< Yazılıkaya Tours Travel Guide Turkey | Turkey Tour Guide
Customize your holidays
banner.jpg banner2.jpg banner3.jpg

Yazılıkaya Tours Travel Guide Turkey

Planing a special travel to Turkey? Let us help you experience a journey of a lifetime in Turkey with special custom designed Turkey holidays. Whatever your dream vacation of Turkey is, we are here to make it come true with our most popular travel packages of Turkey. Best rate guaranteed! Visit Western, Southern, Central & Eastern Turkey with private or small group guided tours including a touch of Turkish hospitality. Exclusive travel Turkey. Cultural Turkey packages, luxury honeymoon holidays, family vacations, religious tours, custom made special interest fly & stay package trips. Travel deals for Istanbul city packages, Istanbul weekend packages, Istanbul sightseeing tours, Istanbul getaway trips & Istanbul shore excursions. Blue Cruise on the Mediterranean shores of Turkey with traditional Turkish Gulets. Cabin or private charter gulets, yachts & bareboats in Turkey. Turkey hotels information & booking with special local travel agency rates. Luxury & boutique hotel accommodation in Turkey with best rate guarantee. Private Tours with Mutlu Deveci & Exclusive Tour Guides® - the best Turkish travel agent & holiday planner licensed & accredited by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism & Culture.




The reliefs found at the Hittite sanctuary of Yazilikaya are by far the most interesting sculptures to come out of this civilization both from an artistic and a religious point of view. This rock shrine is in an excellent natural setting where once a stream ran through the small valley. The sanctuary is a short distance from the site of the capital, Hattusas, two kilometers to the northeast.

Most of the reliefs at the sanctuary were done during the reign of King Tudhaliya IV who ruled the empire from 1220 to the start of its decline in 1190 B.C. He was the last of the great Hittite kings who made an attempt at strengthening Hittite control in Western Anatolia by warring with the local nobles. The sanctuary was actual­ly started during the reign of King Hattushili III, who ruled from Hattusas between the years 1275 to 1250 B.C. Temple buildings that were built at the entrance to the open-air sanctuary were done at three different periods. A mortuary temple found inside the small gallery was reserved for royalty and was built by Tudhaliya. The first building, the monumental gate-building was erected by Hat­tushili III as was the main building of the temple found beside the gate. The third building in the line that enters into the small gallery is thought to have been erected by Tudhaliya IV. During the earliest building phase of the sanctuary, an enclosing wall separated the shrine from the outside, The second period saw the addition of a temple to serve as the monumental gateway to the area. A gateway to the small gallery was also erected during this phase. In the last period of building at Yazihlcaya, a wing was added to the eastern side of the main structure. The temple that was built during the second period, much like the ones at the capital city, was made up of rooms surrounding a central courtyard and a columned hall that led into the cult-statue room.


The rock-cut sanctuary consists of two galleries, referred to as the large and small galleries. The reliefs found in the large gallery consist of sixty-four figures, representing sixty-three separate deities of the Hittite pantheon. These were carved in the 13th century B.C. during the reign of Hattushili III. The walls of the natural sanctuary are limestone, open to the sky, and the reliefs are carved on the vertical sides of two main recesses or chambers. On the west wall of the large gallery, we find reliefs of gods. Goddesses are repre­sented on the east wall. The largest relief in the gallery is devoted to King Tudhaliyas, measuring almost three meters high. He is shown in the protective embrace of the god Sharruma. The king is dressed simply, wearing a round skullcap and carrying the curved pastoral staff. His monogram is carved in hieroglyphs beneath a winged sun disk above his head. The god is wearing a short tunic. His position is shown by the tall conical horned headdress that is de­corated with divided ellipses. On the east wall of this chamber, Tudhaliyas is again depicted. Here he is represented armed, again in a skullcap, and holding a kalmush, which was the sign of sovere­ignty, in this left hand, Two hieroglyphs in the form of an Ionic capital stood for the «Great King». King Tudhaliyas is standing on two mountain peaks, a deified king. He allowed himself to be pictured during his lifetime as a deity in reliefs, a exception to the general tradition of the deification of sovereigns after death. The two mountains upon which the king rests are representative of Ammuna and Arnuwanda.


The central relief at Yazihkaya represents the weather god of Hattusa standing on a mountain; next to this is the weather god of  heaven, also resting on two mountain peaks, two deified mountains called Nanni and Hazzi. This god has two sacred bulls, Serri and Hurri. One of these is shown in the relief. The other bull is shown beside the consort Hepat. The two bulls mean day and night in the Hurrian language. This god is the weather god Teshub. He is the highest god of the Hittite line of deities. His hat is decorated with five god ideograms and horns. The weather god of Hattusas, on the other hand, and the god Sharruma, who are flanking Teshub and Hepat in the relief, are wearing hats with the ideograms missing. These two have horns only in the front of their caps while Teshub has them in both the front and the rear. Hepatu or Hepat is the leading female deity of the Hittites; she is the sun goddess of Arinna. Sharruma is the son of Teshub and Hepatu. In this relief, he stands on the back of a panther, like his mother, and is armed with a long - handled axe. Two goddesses behind him. have not been identified. 

The great Babylonian goddess Ishtar is represented at the shrine in Yazihkaya and was worshipped in the region under the Hurrian name of Shaushga, Ishtar was considered the sister of Teshup, and she held the position of goddess of war and law. In the relief, Ishtar is pictured with two of her attendants, the goddesses Ninatta and Kulitta. She wears a conical headress as a sign of deity and holds an axe.


The small gallery at Yazihkaya is thought to have been dedica­ted to the cult of a dead king, perhaps to Tudhaliyas III. The three rectangular niches in the small gallery perhaps contained the burial urns of the Hittite royal family.