Exploring the Celtikdere Byzantine Church in Bolu, Turkey

Celtikdere Byzantine Church

Celtikdere (Çeltikdere in Turkish) Byzantine Church is one of the many underappreciated historical gems in Anatolia. Situated in the village of Celtikdere, in the district of Seben in the province of Bolu, Celtikdere Byzantine Church is presumed to be built in the 11th century (the Middle Byzantine Period [843–1204]. This ancient religious complex was designed with the cross-in-square (or crossed-dome) plan, which was a common layout of the middle and late-period Byzantine churches.

The mountainous outskirts of the village of Celtikdere where the church stands are shrouded in dense forests and boast a rich array of flora and fauna. Early research done on the church revealed that until 1952, there had been a wooden mosque built on top of the church ruins. Later on, an even newer mosque was constructed by the residents of the village of Celtikdere by using the wooden pieces of the former mosque.

Approching the Celtikdere Byzantine Church
A picture of the mosque built on the church ruins in 1952

How to get to Celtikdere Byzantine Church

Reaching the church might be slightly challenging due to its remote and mountainous location. However, this article will give all the necessary information you need to reach the church comfortably.

On Google maps and other map services, it appears that the road will take you all the way to the church. The road is comfortable to navigate through until the village. However, the last 800 meter-distance between the village and church is very difficult to drive on. Unless you have a vehicle suitable for off-road conditions, I recommend you to leave your car where the village ends and walk the rest of the way. Below is the exact location where you should be leaving your vehicle:

The spot where I left my car

Argun Konuk
Argun Konuk

I am a 24 year old Turkish travel & history enthusiast, sharing my travel experiences in Turkey and different parts of the world!

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