Hattusa was the capital of the Hittites, who controlled an empire as powerful as ancient Egypt or Babylon. Founded in 2500 BC, Hattusa was the center of the Hittite Empire from 1600 - 1200 BC. The city was a formidable citadel, surrounded by massive mud brick walls and majestic gateways, enclosing a huge temple complex. Tip: These ruins are completely accessible, so kids don't have to stay on a set path.
Near entrance, check out the reconstructed section of mud brick city wall, with two crenellated towers. This mud-brick reconstruction uses traditional techniques, as the original timber and mud brick walls are long gone, and only stone foundations of the city remain.
Great temple (Buyuk Mabet) - Kids can wander around what was a grand temple complex. In the center of the temple, ceremonies were held for the two temple deities, the Weather God and Sun Goddess. Around the outside were storage rooms - you can still see several large pottery vessels stuck in the ground (these pots stored grains, oil or wine), along with cuneiform tablets also found in the storerooms.
Lion Gate (Aslanlikapi) - Check out the chunky gateway at the southern end of the city wall, flanked by two stone lions (mouths open like they're roaring). Originally the doorway was a curved archway, with two wooden doors for the inner and outer walls.
Sphinx Gate (Yerkapi) - This earthworks rampart makes an impression, rising up about 95 feet. Kids can race up and down a long stairway, just like the Hittite soldiers, then run through the stone tunnel between the inner and outer ramparts.