Cappadocia underground city are a genuine fairyland. Besides its visual landscape, it has over 36 underground cities. These mysterious cities make a great sensation for anyone who visits Cappadocia.
There are many ideas, myths and extraordinary explanations about underground cities. We need to first specify that ‘Underground City’ is not a proper city where people live permanently. They were first carved as storages then enlarged as defensive underground castles. Later first Christians in the area used and enlarged them as underground secret churches.
Eventually, they were used as storages again until we discovered them as interesting tourist attraction underground cities. Geological composition of tuff and basalt stone in Cappadocia gives a great opportunity to carve cave houses, stables and storages. Thus when human history and first-ever found villages started to occur, people carved their caves in rock formations. We can easily say that the first underground cities date back to the first man in this region.
Carving one, two or three level cave houses into fairy chimneys is rather easy than carving seven or eight levels of underground city. Shockingly these deep underground cities were carved by very clever and talented hands. Providing air circulation, protecting entrances from the enemies, feeding people and organizing them without caos. These were just a couple of great things people accomplished.
Derinkuyu Underground CityDerinkuyu underground city as eight levels, Tunnels are rather wider than Kaymakli and Ozkonak underground cities, Offers many different rooms such as storage, church, kitchens, stables, graveyard, water well. It all started with ingenious hands carving to earth with passion. It is yet to be certain when and who did begin to carve them but even the discovered parts makes it to be one of the most mysterious underground cities on earth. Derinkuyu is one of the oldest and largest underground cities in the world, and it’s true size is not known. It’s believed that Derinkuyu is almost as old as scripture and it can be home for more than five thousand people. Tunnels which are no larger than half the size of a man, rooms connected to each other, dark tunnels they all carved into rock and its all parts yet to be discovered. Derinkuyu underground city was discovered by locals in 1963 and opened for tourism in 1965. Today you can see just %10 of the whole city and you can go down to minus 8 floors. It is estimated that Derinkuyu Underground City covers around 11 square meters.
Kaymakli Underground city
Its narrow tunnels offer a strong feeling of being in the underground city, Has eight levels but you can visit only four of them. Winery and stone gate is must-see.
The inhabitants of the village of Kaymaklı, whose ancient name is “Enegüp”, have constructed their homes near 100 or more tunnels of the underground city. Even today, villagers pass through these tunnels and utilize the appropriate places of the underground city as cellars, storerooms and stables. Underground city of Kaymaklı is different from the Derinkuyu in terms of both its plan and its establishment. Its passages are low, narrow and slopping. Currently, four floors have been unearthed and the spaces are concentrated around the ventilation shafts. In the first floor of the underground city, stables are located. The church on the 2nd floor has a single nave and two apsis. In front of the apsis is an altar, and on the sides there are seating platforms.
The most important areas of the underground city are on the 3rd floor. Besides numerous storage places, wineries and kitchen, the block of andesite with relief-texture found on this floor is very interesting. The stone was not brought here from outside but was part of the andesite layer unearthened while hollowing. To be used for when there is a need, 57 holes were carved on the surface of the stone for crushing and grinding purposes. Even though the whole city has not been completely opened, and since only 4 floors have been uncovered, it is certain that Kaymakli is one of the largest underground settlements in the region. It is accepted as the widest underground city of Cappadocia, among the explored ones. The number of the storage rooms in such a small area supports the idea that a great number of people resided here.
Ozkonak Underground city
Ozkonak Underground city has easy access from one to an other level Tunnels are rather wider than Derinkuyu underground city
Not too busy as Kaymakli or Derinkuyu underground cities, thus you can better focus on your experience.
There are always public busses to access these underground cities but you have to change your transport more than one time. The easiest way to go these underground cities is booking a tour with a professional tour guide. Daily regular tour or private tour usually covers entrance fees.
If you want to visit them by yourself, you can buy one entrance tickets from the entrances or you can buy Museum Pass cards which will be more reasonable.
If you’re looking for an adventure that will take you back in time, the Cappadocia Underground City is a must-see destination. This ancient city was built as a defensive mechanism against invaders and is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the people who lived here. The city was carved out of tuff and basalt stone, creating a maze of underground tunnels and rooms that stretch for miles.
As you explore the underground city, you’ll be transported back in time to a world where people lived in constant fear of attack. The intricate tunnels and defensive structures are a marvel of engineering and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. The fact that this city has survived for centuries is a testament to the incredible craftsmanship of the people who built it.
One of the most fascinating things about the Cappadocia underground city is the way it was constructed. Rather than building structures above ground, the people of Cappadocia chose to carve their homes and defensive structures out of the natural rock formations. This not only made the city more defensible, but it also allowed the people to maintain a comfortable temperature year-round, despite the extreme temperatures outside.
Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a unique travel experience, the City is a must-see destination. With its intricate tunnels, defensive structures, and fascinating history, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience that you won’t soon forget.
Cappadocia’s underground cities are ancient subterranean complexes carved into the soft volcanic rock of the region. These cities were primarily used for shelter and protection during times of invasion.
There are several underground cities in Cappadocia, with the most famous ones being Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı. Derinkuyu is the deepest, extending approximately 60 meters below ground.
The underground cities were built for defensive purposes, providing a safe refuge for the local inhabitants during times of war or persecution. They also served as storage for food and other supplies.
The cities were excavated by hand, using simple tools, into the soft volcanic rock. They feature a network of tunnels, rooms, storage areas, and ventilation shafts.
The underground cities of Cappadocia date back to the Hittite period (around 1600 BCE) and were expanded and used by subsequent civilizations, including the Phrygians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, and early Christians
These cities represent a remarkable feat of ancient engineering and served as crucial shelters for the local population during times of conflict. They are also a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of the region.
Yes, many of the underground cities in Cappadocia, such as Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı, are open to visitors. Guided tours are available to explore the intricate tunnels, chambers, and rooms.
While most artifacts have been removed or lost over time, visitors can still see remnants of ancient stonework, ventilation systems, and even churches with frescoes in some areas.
Derinkuyu, one of the largest underground cities, extends approximately 60 meters (200 feet) below ground, with multiple levels interconnected by tunnels and passages.
While the sites are generally safe, visitors should be aware of low ceilings, narrow passages, and uneven surfaces. It’s advisable to take guided tours and follow safety guidelines to ensure a secure exploration experience.