Tourists will be accommodated in ‘Hittite prison’
A Hittite village is under construction for the promotion of the archaeological site of Hattusha, which had been the Hittite capital for 450 years, in the central Anatolian province of Çorum’s Boğazkale district.
Visitors of the village will have a chance to see the daily life of Hittite people 3,500 years ago and to be accommodated in rooms similar to prisons at the time.
One of Turkey’s significant tourism attractions thanks to its natural, historical and cultural beauty, Çorum is home to the cultural heritage of one of the first civilizations in Anatolia, the Hattians and the Hittites.
The capital of the Hittites, Hattusha in Boğazkale, which has been declared a Historic National Park, is home to six-kilometer walls surrounding the ancient city, monumental structures, a 71-meter-long underground tunnel, a palace in Büyükkale Castle, 31 temples, giant granaries around Büyükkaya, and the Yazılıkaya Open Air Temple.
Due to the perfect protection of some structures and architectural buildings in the archaeological site, Hattusha entered UNESCO’s World Heritage List on Nov. 28, 1986. Its cuneiform tablets, representing the oldest known Indian-European language were registered in the UNESCO Memory of the World program in 2001. Now, the Boğazkale District Governor’s Office is carrying out works to promote Hattusha and to increase the number of tourists.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Boğazkale District Governor Turan Soğukoluk said the construction of the Hittite village neared completion on seven decares of land in the center of Boğazkale.
He said tourists would be able to stay in rooms that are designed like Hittite prisons in the village.
The nearly 1.5 million Turkish Lira-project is also backed by the Middle Black Sea Development Agency (OKA), said Soğukoluk.
“In the Hittite village, we aim to present the life of the Hittite people. Once the construction is completed, there will be stone, iron and pottery ateliers of the Hittites, the king’s room, and resting areas for tourists. There will also be three souvenir shops in the architectural style of the Hittite-era,” said Soğukoluk.
He said there had been a decrease in tourist numbers around Turkey over the last few months.
“We expect the number of tourists here to increase two to three times when we open the Hittite village because this place has begun to be mentioned internationally. Academics from the Netherlands have also wanted information about this project,” said the district governor.
Soğukoluk said the Hittites were the first civilization in Anatolia.
“Hattusha is the capital of this civilization. It had been the capital for some 450 years. The Kadesh Peace Treaty, which was found during archaeological excavations here, is the first known written peace treaty in world history. We will present an opportunity for people who are curious about the life of Hittites. When tourists come here, they will be able to see how Hittites baked bread and how they produced pottery and such things. They will see the throne of the Hittite king as well as Hittite architecture. We will offer them hotel accommodation in Hittite prison-like rooms,” he said.