Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after istanbul. The city has a population (as of 2005) of 4,319,167 and a mean elevation of 850 m (2800 ft). It was formerly known as Angora. The Hittites gave it the name Ankuwash before 1200 BC, the Galatians and Romans called it Ancyra, and in the classical, Hellenistic, and Byzantine periods. Ankara also serves as the capital of the Province of Ankara.
Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city. It is the center of the Turkish Government, and houses all foreign embassies. It is an important crossroads of trade, strategically located at the center of Turkey's highway and railway networks, and serves as the marketing center for the surrounding agricultural area. The city was famous for its long-haired Angora goat and its prized wool (mohair), a unique breed of cat (Angora cat), white rabbits and their prized wool (Angora wool), pears, honey, and the region's muscat grapes.
Ankara is situated upon a steep and rocky hill, which rises 150 m above the plain on the left bank of the Enguri Su, a tributary of the Sakarya (Sangarius) river. Ankara is one of the driest places in Turkey and is surrounded by a barren steppe vegetation, with various Hittite, Phrygian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman archaeological sites. It has a harsh, dry continental climate with cold, snowy winters and hot, dry summers. Rainfall occurs mostly during the spring and autumn.
The hill which overlooks the city is crowned by the ruins of the old castle, which adds to the picturesqueness of the view, but only a few historic structures surrounding the old citadel have survived to our date. There are, however, many finely preserved remains of Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine architecture, the most remarkable being the Temple of Augustus and Rome (20 BC) which is also known as the Monumentum Ancyranum