How cool would it be to see a city that is 8 stories underground?

By December 20, 2016Middle East, Turkey
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Time to explore each and every tunnel I can find.

The Derinkuyu underground city is a very cool area in the Cappadocia portion of Turkey. It was first started when the Hittites carved the first two levels in the 8th century BC. After this time the city was abandoned and rediscovered several times. Each time new rooms and tunnels were added until it reached down 16 levels.

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Some of the rooms and tunnels.

Of course, when you think underground city you may be thinking about an extremely large cavern that has buildings built inside it. This idea is not accurate since Derinkuyu underground city is a series of rooms carved underground with tunnels connecting them. Some of the rooms were specifically dug to produce wine, serve as a school, church, stables, cellars, ect.

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Melek is showing off the wine press area

One thing to always remember is even though thiĀ­s is called a city, it was never meant to be lived in on a permanent basis. It was only to provide a safe, temporary living space during invasions and war. Of course, with that said it could house up to 20,000 residents. It was fully developed by the time of the Byzantine Empire and was used for protection against the Arabs invasions of the 8th through 12th centuries. It was even used in the 14th century when Genghis Khan rolled through the area. In fact it was used up to the 1923 by Greek descendants as protection from the Ottoman persecution. After this time they were expelled during the population exchange between Greece and Turkey and the city was forgotten. Interestingly it was only rediscovered in 1963 when someone found a room behind the wall of their home.

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This is a stone door that can be used to close off a section. These were at each level.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even though the city is 16 levels deep, visitors are only allowed to tour through the upper 8 levels. Either way being 65 meters underground exploring a historical site like this was still a unique experience and another must do when you are in Cappadocia.

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