Principles for the conservation of the rural heritage of Hacılarobası (Safranbolu)

Ballıoğlu, Tuğba
Rural landscapes, formed by the interaction between human beings and nature over hundreds of years, are reflections of social structures that shape, use and transform them in the past and present. As cultural heritage, rural landscapes embrace not only physical attributes but also cultures, traditions, practices, expressions of local communities’ identity and belonging, and values and meanings attributed to those areas by the inhabitants. However, rural settlements, shaped to be in harmony with their geography, have faced economic, social and environmental challenges in line with developing technology and changing needs. Population loss in rural areas as the effect of ‘modernization’ constitutes an important issue all over the world. Depopulation results in the neglect, gradual deterioration and eventual destruction of traditional environments created through traditional methods, accumulated knowledge and cultural practices, whilst this also causes the loss of the intangible values that are integral components of rural heritage. Rural areas that survive without these components thus lose their identities as ‘living systems’. Considering the changing lifestyles and socio-cultural, economic and physical threats to rural areas, preserving their heritage values is of great significance. Accordingly, rural heritage has been the subject of ever-increasing international and interdisciplinary research over the past years since rural landscapes are subject to continuous and irreversible transformation processes. Safranbolu, located in the Western Black Sea Region of Turkey, is a significant historic town included in the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its outstanding universal values. Each village of this town has cultural and natural values in itself with its local and site-specific characteristics, settlement fabrics, agrarian structures and fertile lands. Some of these settlements have managed to better preserve their rural identity, while some have completely lost it. Hacılarobası is one of Safranbolu’s relatively well-preserved historic rural settlements. This village includes a wide range of heritage assets from historic buildings to archaeological remains and has distinctive features from the other traditional settlements in the region. Even so, Hacılarobası, a Yörük village, has lost a significant part of its population and become a predominantly abandoned settlement. Since the village has preserved its original physical characteristics to a great extent but is exposed to the risk of complete abandonment and thus losing its tangible and intangible values, it is selected as a case study within the scope of this thesis. This study, structured around Hacılarobası, is based on the field surveys undertaken to better understand the local characteristics of this area and identify the values and opportunities of and threats to this place. This thesis argues that the conservation of rural heritage values as a whole is possible only through the continuity of the local communities’ relationships with their environment and adaptation to the changing living conditions respecting these values. Accordingly, it aims at developing a sustainable conservation approach for the village of Hacılarobası. In this regard, a set of conservation principles and site-specific proposals based on the values and opportunities of and threats to the village are developed in order to keep the current inhabitants in place and revitalize rural life.


Conservation of rural architectural heritage as part of historic rural landscapes: principles and strategies for Zeytinliköy-Agios Theodoros (Gökçeada)
Çolak, Merve; Serin, Ufuk; Conservation of Cultural Heritage in Department of Architecture (2019)
Interactions between traditional rural architecture, the natural environment surrounding it, and the socio-cultural characteristics of the local community using it have all long been debated in terms of the conservation of cultural heritage. However, understanding the human beings and nature, and the tangible and intangible values that emerge as a result of interactions between them as a whole, within the concept of the ‘historical rural landscape’, have become a current issue as a consequence of the incorp...
Atamtürk, Berna; Bilgin Altınöz, Ayşe Güliz; Asrav, Emine Çiğdem; Conservation of Cultural Heritage in Department of Architecture (2022-12-2)
Historic rural landscapes are the phenomenon shaped the reciprocal interaction between human and nature, containing cultural, natural, social, economic as well as built environment which are the result of this interaction. Their formation and transformation depend on three factors; time that makes landscape ‘historic’ as memory and knowledge vector, people as connective contributor of the traits of ‘rural’, nature as stage of the ‘landscape’. These interrelations create local tangible and intangible charact...
An assessment and re-identification of the rural heritage site of Santa (Dumanlı köy, Gümüşhane)
Abay, Pelin; Serin, Ufuk; Conservation of Cultural Heritage in Department of Architecture (2023-1-03)
Since the Industrial Revolution, rural landscapes, the product of the mutual relationship of human beings and nature, have witnessed a process of depopulation throughout the world for a variety of reasons. The Population Exchange between Turkey and Greece in 1923 (1923 Türkiye-Yunanistan Nüfus Mübadelesi) – one of the reasons for the depopulation of rural areas in Turkey – had major repercussions on both the immigrant Turks and emigrant Rums, as well as on the rural settlements and landscapes. These r...
The role of architectural heritage in the rural built environment: a case study
Başkan, Emine Gizem; Elias Özkan, Soofia Tahira; Department of Architecture (2008)
The built environment has mostly evolved under the influence of cultural heritage and has been shaped in response to our needs and resources. However, rapid changes have occurred in this environment with the impacts of globalization and mass production. The impact of these changes threatens to obliterate the unique character of rural settlements, which unlike urban areas still possess cultural identity. The aim of this study was to investigate the sustainable transmission of rural building heritage to prosp...
Place and community driven conservation and empowerment in historic rural landscapes: principles and strategies for Taşkale Village, Turkey /
Asrav, Emine Çiğdem; Bilgin Altınöz, Ayşe Güliz; Restoration in Department of Architecture (2015)
Historic rural landscapes embody special characteristics and values intrinsic to the place and the community as a result of the reciprocal interaction between man and nature where man acts as the ‘social contributor’ and nature acts as the ‘physical mediator’. This relationship produces the built environment instantly as the ‘indigenous result’. In the dynamic process of formation, transformation and prolongation, a bond is created among these components the coalescence of which provides the sustainability ...
Citation Formats
T. Ballıoğlu, “Principles for the conservation of the rural heritage of Hacılarobası (Safranbolu),” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2023.