, Boluklu and Bacakli Plateaus have unique beauties for photo safari activities.
Zonguldak also shows a great diversity in hunting and wildlife. Especially Gokgol, Sofular, Kizilelma and Cumayani forests are good for hunting wild animals like bear, boar, wolf, fox, badger, jackal, mountain goat, squirrel, deer, rabbit and birds like canvasback duck, wild dove and woodcock. You can fish for carp, trout and coral in rivers and horse mackerel, anchovy, whiting, bonito and red mullet in the sea. While hunting aimed at wildlife are mostly for hobby and entertainment, fishing done in the sea are mostly for commercial purposes.
The most popular angling places are the Black Sea, Ulutan Artificial Lake, Kizilcapinar Artificial Lake, Filyos River, Devrek River, Guluc River and Alapli River. The Black Sea comes on top of this list. The angling is also done in the rivulets of Bostanduzu and Iliksu regions.
Biking tours are being organized around the Eregli region. The road in the direction Eregli – Armutcuk – Gokceler has both a favorable slope suited for biking and great view of historical and natural beauties of the region on its surroundings.
Mountain Nature Tours
Bacakli, Boluklu and Kiz Kulagi plateaus in Alapli, Goldagi, Esenlik and Beycuma plateaus in Merkez, Bostanduzu and Dirgine valleys in Devrek and Pamukduzu locality in Gokcebey are the most popular regions for mountain and nature walks. Also the regions around Harmankaya, Gunesli and Degirmenagzi falls are the first places that come to mind for trekking activities.
Every year, yachts that are participating in the international Black Sea Yacht Rally organized by Atakoy Marina arrive at Zonguldak and Eregli ports.
The local cuisine is mostly based on wheat products (wheat and corn flour). Su boregi, kabakli borek, bazlama, cizleme, gozleme, komec ekmegi, pides, tarhana corbası, ugmac corbasi, goce corbasi, malayi are some examples of the local dishes. Eregli pizza, Osmanli strawberry, Caycuma yogur, Devrek cookie and now the kuzu kestanesi (a sort of chestnut) that grows in the forests of Zonguldak are foods whose names became synonymous with these regions.
Devrek walking sticks, elpek choth and small coal miner figures are the most preferred souvenirs. Elpek cloth are made from flax and cotton using handlooms called “duzen”.www.zonguldak.bel.trwww.zonguldak.gov.tr