King's Gate in Hattusa

Location: 

GPS coordinates: 40.009300, 34.622601
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa

Description: 

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.

The King's Gate, the Lion Gate, the Sphinx Gate were the most notable of Hattusa Upper City gates. According to Professor Neve, these three gates were integrated into a sacred road used for processions, which started from Temple 5, left the city at the King's Gate, and then continued to the Lion Gate where it re-entered the city.

The gate is flanked by two towers, and there are two parabolic-shaped door passages: external and internal. In the time of the Hittite civilization, this double gate had wooden doors, opening inward. Inquisitive visitors can still find the beam and the bolt holes of the gate. The approach to the gate from the outside was up the ramp, which was protected by additional walls and a bastion.

The name of the gate is misleading, and it originated from the relief placed on the left side of the inner gate. This relief was discovered during the archaeological excavations in 1907. It depicts an important-looking person, holding an axe, carrying a crescent sword in his belt. He is wearing a spiral-pattern tunic and a spiked helmet with wide cheek-guards and a protective collar. The relief is larger than life as it measures 2.25 m from the top of the helmet to the tip of the toe. Therefore, it was initially thought to depict a Hittite king.

Later, the researchers decided that it shows a warrior or a war god protecting the people who passed through the gate. The reason for this change of opinion was because of a horn depicted at the front of the figure's helmet. Because horns on the helmet were the attributes of the gods in Hittite religion, the warrior is likely to be the representation of a god.

Currently, the original of the warrior relief is on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. The relief you can see in Hattusa is only its modern copy.

Getting there: 

The paved road leading through the area of Hattusa forks off about 300 meters after the stopover at the Lower Town. The main sightseeing route leads along the right branch of the road, in the direction of the Lion Gate. The stopover at the King's Gate is the fourth one on this route, after the Great Temple, the Lion Gate, and the Sphinx Gate.

Bibliography: 

Image gallery: 

Original relief of a warrior god from the King's Gate in Hattusa, now on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara
Original relief of a warrior god from the King's Gate in Hattusa, now on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa
King's Gate in Hattusa