CULTURE


Hattusha – the capital of the Hittite civilization, one of must-see UNESCO World Heritage sites in Turkiye

Baku, April 1, AZERTAC

Located in the Turkish province of Çorum in Central Anatolia, Hattusha (often called the Boğazkale Archeological Site) - the capital city of the Hittite Civilization was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1986 as a cultural asset.

Hattusha is a remarkable archaeological site with its city organization, well-preserved archaeological structures, rich ornaments, and stonework art.

It is primarily known for its advanced city planning and beautifully carved ornaments on the Royal Gate, the Lion Gate and the two sphinxes on the Sphinx Gate that are now found at Boğazkale Museum nearby.

The city is located 200 kilometers (124 miles) away from Ankara and takes approximately two hours 20 minutes (one way) to drive to.

The property consists of the Hittite city area, the rock sanctuary of Yazılıkaya on the north, the ruins of Kayalı Boğaz on the east and the İbikçam Forest on the south.

A monumental enclosure wall of more than 8 km in length surrounds the whole city. There are remains of older walls around the lower city and section walls dividing the large city area in separate districts.

The ruins of the upper city’s fortification form a double wall with more than a hundred towers and, as far as is known today, five gateways: two in the west, the Lion’s Gate in the south-west, the King’s Gate in the south-east and a procession gate, the Sphinx Gate in the south of the city. The latter is located on top of a high artificial bastion with stone-plastered slopes, with two staircases leading to the gateway at the top and an arched stone tunnel running underneath.

The impressive ruins of fortifications, placed on rocky peaks in the centre of the Upper City, bear witness to the complexity of Hittite rock masonry, and the longest known Hittite hieroglyphic inscription from the Hittite Empire can be found in the Upper City at Nişantepe.

The famous rock sanctuary of Yazılıkaya, which is an open-air temple with two natural chambers cut into the bedrock, lies 2 km northeast of the capital, on a slope of a mountain barrier. The walls of the rock chambers are covered with the richest and most striking samples of Hittite relief art, featuring gods and goddesses and the figures of the Great King Tuthaliya IV.

Kayalı Boğaz, first mentioned in cuneiform inscriptions, is a large fortified settlement located 1.5 km east of the King’s Gate. It may have served as one of the outposts and strongholds, located in the countryside to watch and control the main roads leading to the city. The İbikçam Forest represents one of the last remaining examples of a dense forest covering the mountains south of the capital in Hittite times.

Hattusha is an archaeological site remarkable for its urban organization, the types of construction and rich ornamentation that have been preserved and for the ensemble of rock art.

 

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