Sphinx Gate, Hattusa, former capital of the Hittite Empire, in present-day Türkiye (17th-13th Century BC)

Step into the realm of ancient wonders as we explore the Sphinx Gate of Hattusa, the majestic capital of the Hittite Empire during the Late Bronze Age.

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Nestled within the formidable fortifications of Hattusa’s Upper City, the Sphinx Gate stands as a testament to the grandeur and artistry of a bygone era. Join us on a journey to unravel the mysteries surrounding this remarkable architectural marvel and delve into the captivating tale of sphinxes, restoration, and lost treasures.

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Unveiling the Sphinx

The Sphinx Gate, one of the three notable gates of Hattusa’s Upper City fortifications, beckons visitors with its awe-inspiring presence. Step through the inner doorway adorned with sphinxes, mythical creatures with the body of a lion, wings of an eagle, and the head of a human.

These sphinxes are unlike any other, boasting three-dimensional features, with front-facing bodies, towering wings on the sides, and graceful upright tails.

Hattusa: The Ancient Capital of The Hittites - GoTürkiye

While only one original Sphinx remains in its original location, two others are preserved in the local museum, offering a glimpse into the ancient craftsmanship that adorned the gate.

A Tale of Restoration and Loss

Hattusa: A Forgotten City Of Turkey - Magnificent Travel

Throughout history, the Sphinx Gate has endured its share of trials and tribulations. Devastated by fire in ancient times, the sphinxes had to be carefully dismantled for restoration in 1907. Two of these magnificent sculptures were sent to Germany in 1917, where they underwent meticulous restoration.

However, despite repeated appeals for their return, one sphinx remained on display at the Pergamon Museum in Germany until this day, serving as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced in preserving and protecting ancient treasures.

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