Hattusa

Hattusa is located in Çorum, east of Ankara, near the town of Boğazkale. Added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1986, the site was the capital of the Hittite Empire in the Late Bronze Age, the 14th millennium BC, from about 1375 to 1200 BC.

The Hittites were an Indo-European people. They swept through Anatolia around 2000 BC conquering Hatti, whose name they borrowed and culture they incorporated. Establishing Hattusa as their capital city and enlarging it during the following millennium, the Hittite Empire stretched across Anatolia and incorporated parts of Syria at its height.

The city housed many large temple complexes, fortifications, and a large city wall. The largest temple, and the town’s highlight, is the Great Temple, dedicated to two deities: Teshub, the Storm God, and Hepatu, the Sun Goddess. You can also visit the Yerkapı ramparts and follow the largest city wall for a good distance. This is the highest part of the city defenses, and features a postern, a tunnel running through it, and the Sphinx Gate atop.

There are two other main gates on the city wall, the King’s Gate and the Lion’s Gate. You can see many stone reliefs on large blocks on either side of these gates.

About 3 km from Hattusa is Yazılıkaya, a Hittite religious sanctuary. It has two rock galleries with impressive rock reliefs, one of which was the holiest religious sanctuary of the Hittites.