The King's Gate is another monumental gate in Hattusa. About as well-known and significant as the Lion Gate, it had a large deep relief of a warrior/king-like figure. Unlike the other gate, this sculpture has been taken to the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations in Ankara, where it is on display. A replica is now in its place at the actual gate. Particularly well-preserved here are the gate hinge mounts and scrapes on the pavement from the gates.
Near the Sphinx Gate in the walls of Hattusa is a postern gate, a small gate to allow those in the city to make forays outside the walls or allow people in without using a more vulnerable main gate during times of attack. It is nicely intact and very impressive, a long, stone-lined tunnel through the base of the stone ramparts under the visible walls. One can walk into it at the inside end, go all the way through to outside the walls, and then explore outside before coming back through a different meansm, such as a nearby stairway up the ramparts.
Like other spots in Hattusa, it is right on the road that runs through the site.
One of the most significant, and famous, sites in Hattusa itself is the Lion Gate. This monumental gate is still partly intact and flanked by its two large carved lion statues, although the arch over the top has gone. The lions even now are in good condition with details such as the mane carved on the surface and well-preserved. Some hieroglyphic symbols are visible above one of the lions. The faces apparently had inlays of other materials that are now gone.
The gate is easily found by following the paved road that travels around the inside of the city ruins, passing this and the other major sites in Hattusa.
Yazilikaya, a Turkish name meaning "Inscripted Rock," is the sanctuary for the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusa. It is a short distance from the city ruins themselves and is today a separate site.
Although small, this site is incredibly impressive and atmospheric. Hattusa proper is mostly ruins and, aside from the Liona Gate lions and a few other very worn sculptures, lacks artwork. Yazilikaya, on the other hand, has very little in the way of structural ruins but, because the core was carved into the deep rock crevices themselves, it possess extensive and detailed Hittite relief carvings of gods, men, women, warriors, and kings.
The entrance to the site includes the remains of buildings and steps constructed at the entrance to the natural chambers in the rock, but it the rock chambers are the real focus and have all the artwork. There are two primary chambers - "A" and "B" - with different reliefs.
Unlike Hattusa, which is large and which it is really most sensible to explore by car, this site is small and one just parks at the site entrance and explores the small area on foot.
Hattusa, just on the edge of Bogazkale, is the ruins of the ancient Hittite capital, roughly 3,500 years old. This empire was at the time extremely powerful. It not only controlled most of Anatolia, but also vanquished Old Babylonia, its army sacking Bablyon in about 1596 BCE, and held off Egypt for control of what is now Syria and Lebanon, with the two powers largely splitting control of the region between them. It ultimately collapsed after about 1200 BCE, at the time of the invasions of the Sea Peoples and the "dark age" that has often been used as the historical end of the Bronze Age. Hittite civlisation and power were relegated for the next several centuries to city states in what is now southern Turkey.
The Hittites left behind the extensive remains of this vast capital and its impressive sanctuary. Today, these are two separate sites, the city proper being called Hattusa and the sanctuary known by its Turkish name of Yazilikaya, the "inscripted rock."
The ruins of Hattusa are very extensive, with the city walls, many gates including the Lion's gate, and a tpostern gate tunnel under the wall, ramparts, foundations of temple and possible palace, giant urns, and many foundations of numerous other buildings. The lion gate stll has the two large lions standing guard and one can also see, as on the Sphinx Gate, the stone hinge moutns fo the gate doors themselves, complete with wear marks from the gates being swung open and closed.
The whole place is awe-inspiring and atmospheric. The best way to visit, especially if not staying in Bogazkale or with a tour, is by your own automobile. This allows one to explore the ruins easily since they are very extensive and there is a nice, one-way road circumnavigating the ruins, allowing one to get out wherever one wants to explore each section before driving on. The road carries one near each of the major sites in Hattusa, with signs, images, and maps at each spot explaining what it is and was like. There is plenty of room to stop where you want along the way through the area and most spots are clearly marked and have parking places. If one were to walk the route, it would take a very, very long time and it is also very hilly.
There is an entrance gate to the site and a very small fee to enter.
I'm really impressed and excited at yazilikaya during my trip to Corum. It was january, no mobs of tourists, sunny weather, me and gods&goddesses of The Hittites'...
The northwest of the Hattusas historical site was the Open Air Shrine of the Hittite Empire. It consists of a natural rock, two rooms and a Hittite temple in front of it which reflects the characteristics of the Hittite architecture.
In the Yazýlýkaya open air shrine there is a big gallery named Room A, and a small gallery, named Room B, both of which are built into a natural rock.
The west wall of the Big Gallery (Room A) is decorated with god reliefs while the east wall is decorated with reliefs of the goddesses. The figures on both walls face the section with the main scene and the east and west walls join the north wall. The gods generally have pointed hats, short garments belted at the waist, shoes with upturned points and earrings. Most of them carry a curved sword or a mace. All the goddesses wear cylindrical head dresses on their heads and long skirts. On the north wall where the east and west walls meet there are the chief gods composing the main scene. Here we can see the Mountain God Teshup standing above the air gods, his wife Goddess Hepatu, their son Sharruma and a double headed eagle. The relief of King Tuthalia IV is on the east wall and it is the largest relief of the gallery.
