"Bogazkale - Hittite Heartland" Bogazkale by WulfstanTraveller

Bogazkale Travel Guide: 47 reviews and 304 photos

Bogazkale is today a small, rather sleepy village, and it has been so probably for the last couple thousand years or so. However, it is right in the middle of the heartland of the Hatti and Hittite civlisations and for a few centuries, from about 1600-1200 BCE, this was the location of Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Empire.

This empire was at the time extremely powerful, one of the dominant poewers in the ancient world. It not only controlled most of Anatolia but also vanquished Old Babylonia, its army sacking Bablyon in about 1596 BCE, and ultimately 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 general so-called "collapse" of the Bronze Age. Hittite civlisation and power were relegated for the next several centuries to city states in what is now southern Turkey. However, they left behind the extensive remains of a vast capital and its 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." Both are exceedingly impressive and largely unique since one can only find Hittite ruins in Turkey (unlike Greek or Roman ruins, which are all over the place from England to Algeria and Spain to Syria).

The town itself is right next to the Hittite ruins, with the city of Hattusa dominating the heights above modern Bogazkale.

Hattusa was very large, with several tens of thousands of people, perhaps as many as 40,000-50,000 people. It had massive ramparts and city walls, includingstone foundations and ramprts topped by mud-brick superstructures, with a citadel commanding the highest ground, large temple complexes, storage facilities, numerous gates, etc. Much of this is visible today and one can get a great sense of the anciwent city's atmosphere, size, and character.

If one does not want to stay, it is easy to reach by car and one can make an easy day trip from Ankara, driving out here, seeing the sites, and heading back in the evening.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Incredible Ruins, Atmospheric, pleasant town with some services, easy to reach by car.
  • Cons:Limited services, almost none outside of tourist season.
  • In a nutshell:Incredible ruins! A must-see for history archeology buffs.
  • Last visit to Bogazkale: Dec 2008
  • Intro Updated Jun 1, 2009
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