A vast underground metropolis that has been inhabited for thousands of years lies more than 85m beneath the well-known fairy chimneys of Cappadocia.A treasure of equally enormous dimensions had been hidden away for generations under the crumbling surface of Cappadocia: a subterranean city that could keep the whereabouts of up to 20,000 residents a secret for months at a time. Get ready to explore the underground!
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Entrance to Derinkuyu Underground City Museum
The Derinkuyu Underground City is located about 85 meters below the earth. Stalls, cellars, dining rooms, chapels, and junk shops are just a few of the components that make up this underground metropolis. On the second floor, there is a missionary school as well. The surface-connected, 55-meter-deep ventilation shaft also serves as a water well. The 1965-opened Derinkuyu underground city can only be viewed in 10% of its entirety at this time.
The entrance levels, which were primarily used as stables, are typically the oldest floors of the underground city. This is because it's challenging to get the animals down to lower floors. Stum shops and kitchens are typically located on the higher floors in underground cities that are comfortable in both the winter and summer. Stum shops, where grapes from the area were processed to make wine, were typically constructed on the top floors to facilitate the movement of grapes. Since there were so many kitchens, it is clear that not every family had one and that some kitchens were shared. In the cities and villages of Cappadocia, cooking stoves referred to as "Tandoors" are still in use.
Open every day
Opening time: 08:00
Closing time: 17:00
Bayramlı Mah. Şemşili Yolu Sok. No:15 Derinkuyu/NEVŞEHİR
More than 85 meters below the surface of the Earth, the ancient city of Elengubu, now called Derinkuyu, extends over 18 levels of tunnels. It was almost continuously inhabited for thousands of years, passing through the hands of the Phrygians, the Persians, and the Byzantine Christians. It is the greatest underground city ever to have been excavated. The Cappadocian Greeks finally abandoned it in the 1920s when they abruptly withdrew en masse to Greece after suffering defeat in the Greco-Turkish war. The more than 200 small, distinct underground cities that have already been found in the area are believed to be connected to these tunnels, creating a vast subterranean network, in addition to the hundreds of kilometers of cave-like rooms.
Derinkuyu was allegedly only "rediscovered" in 1963 by an unidentified resident who kept misplacing his chickens. The chickens would vanish into a tiny crack made during the remodeling of his house while he was working on it, never to be seen again. A dark corridor was discovered after more digging and closer inspection. It was the first of more than 600 portals to the extraterrestrial metropolis of Derinkuyu that were discovered inside of private residences.
Immediately after excavation started, a complex network of underground homes, dry food storage, cow stables, schools, wineries, and even a chapel were discovered. A whole civilization was hidden underground in safety. The least claustrophobic tourists in Turkey quickly descended upon the underground city, and in 1985, the area was put on the Unesco World Heritage List.
The most intriguing cultural resources of the Cappadocia Region are the 150–200 underground towns of varied sizes. The majority of these rock settlements were constructed by cutting soft tuff. People constructed underground cities to protect themselves. The underground cities are made up of hundreds of rooms connected to one another via labyrinth-like passageways and vast galleries.
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Derinkuyu, an underground city carved into the soft rock, is believed to have existed as early as 800 BC. After the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923, the tunnels were abandoned, and they weren't found again for another 40 years.
No, today Derinkuyu and other underground cities are archeological sites, they are not places to live.
No, today, the sites serve as tourist destinations for archaeology.
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The Phrygians founded the Derinkuyu underground city between the eighth and seventh century BCE. During the Roman era, the population started incorporating chapels into their underground homes after converting to Christianity.