Nearby Samandağ, in the Province of Hatay (Antakya), rises a hill that once was known as the Hill of Wonders. Simon Stylites the Younger lived on this hill, and more precisely, on a high pillar erected on its slope, in the 6th century AD. His followers built there a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity and a monastery. Today, the ruins of the monastic buildings are rarely visited by tourists who are afraid to travel to the areas bordering with Syria. Unfortunately, the magic of the old Hill of Wonders was destroyed by the erection of ugly wind turbines a few years ago.
In ancient times Colophon was one of the most important cities of the Ionian coast of Asia Minor. This city, conveniently located near the Aegean coast, quickly developed through trade. It also featured a powerful fleet of warships. Currently, extremely modest remains of this ancient city do not reflect its former importance and bring on the reflections on the transience of even the most powerful civilizations and human memory.
The steep slope of the hill that rises from the Grand Temple to the Royal Citadel (tr. Büyükkale) was part of the Hattusa Old Town. This quarter of the city was protected by fortifications, at least from the 16th century BCE. There were many buildings erected on this slope, on the artificial terraces, localized among the rocks protruding from the ground.
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The Turkish word Yerkapı, meaning 'the gate in the ground,' quite accurately captures the essence of this part of Hattusa fortifications. It is located inside an artificial embankment that forms the southern tip of the city walls. That embankment is 15 meters high, 250 meters long, and 80 meters wide at its base. Above it, there are city walls, with the access to the city provided by the Sphinx Gate.
In addition to the most famous underground cities of Cappadocia, that is Derinkuyu, Kaymaklı, and Özkonak, this region hides many more such underground settlements. Their exact number remains a mystery, as they are continually being discovered. Not long ago, in 2014, another huge one was accidentally found in the capital city of the Nevşehir Province. Gaziemir belongs to the category of less frequently visited underground cities. It is located near the route connecting the Ihlara Valley with Göreme, situated in the heart of Cappadocia.
The part of Hattusa located at the foot of the Royal Citadel (tr. Büyükkale) is known as the Lower City (tr. Aşağı Şehir). It is also the first stopover on the designated Hattusa sightseeing trail. In this area, it is possible to see the ruins of the Grand Temple, the remains of an Assyrian trade colony, and the traces of residential houses and offices.
The capital of the Hittites - Hattusa - was surrounded by massive fortifications when the Hittite civilization had a status of the Near East superpower. The walls were erected using the natural shape of the terrain or completely changing it, depending on the architectural and strategic needs. At least six gates let people enter the interior of the city. The Lion Gate is the first one that can be seen when following the official sightseeing route around Hattusa.
The King's Gate (tr. Kral Kapısı) is situated in the south-eastern part of Hattusa city walls. It is worth the attention of visitors especially because of its excellent state of preservation. Its shape and size are similar to The Lion Gate in the south-western part of the fortifications.
When you visit the inconspicuous ruins located near Lake Bafa, you might it find hard to believe that Myus was a city-state in ancient times. It was a member of a powerful confederation of twelve Ionian colonies in Asia Minor. Similarly as in the case of Miletus or Priene, the history of Myus is intrinsically linked with the river Meander. For centuries, this river gradually silted up the large bay on the coast of which many Greek cities were located.