Derinkuyu Underground City

Middle East - Editor - 20 July 2010

Derinkuyu Underground City

One of the most astonishing attractions in Turkey is the Derinkuyu Underground City, which is located near the city of Nevsehir. The discovery of the Derinkuyu Underground City happened purely by accident, when a local man decided to renovate his house-cave in the year 1963. During the labor intensive task of breaking down a wall in his home, he discovered a room on the other side. The further he explored, the more he found. This was a significant find, and excavations to the underground tunnels began, exposing the skill of its builders and the enormity of this hidden city.

The massive city is a sight to behold as it stretches down to a depth of 85 meters, making the city twenty floors in height. Artifacts found within the tunnels and chambers date back to the Middle Byzantine Period. It has been discovered that Christians made use of the tunnels to escape raiders and persecutors, and found refuge in the Derinkuyu Underground City. The constructors of this massive network of tunnels designed the city in such a way that each floor could be shut closed with giant stone doors, as well as the main entrances. The underground city was opened to the public in 1969, and draws thousands of visitors each year. Due to the sheer size of the city, a mere ten percent of it is available for viewing and exploration, as excavations are still ongoing.

The city was big enough to house a maximum of approximately fifty thousand people and their livestock. Within the city, archeologists have found storage facilities, chapels, cellars, stables, a school, ventilation shafts, wells and even oil and wine presses. Staircases between floor three and floor are just another example of how well the builders designed the city and how advanced their capabilities were. Spacious rooms and vaulted ceilings ensured that people living in the city were comfortable and had more than enough room to move. The Derinkuyu Underground City is truly an amazing feat of construction, and visitors will be spellbound by this spectacular piece of history. Walking in the footsteps of ancient generations is a unique and rare experience.


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