Derinkuyu, the extraordinary underground city of Turkey
Art & Culture

Derinkuyu, the extraordinary underground city of Turkey


Derinkuyu, the extraordinary underground city of Turkey

Derinkuyu is an ancient underground city located in Turkey, near the Nevsehir province of Cappadocia. This incredible archaeological discovery was stumbled upon by pure chance in 1963 by a local inhabitant while renovating his house. During renovations, he found himself in front of a mysterious passage: an intricate labyrinth of caves and tunnels divided into several levels that meandered over 85 meters deep in the bowels of the earth. This homeowner found a real metropolis, excavated by hand which dates back to the seventh century BC.

The underground city of Derinkuyu was built to protect its inhabitants from wars and religious persecutions, able to protect 20,000 people. It was equipped with large stone doors to prevent invaders, an ingenious ventilation system, as well as a well to ensure drinking water for all citizens. It included a multitude of rooms used as kitchens, bedrooms and warehouses for food storage. The city also ensured complete autonomy from the outside world by having a school, church and cellar for the preparation of wine and oil. It also contained an adequate number of livestock.

Derinkuyu was once connected with other underground cities through mile-long tunnels and is one of the many underground settlements found in this area. It is still unknown which civilization exactly built the city, and although about 20 underground levels have been explored to date, only eight can be visited. Currently Derinkuyu, together with the underground city of Kaymakl?, is undoubtedly one of the most visited tourist attractions in Cappadocia. It is an incredible and mysterious work that continues to attract the interest of archaeologists and scholars from all over the world.

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