Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hattusa, the Bronze Age capital of the Hittite Empire, and marvel at the deity reliefs at the natural rock sanctuary of Yazilikaya on this Turkey Day Tour.
Start the day with a visit to the rock sanctuary of Yazilikaya, nestled between natural rock formations just northeast of the ancient city of Hattusa. This Hittite holy site consists of two open-air chambers, accessible by a gateway and narrow passageways. The larger chamber is believed to have served as a place of celebration each New Year, and its walls feature reliefs of Hittite deities chiselled into the rock face. The second, smaller chamber is thought to have been a memorial chapel for a Hittite King, and has fewer, better-preserved reliefs.
Following lunch at a local restaurant continue on to Hattusa, the Bronze Age capital of the Hittite Empire. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is scattered with temples, fortifications and royal residences, and bears testimony to the lost civilization. At the south-western entrance to the upper city view the famous Lions’ Gate, recognizable for the two lions carved into the stone arches, and at another entrance stands the Kings’ Gate, with a large scale relief of a god armed with an axe and sword chiselled into the stone. Walk along the 70-metre long stone-walled tunnel that passes under the city wall to serve an entrance into the city, and visit the impressive citadel that also served as a royal residence. Finally, explore the monumental Great Temple, dedicated to Hittite deities, and surrounded by a number of buildings.