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Hattusas, Corum, Amasya

Hattuşaş was founded on the site of an earlier settlement in about 1900 BC, soon gained importance owing to the presence of a karum (market) or colony of Assyrian merchants. During this time, the Hittites had preserved memories when their kings had ruled from a city called Kussara which has not been located. 

Around 1800 BC, one of the early kings, Anittas, began to extend his dominion by conquering first the city of Kanesh (Kayseri), then Hattush. He seems to have transferred his government to Kanesh. Hattush, on the other hand, was destroyed and declared accursed. Between Anittas and the foundation of the Hittite kingdom there is a gap of several generations. Then the policy of expansion was continued by another king of Kussara, Labarnas, whose son another Labarnas, decided to rebuild and occupy Hattush - a natural stronghold domination the northern valleys. The city was there after known as Hattusha or Hattusasanged his name to Hattusilis. This king was the true founder of the Hittite kingdom. Hattusha was the chief power and cultural force in West Asia from 1400 to 1200 B.C. 

The city was sacked again in about 1400 BC by invaders from the north and east. However, in the early 14th century BC, Hattusas was rebuilt and enlarged by Suppiluliumas, the Great King of Hatti.

It remained as the capital for more that 200 years before falling due to internal pressures and invasions from the outside. Only two parts of the city were ever re-inhabited, Büyükkaya and the early citadel rock of Büyükkale. They were re-inhabited by the Phrygians. 

The site of Hattusas/ Bogazköy is strategically placed in rocky terrain at the head of a broad and fertile valley. 

The older part of the city occupies a spur of the hills above the modern village of Bogazköy towards the high citadel rock, Büyükkale at its southeast end, to which ancient walls are connected. In the 14th century BC because of the rising importance and size of the capital, the fortifications were extended over the high ground to the south to include a total area of over 300 acres. A century later, the hill called Büyükkaya to the east was also enclosed and connected to the old city by a bridge. The new walls to the south were of remarkable strength and sophisticated design. On the foundations brought to a consistent level by stone-faced ramparts with outer curtain walls and sally-ports. Tower- flanked gateways with arches were ornamented with sculptures.

In the town, remains of five temples have been recognized. Temple I is the most impressive and gives us an idea of the Hittite religious life.

Although the Hittite Empire vanished thousands of years ago, it has by no means been forgotten, and its capital Hattusha has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Moreover, an enlarged copy of a cuneiform tablet found here hangs in the United Nations building in New York. This tablet is a peace treaty concluded between the Hittite king Hattusili III and the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II about 3260 years ago, demonstrating to modern statesmen that international treaties are a tradition going back to the earliest civilizations.

Alacahöyük

Alacahöyük, 36 kms from Bogazkale, is an important place of the Hittite era. Before the Hittites, the Hattion -a Bronze Age culture- dominated in this district and the finds of gold and bronze objects from this period are sheltered now in the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara. The Hittite gateway is the most fascinating part of the city which is flanked by two sphinxes and furnished with Hittite bas relieves. The museum in Alacahöyük houses the finds of the Hittite period.

Yazilikaya

2 kms from Bogazkale, is the ancient site of Yazilikaya, the name of which means "Inscribed Rock", and it is a fascinating place sure to be visited.

Being the most famous of the Hittite rock monuments, Yazilikaya is made up of two galleries, in front of which lies an interesting open-air pantheon. Fine relieves of Hittite gods and goddesses adorn the walls, carved into the native rock, dating back to the 13th century BC. The names of the gods are inscribed in hieroglyphics over their heads, and a relief of a Hittite king, dressed as a priest, is of particular interest among well-preserved ruins.

Amasya

Amasya is one of the provinces in Central Anatolia of Turkey which is distinct both with its natural setup and historical values it holds. It was the homeland of the famous geographer Strabo. Located in a narrow cleft of the Yesilirmak (Iris) river, it has a past of 3000 years during which many civilizations left priceless remains of their times.

The ruins of the citadel on the rock face of the cleft shelters 2000 year old water-channels, 1000 year old bridges, a mental hospital, an Ottoman Palace and a secret underground passageway. On the rock faces there are impressive rock tombs of the Pontus kings, which contribute very much to the attractiveness of the city. At night, when they are illuminated, the view is unforgettable.

The city also has many historically and architecturally precious buildings; the Ferhat water channel, the 13th century Seljuk Burmali Mosque, the 15th century Yildirim Beyazit Mosque and Complex; the 14th century Ilhanli Bimarhane Mental Hospital with lovely relieves around its portal, the extraordinary octagonal Kapi Aga Medrese (theological school), the Torumtay Mausoleum and the Gök Medrese. There are traditional Turkish mansions which have been well-preserved showing the best examples of Turkish architecture. The 19th century Hazeranlar Mansion has been restored perfectly and now it is of great interest with an art gallery on its first floor and an ethnographical museum on the second. The Archaeological Museum of Amasya has an interesting collection including the mummies of the Ilhanli rulers of Amasya.

As for natural beauty, Amasya is set apart from the rest of Anatolia in its tight mountain valley and hides its own secret beauty. Lake Borabay (65 kilometers northeast of Amasya) is a crater lake with an amazing view and fresh air. It is a perfect area for fishing (especially trout), for picnicking and for being alone with nature and doing some sports. Yedikir Dam Lake and Omarca National Park are other excursion sites. Terzikoy spa center and thermal resort is also worth a visit.