The Small Gallery (Room B) which has a separate entrance is protected by a winged, lion headed and human bodied genie placed on both sides of the entrance. There are twelve gods proceeding towards the right on the west wall of Room B and the God of Sword and King Tuthalia IV who is under the protection of God Sharruma on the east wall. Besides the well preserved reliefs, this section has three niches carved into the rock which are assumed to be used for some gifts or the ashes of the Hittite royal family.
With all these features and the addition of the spaces built at the front, Yazilikaya has survived to our times as a Hittite shrine.
The Upper City was (as the name suggests) placed on high ground, but for its defence the Hittites could not rely on cliffs and therefore they had to build a very long wall along its southern side. The Lion Gate stands in its western section: two rectangular towers flanked the entrance, a passage marked by exterior and interior portals. Both portals were fitted with pairs of heavy wooden doors; those at the exterior were most probably sheathed in bronze. The outer gate was decorated with two sculptured lions projecting from the pillars which supported a corbelled arch. They had a threatening appearance with wide open mouths.
The highest and southernmost point of the walls was strengthened by a huge rampart: at its top there was another monumental gate decorated with sphinxes; their presence is most likely due to the contacts between the Hittites and Egypt. At the foot of the rampart there is a small postern which through a long tunnel leads to the city. The image used as background for this page was taken inside the tunnel and it shows the corbelled technique used for its construction. The function of this postern is still uncertain. The theory that it was used for sallies is in contrast with the fact that the postern was in full view.
A third monumental gate was located at the eastern end of the southern wall: it is very similar to the Lion Gate with two towers protecting it. The relief decoration of this gate is on its interior: the sculpture of a warrior has been interpreted as portraying a king, but most likely it represented a god; the short dress does not fit very well with the ordinarily cold climate of Hattusa; this detail could be due to Egyptian influence.
The green square stone in front of the Great Temple is considered a wedding gift of Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. The solemn processions headed by the Supreme priests and priestesses, passed by this road.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Hattusas on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 40º 1' 10.44" N 34º 36' 55.30" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Green Stone – Ramesses’s II gift .
On the wall opposite the divinity Sharrumma, the patron of Tudhaliya IV, is depicted as an escort of the Great King after his death.
You may watch my 2 min 27 sec VIDEO-Clip Hattusas Yazilikaya out of my Youtube channel.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Hattusas on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 40º 1' 30.81" N 34º 37' 58.66" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Divinity Sharrumma .
The most unusual iconography depicts an upright sword with the pommel on the hilt above fashioned into a male head wearing the tall horned and pointed hat of the gods. This is the god Nergal of the Underworld. And the third relief in this chamber shows a cartouche with the name and title of the Great King Tudhaliya IV.
It is assumed that this chamber was a memorial to the Great King Tudhaliya IV erected by his son Shupiluliuma II, who set up a statue of his father here.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Hattusas on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 40º 1' 30.81" N 34º 37' 58.68" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Great King Tudhaliya IV.
On the wall immediately to the right of the entrance was carved a line of gods of the Underworld. They wear shirts, belts, short skirts and shoes curling up at the toe. They each carry a crescent-shaped sword flung over the shoulder, and the horned pointed hats that identify them as divinities.
Learn more hattuscha.de/English/yazilikaya.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Hattusas on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 40º 1' 31.52" N 34º 37' 58.26" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Line of gods of the Underworld .
Yazilikaya (Turkish for "inscribed rock") was a sanctuary of Hattusas, the capital city of the Hittite Empire.
This was a holy site for the Hittites living in the nearby city of Hattusas. Most impressive today are the rock-cut reliefs portraying the gods from the Hittite pantheon. There were also shrines built adjacent to the rocks.
Learn more Yazilikaya and hattuscha.de/English/yazilikaya.
You may watch my 2 min 30 sec VIDEO-Clip Hattusas Yazilikaya Slide show out of my Youtube channel.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Hattusas on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 40º 1' 31.25" N 34º 37' 57.95" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Hittite Rock Sanctuary .
Büyükkale or Great Fortress is indeed an ideal place to establish a royal residence. This plateau with a relatively flat surface about 250 x 140 m is naturally protected on every side by steep slopes or precipitous bluffs.
Learn more hattuscha.de/English/kingspalace.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Hattusas on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 40º 0' 29.20" N 34º 37' 15.38" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Royal Citadel of Büyükkale .
King's Gate in the east of the great southern bow of the city wall corresponds to the Lion Gate in the west. Here also we have two towers flanking the gate, which again consists of two doorways built as parabolic arches.
In size and construction the King's Gate very closely corresponds to the Lion Gate; it is like a mirror image.
Learn more hattuscha.de/English/kingsgate.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Hattusas on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 40º 0' 33.45" N 34º 37' 21.12" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio King's Gate – Kralkapi .
At the middle of the stretch of city wall across the artificial ridge of Yerkapi stands the Sphinx Gate. In contrast to the other grand city gates, it is not flanked by towers, but passes directly through a tower. It takes its name from the four sculpted sphinxes that once adorned the great blocks on either side of the doorways.
Sphinxes are heterogenous creatures with a human head and the body of a lion. The Hittites must have adopted the sphinx from Egypt, where the Sphinx represented a King. The soft facial contours of Hittite sphinxes, however, suggest that they represent females.
Learn more hattuscha.de/English/yerkapi.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Hattusas on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 40º 0' 22.08" N 34º 36' 59.76" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Sphinx gate .