A Walking Tour of Turkey: 10 Most Cherished Ancient Ruins


8. Yazilikaya

In central Anatolia, the Hittites of Turkey ruled the land and their sacred holy site was Yazilikaya, a series of cone-headed deities carved into the rock. Located within walking distance from the gates of the city, the Hattusas Sanctuary contains two galleries, including an impressive open-air pantheon filled with Hittite gods and goddesses that date back to the 13th century. In the larger gallery, there is interesting evidence that Hittites were open to accepting gods of other cultures into their pantheon like Enki, the Mesopotamian god of Wisdom and the Teshub the Hurrian god. The sacred ruins mean “Inscribed Rock” in Turkish and can be reached from either nearby Corum, Ankara, or the little farming village of Bogazkale.

Yazilikaya Turkey

7. Hierapolis

For an exploration of the “Sacred City” of the ancients, head to the ruins of Hierpolis in southwestern Angolia, which is now a World Heritage Site and popular tourist destination among tourists and ancient history aficionados. Today, you’ll find ancient theaters, crumbling relics of white terraces, and stone pillars overlooking the modern town of Pamukkale. Thought to have been created by the god Apollo, people were drawn to the spot for centuries for its curative hot springs whose vapors where believed to have healing powers granted by Pluto, god of the underworld. In fact, scholars believe many ancient people went here in their old age to retire and relax in the warm waters. Although its origins are still debated by scholars, it is believed that the Seleucid Kings founded the city in the 4th century AD, a time when Turkey was a flourishing trade route between Africa and Europe.

Hierapolis Turkey

Next ➞

More on EscapeHere