07-02-2023 - Places

Ozkonak Underground City: Hidden Gem of Cappadocia

Cappadocia is an amazing region with many natural and human-made wonders. There are many places to see, hidden gems to discover, and delicious food to taste. In Cappadocia, there are underground cities carved in the soft stones of the region. Think about it! Thousands of years ago people carved into the land to hide from foreign attacks. What a place to discover!

Cappadocia Travel Pass® gathers 35+ amazing attractions for you to explore Cappadocia with ease, and underground city entrances are also included in this great Pass. Check out here to see a complete list of attractions included in the Cappadocia Travel Pass®. Now let’s dig into the underground cities of this mysterious region. 

Underground Cities in Cappadocia 

Millions of years ago, the Cappadocian region was covered in ash from countless volcanic eruptions, which eventually cemented into soft volcanic rock. The soft volcanic rock in the region is now primarily thought as the reason for the majority of Cappadocia's features, notably its underground settlements.

In total, there are around 200 underground cities in the Cappadocia region, with Derinkuyu and Kaymakli receiving the most tourists. They all have different features and significance in the region’s history. 


The Phrygians, who carved their dwellings into the area's soft volcanic rock between the eighth and seventh century BCE, are thought to be the ones who first constructed the underground city of Cappadocia. 

The purpose of the underground settlements was to shield the citizens from outside attack while allowing thousands of people to live their lives in complete privacy. The caves offered Christians refuge from the terror of the Mongolians during the attacks on Timur in the 14th century. They made it possible for people to protect themselves from persecution during the Roman Empire. 

Even in the 20th century, people were able to shield themselves from persecution thanks to underground cities. The underground cities weren't totally abandoned until 1923, following the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, and they weren't rediscovered until 1963. According to the legend, the remainder of history began when a resident discovered a weird place inside his home hidden behind a wall.

Ozkonak Underground City

As we mentioned before, the Cappadocian region was covered in ash from countless volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, which eventually turned into soft volcanic rock. Today, the majority of Cappadocia's features, such as its fairy chimneys and underground cities, are mostly explained by the region's soft volcanic rock.


In light of this, Ozkonak Underground City was founded about the fourth century BCE. The Byzantine Empire's Christians primarily caved into this underground city. Later, the Persians and then the Romans arrived. As they fled persecution, these Christians built churches and religious schools in the already-established underground city of Ozkonak.

The 14 km from Avanos, the Underground City of Ozkonak was built on the steep northern slopes of Mount Idiş, where there are thick layers of volcanic granite and tuff. The galleries are scattered across a large area and are connected via tunnels. Unlike the underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, contact between the levels is only possible through extraordinarily long and thin apertures. Even when the doors to the appropriately carved compartments are closed, the airflow is provided by these five-centimeter-long, thin apertures.

With Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, Ozkonak is one of three enormous underground fortifications in the region. It was discovered in 1972 by a farmer who noted that the water he would use to irrigate his crops seemed to oddly seep into the ground. Each of the settlements had many underground rooms, stacked layers high, connected to a breathtakingly complex water and ventilation system. Ozkonak, however, is notably different from neighboring underground cities in two essential areas.


A crude interconnected system of communication allowed each of the city's ten decreasing levels to converse with the level above or below it. Another distinguishing characteristic of the city is the network of holes just above the city gateways, through which they could pour hot oil on any invading force. In addition to the oil holes, which acted as the city's main line of defense, there were various traps in the tiny tunnels to deal with the intruders if they succeeded in entering the city.

The public can visit four of the 10 floors of Ozkonak today to get a sense of what it's like to live there. If you're not afraid of small spaces, you must see this amazing humanmade wonder.

With Cappadocia Travel Pass® you can visit Ozkonak Underground City and other underground cities along with 35+ great attractions. Cappadocia Travel Pass® allows you to discover Cappadocia with ease. Click here and compare yourself, then buy your pass to save time and money. See you in Cappadocia!

FAQ

Which underground city in Cappadocia is better?

It is hard to categorize underground cities and pick one. They all have different unique characteristics. For example, Ozkonak Underground City has a special communication system that may amaze you. So, we advise you to 

Is Cappadocia an underground city?

Cappadocia is a region and there are around 200 underground cities under this region. Some of them are big enough to host 20000 people with their livestock. 

How many underground cities are there in Cappadocia?

It is estimated that there are around 200 cities in the Cappadocia region. 

What is the huge underground city in Turkey?

Derinkuyu Underground City is the biggest underground city in Turkey and it is located in the Cappadocia region. 

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