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.