Hattusa or Bogazkoy were the significant capital of the ancient Hittite Empire, which dominated much of the interior of Anatolia. Visiting this place is one of the essential stages of a journey into the interior of Turkey.
This important archaeological site reflects a moment in the history of the maximum splendor of the Hittite civilization, which was crucial in much of the Middle East. UNESCO registered this site as a World Heritage Site in 1986.
The Hittite Empire was one of the most powerful in the Middle East in antiquity, but it remains one of the most mysterious.
Hattusa, located in today’s Bogazkale town of Çorum province, managed to defeat the neighboring Anatolian peoples and expand their lands. It reached its peak in the 14th century. The old double wall of the city was preserved by the Hittites, fortified with both towers and defensible interiors. The best condition is the lion’s and king’s gates, of which only a few remain.
History of Hattusa
This city is the land of the Hittites. However, very few people know about the Hittites. The Hittites are mentioned for the first time in the Bible. They says that these people descend from Het, Noah’s great-grandson. It looks like a legend, a fiction, but Tutankhamun and II. Ramses is already a genuine personality, and the Hittites gain essential features alongside them.
The truth is that they were very warlike people, and they were afraid of them. So the widow of Tutankhamun (Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt) sent an envoy to one of the Hittite kings with an offer.
Time passed, and soon the Hittite empire mysteriously disappeared from the face of the earth. But ancient Greek historians are silent about the Hittites. Centuries later, modern historians find traces of the Hittites in Turkey, not far from the humble village of Bogazkale (150 km from Ankara and 230 km from Goreme).
Known as the most important city of the Hittites, this city left most of the places to see here. But before, other people lived in these places. The Hittite king Anitta besieged Hattusa, hoping to find great treasures. But there was no treasure, and the enraged Anitta decided to burn the city, cursing its ruins.
Years pass, and Anitta’s granddaughter ignores his grandfather’s curse and makes Hattusa the capital of the Hittite state. When the Hittite empire began to decline, the Phrygians who came here settled in its old prosperity. Both Chattians and Phrygians left their mark on Hattusa.
Information About Hattusa
The ancient city has a circular route of 6,5 km, which can be traveled by car or on foot to see all the ruins of this city. The road of the vehicle is well paved. You can go both clockwise and against it. In the first part of the route, you will always have to climb the mountain, and in the second half of the way, you will descend. If you decide to visit Hattusa on foot, remember that the climbing is clockwise.
Be sure to choose comfortable shoes. Taxi tours also organize around the national park so that you can go from one ruin to another with this 6,5 km car.
The main attraction of this city is the ruins of the Great Temple. Most likely, it was built in honor of Teshuva, the god of thunder, and Hebat, the sun goddess. Its ruins (restored ones) are near the national park entrance. There is also a stone jar, which was a gift for the wedding of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. However, some believe it is a meteorite and came from the sky. Which means it can grant wishes.
A rock in the ancient city is attractive with its hieroglyphic inscriptions, which are unfortunately not very well preserved. It knows that the name of the last king of the Hittites is mentioned in these lines. Further behind the rock are the ruins of the Phrygian fortress Sarikale in Hattusa and the ruins of the palace complex. Only the lower parts and fragments of the walls have survived the palace. But there is a beautiful view of the Great Temple from here.
Useful Tips About Hattusa
- Take plenty of water with you because there is no store in the national park where you can stock up on water. True, there is a small spring in Hattusa (you can drink water), but you must reach it first.
- You need to buy a ticket to visit the Hattusa ruins. Ticket offices open at 9.00. But you can also go for free (if you are going to walk) as the parking area isn’t entirely fenced. You have to arrive early for this.
- If you go to Hattusa for more than one day, you can spend the night in Bogazkale hotels.