6 Facts about Derinkuyu, Turkey's Ancient Underground City

6 Facts about Derinkuyu, Turkey's Ancient Underground City

interior portrait of Derinkuyu City

interior portrait of Derinkuyu City


Netgenz - Sains | Ancient relics are evidence that there was one life in a certain period. The inheritance is generally in the form of artifacts, writings, tomb sites, temples, and other ancient buildings. Without evidence of inheritance, no one knows if civilization ever existed.

Usually, some archaeologists will look for and analyze the possibility that civilization exists. Some of the civilizations that were found were apparently quite unique because they were not made above, but underground. Derinkuyu City is an ancient heritage hidden underground. What is unique about this ancient city in Turkey? Read this list.

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1. Accidentally discovered by civilians

portrait of the alley in Derinkuyu Town

portrait of the alley in Derinkuyu Town


This underground city is in the province of Nev┼čehir, the city of Cappadocia. Derinkuyu was found in 1963 by a Turkish citizen. The man was doing renovations to the house where he lived. He then damaged one of the fox walls. When the wall of the rubble crumbled, he found a large room that had a passage.

After further witnessing, it seems that the passage is a secret passage to an underground city. The city looked enormous and was quite deep underground. The man eventually gave the report of his discovery to the relevant faction for further searches.

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2. The biggest and deepest underground city

portrait of the alleys of Derinkuyu

portrait of the alleys of Derinkuyu


Derinkuyu is not the first underground city discovered in Cappadocia. There are approximately 200 underground cities that were found in the city. But until now, Derinkuyu is the biggest one of them. The structure of this city is like an anthill made to the size of a human.

The city which is named means the deep well is huge and complex. Derinkuyu is predicted to be able to accommodate 20,000 people in it. Residents store food and other necessities of life in the city. The area of ​​the city is predicted to reach 1.7 square miles or about 4.5 square km. The city is divided into 18 levels and below, with a depth of up to 80 meters.

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3. Derinkuyu city facilities were quite complete in its era

interior portrait of Derinkuyu City

interior portrait of Derinkuyu City


Despite being underground, the city of Derinkuyu seems to have facilities that allow people to live quite comfortably in it. Quoted by History Hit, the city found facilities such as several circulation holes, water wells, a large face-to-face hall, horse stables, kitchens, living rooms, prisons, and tombs.

1,500 circulation streams distribute traffic throughout the city. Another facility is a school that counts as a Christian missionary school. The school is on the second level of Derinkuyu city. The kitchen and the area for storing food are in a separate rooms. There are churches, bathrooms, and rooms where people rest and sleep.

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4. Act as a city of refuge

interior portrait of Derinkuyu City

interior portrait of Derinkuyu City


Derinkuyu is predicted to have been made in the 15th to the twelfth century BC. Some experts think that the Hittites were the first to make this underground city. They made Derinkuyu evade some of the Phrygians. At the time of the Byzantines, quoted by History Hit, the construction of this city was complete.

Throughout the war between the Arabs and the Byzantines, the city was used as a refuge. It is said that during the war between 780 - 1180 AD, the city was connected to other underground cities through a large tunnel.

The city served as a safe haven for Christians during the Mongolian invasion of the 14th century. The city was considered to be a hiding place for Christians from the oppression of the Romans. After the transition of citizens between Greece and Turkey in 1923, several underground cities began to be abandoned.

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5. Crafted from stone carvings

interior portrait of Derinkuyu City

interior portrait of Derinkuyu City


The city of Derinkuyu is made of volcanic rocks that are in the ground, then carved little by little to make spaces and passages. The Derinkuyu rocks are made of dense layers of volcanic ash called tuff, which is common in the region.

The stones are soft and porous, so they are not difficult to make even with simple tools such as hoes and shovels. These rocks will harden only when in contact with air.

The city doors were made of large stones. In his book, Underground Worlds: A Guide to Spectacular Subterranean Places, David Farley explains that the entrance to the city was made of large cobblestone, five feet thick and weighing about 1,100 pounds. For the safety of the occupants, each floor has a door that can be sealed with stones.

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6. Become a famous leisure destination in Turkey

interior portrait of Derinkuyu City

interior portrait of Derinkuyu City


6 years after its discovery, in 1969 to be exact, the city of Derinkuyu was finally opened to the public. It takes 90 minutes to circle the city. Only eight levels of the entire city that visitors can enter. This ancient city is recognized as part of a UNESCO world heritage site and attracts many visitors due to its unique construction. Many travel agents provide tours of this ancient city.

Although open to the public, only about fifty percent of the city area can be visited. Having a maze-like shape, narrow alleys, steep stairs and the depths of the city make this place not suitable for claustrophobic patients. There are inside guide boards that need to be followed so that visitors don't go the wrong way.

The legacy of the ancient city of Derinkuyu shows how strong humans were at that time. They managed to survive and avoid chaos by creating a large and complex underground city. Until now, many sides of the city are explored by several archaeologists.

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