Hattusa which is situated near modern Bogazkale (formerly Bogazköy) was the capital of the Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age.
The region is set in a loop of the Kizil River (Marashantiya in Hittite sources and Halys in Classical Antiquity) in central Anatolia.
Hattusa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986.
You may watch my 33 high resolution photos in a slide-show Hattusas-Yazilikaya out of my Webshot page.
You may watch my 3 min 51 sec VIDEO-Clip Hattusas out of my Youtube channel,
3 min 35 sec VIDEO-Clip Hattusas Around by bus,
3 min 48 sec VIDEO-Clip Hattusas Slide show,
4 min 05 sec VIDEO-Clip Hattusas Lion's, Sphinx's and Kings's gates,
2 min 27 sec VIDEO-Clip Hattusas Yazilikaya ,
2 min 30 sec VIDEO-Clip Hattusas Yazilikaya Slide show,
4 min 12 sec VIDEO-Clip Hattusas Yerkapi Slide show.
Learn more on my Bogazkale VT page.
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.
There are two Sphinxes at the south-east gate making up the religious entrance of the probable city in the mound. Heads are the distinguished features in the Sphinx protoms which are carved on monolythic stone jambs and are higher than two metres. In both Sphinxes, Hotor style hairs start from the forehead and come down to the shoulders and the hair ends in helozonic curls. The Sphinxes have bloated bodies protruding forward and they are standing on short and set apart legs. On the inner side of the Sphinx to the east one can see a double headed eagle carrying a rabbit in its claws and above it, the feet of a possible goddess with long garments, facing the city, and the part of her skirt which have survived.
The reliefs which are under the towers in the east and west of the gate with the Sphinx are shaped in base relief. They are only lightly shaped and the details are given with plasticity. Almost all of the western tower orthostadts can be followed as a continuous frieze. In this section we see that cult-libation themes at the bottom and hunting scenes at the top. In the holy day rituals which were celebrated in the honour of the storm god and which are also known from the Hittite texts the King and the Queen who were the chief priest and priestess are shown here in a praying position in front of the bull and the following reliefs describe the other parts of the ceremony. The people praying in front of the sitting goddess at the eastern tower also show the continuation of the cult ceremony.