Hattusa – An Impressive UNESCO Heritage Site in Turkey

hattusa in Turkey

Image Credit: www.dailysabah.com

Turkey is a striking nation with a geographical location like none other. It straddles two significant continents – Asia and Europe and has some of the most incredible attractions to offer its visitors. This remarkable country is also home to numerous ruins, including Ephesus, Mount Nemrut, Hierapolis, Troy, Gobekli Tepe, and Aphrodisias. Most of these fascinating ruins are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and take you on a journey to the country’s deep-rooted history. Another amazing place that joins the above list of historical wonders is Hattuşa, the capital of Anatolia’s Bronze Age Hittite empire. Do you want to know the best things you can do in Hattuşa, Turkey? Keep reading!

About Hattuşa

Hattuşa has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage since 1986 and is situated in Corum, in the Boğazkale village. It is approximately 192 kilometers east of Ankara and perfect for a day trip from here. The ruins are divided into upper and lower cities and spread roughly 7 km if you cover them on foot.

The Hittites empire was massive during the Bronze Age and was believed to be the first Indo-European civilization. They were considered one of the most powerful empires in the region. They controlled an extensive stretch of land spanning from modern-day Turkey to Syria.

It is one of the oldest civilizations, extremely rich in arts and architecture, and its first settlements date back to 3000 BC. Here are some of the best things you can do in the walled city of Hattuşa that are worth applying for your Turkey visa.

Boğazkale Museum

Located on the way to Hattuşa in Boğazkale, this archeological museum is a treasure -trove of art and daily objects. This museum was opened to the public in 1966 but fully renovated in 2011. It contains exhibits found at the site of the Hittite Hattuşa city during excavations. You can find bronze tools, relics, written tablets, and various impressive objects from the Anatolian civilization, with detailed explanations on the panels.

Green Stone of Hattuşa

Green Stone is a perfect cubed structure and is believed to be created by humans from natural rock. It is around 2 feet in height and has a lot of mystery surrounding it. It is referred to as a wish stone among locals and lures many tourists from the country and abroad. Though studies are still going on about this stone’s origin, it continues to intrigue visitors and is one of the best places to visit in Turkey.

The Lion’s Gate

The Lion's Gate in Turkey

The Lion’s Gate was built in the early 14th century BCE and is flanked by two towers with lion heads. The upper parts of these towers are destroyed. It was the commoner’s access to Hattuşa, which was locked and sealed every night. It is believed that the lion heads were put at the city’s entrance to ward off evil.

The Sphinx’s Gate

The iconic Sphinx’s Gate was used by royalty or religious priests. The original Sphinxes are in the Bogazkale Museum now; the ones you see on display are copies. The Sphinxes were taken to Berlin during excavations by Germans, but in 2010, they were returned to the country after a Turkish government minister threatened to reject further permission for excavation.

The Rampart of Yerkapi

The Rampart of Yerkapi is an artificial ridge that is the highest point of the city’s fortifications, and its name means Gate in the Earth. The city wall arches toward the summit from the King’s Gate in the east and the Lion Gate in the west, and crowns the ridge. The Sphinx Gate is located just in the middle of this. The rampart is 250 meters long at the foundation and over 80 meters wide.

The Unknown Warrior and the King’s Gate

The King’s Gate is one of the three main gates in the city’s upper fortifications. The sideways profile of a warrior has confused historians and scholars about the entity of the person. Going by the gate’s name, they initially thought it was an old Hittite king. But this theory was soon proven wrong and seeing the depictions on the helmet of this warrior, they deduced that it might be of a Hittite God.

The Hieroglyph Chamber

The Hieroglyph Chamber was initially thought to be a tomb. However, it is now known to be a symbolic entrance to the world beneath the land. It is made of limestone, and the walls are decorated with inscriptions, reliefs, and Luvian hieroglyphs.

The Nisantepe

The Nisantepe is a huge 8.5-meter rock with Luwian hieroglyphics chiseled into it. Unfortunately, most of the text is undecipherable due to bad weather and erosion.

Yazılıkaya and the twelve Gods of the Underworld

Yazillkaya sanctuary is an impressive open-air temple built from the rocks hidden in the cliffs. It is situated approximately 2 km from the city. It consists of two open-air rooms covered with intricately carved relief patterns and depictions of animals, gods, and goddesses. It dates back more than 5 thousand years and is still in excellent condition. The rock-cut chambers of Yazillkaya Sanctuary are referred to as the “Greater Gallery” (Room A) and the “Lesser Gallery” (Room B).


Alacahoyuk is another important archaeological site located around 30 -minutes to the north of the city. This site houses pre-Hittite era royal tombs dating back to 25000 BC. These tombs are deeply carved and have stood the test of time. Like Hattuşa, this town also comprised an outer defense wall with inner and exterior gateways. Excavations are still happening here, and several of the original artifacts and finds were moved to the Anatolian Civilization Museum in Ankara.

Alacahoyuk Museum

The Alacahoyuk Museum provides a sneak peek into the past. The museum spans two rooms and is not significant in size, but it consists of finds from the Alacahoyuk and Pazarlı archeological sites. It also has many remains belonging to the Hittite, Phrygian, and Ottoman periods.


If you are a history buff, this ancient city of Hattuşa is a must-visit. But even if you are not interested in history, visiting this place is well worth the time, and you can get a glimpse of Turkey’s flourishing past.

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