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Derinkuyu – Interesting Facts about this Underground City

Derinkuyu (meaning deep well) Underground city is one of the most important discoveries made in thousands of years. Up until 1963, the city was hidden from the world, when a man simply started renovating his house in Cappadocia, central Turkey and found a well behind the wall of his house basement. When the place was further excavated, there were seen the staircase going further down into the ground.

It is the deepest excavated underground city in Turkey with a depth of more than 250 feet and a capacity of more than 20,000 people. Interestingly the multi-leveled city is equipped with all the necessities a human can possibly think of.

Cappadocia is popular for its exceptionally unique geology as the area is covered with rough pyramid landscapes because of Volcano eruption in very early times. People started carving the ash rocks into rooms and tunnels which they use to live in, storage, etc. You can see lots of amazing carved houses, hotels, and churches in present time there. Experts believe that there could be more such underground cities in the region that are still unknown to us.

Facts and Features of Derinkuyu Underground City

The city is enormous with eighteen stories. In the city, researchers have found Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, separated storage rooms for food and weapons, oil presses and wineries, schools, churches, meeting places, wells, and even stables for animals. The city also has an extensive network of stairs, tunnels, passages, corridors and stepped pits to connect family rooms and community spaces. The city was made underground, so it was important to make sufficient arrangements for water and air supplies for the people living in the city. And the city has it all with more than fifty big shafts of around 180 feet were made to bring in the air, and thousands of small shafts were made that could distribute the air throughout the city.

Though it is still unknown who built the city and when exactly the city was built, some scholars believe that the Hittites may have built the dwelling before 1200 BC. Other scholars believe that the Phrygians built the city between 1200 and 800 BC. The reason for making such a big city underground is also unknown. Experts say that the city is made as a shelter from the foreign invaders and extreme climate conditions.

Whoever made it, it was designed keeping in mind all the safety measures. There are more than 60 entrance doors to the city, and all the doors consisted of big round stone weighing up to 1,000 pounds that can be used as doors to close the entrances and save the city from the enemies. These doors can be opened and closed from inside only. The similar stone doors are found at the connecting points of each level to seal each level separately. The city was designed with all the amenities and the people living there could live as normally as they could live on the surface ground.

There are still many questions remained unanswered about the underground city. Who exactly built the city? Why was there a need to make the underground city? And many more that we hope to be answered someday.

The Bottom Line

After reading about this wonderful city, you must be wondering to visit the city and see all this for yourself. The Derinkuyu underground city is open to the public after six years of its discovery and is a well-known tourist attraction in Turkey. Only 8 out of 18 levels are opened for public as some levels are quite congested and people might feel suffocating here. So, whenever you plan to visit there, do visit this beautiful and astonishing underground city.