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Man Rediscovers the Mysterious Derinkuyu Underground City While Renovating His Home

By Jatin Sharma, 25 June 2018

There has been a debate whether our ancestors were more advanced than us or not. Their marvels of engineering and techniques to doing things have astonished us since the days of pyramids. Therefore finding more and more such marvels of architecture has just mystified the intrigue.

Turkey is one of the most ancient countries of the world and has seen many empires ruling it, with the Ottoman Empire being the most noticeable. One such architecture wonder of Turkey is the Derinkuyu Underground City in the in the Derinkuyu district in Nevsehir Province, Turkey.

We have dug deep into the internet’s maze of information and dug out 14 amazing facts about the Derinkuyu Underground City that will leave u awestruck.

Check them out:

1Location of the Derinkuyu Underground City

The much fabled Derinkuyu Underground City is located under the town and district of Derinkuyu in the Nevsehir province of Turkey. It is 40 kilometers away from Goreme, a town famous for the fairy chimney rock formations.

Location of the Derinkuyu Underground City

Image Source: www.historicmysteries.com

2How was the Derinkuyu Underground City found?

The Cappadocia is famous for its twin underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli. Derinkuyu lies 250 feet below the surface of the Earth. Ancient people started carving the soft ash rocks into tunnels and rooms to be used for residence, safety, and other uses.

It was rediscovered in 1963 after been abandoned in 1923; when a man broke down a wall in his subterranean home while renovating and it revealed something hidden, like a room. On further exploration, it showed a deep labyrinth of a network of tunnels, and soon it was realized that the fabled Derinkuyu Underground City had been rediscovered.

Derinkuyu Underground City found

Image Source: picallo.info

3Length of the Derinkuyu Underground City is amazing

Derinkuyu is the deepest underground city of them all in Cappadocia, while Kaymakli is the widest. The Derinkuyu underground city has 18 stories that are dug deeper into the Earth. Some tunnels are as long as 180 feet long.

Length of the Derinkuyu Underground City is amazing

Image Source: www.thetouchofsound.com

4The Derinkuyu Underground City is unbelievable

At 60m deep, the Derinkuyu underground city is well ventilated and provides fresh air to the multiple residences in the tunnels. It also has numerous wells for providing fresh water to its inhabitants. The Derinkuyu Underground City is part of the famous Cappadocia area, which is historically popular because it houses over 200 underground cities.

The Derinkuyu Underground City is unbelievable

Image Source: www.pandotrip.com

5Design of the Derinkuyu Underground City

There are more than 600 doors to the city which are well hidden in the courtyards of the homes. It was built to keep people safe during invasions and has enormously huge, 1000lbs stone doors that are circular in shape for the ease of closing them quickly. There were many things found in the design of the city as wine and oil presses, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, and chapels.

Design of the Derinkuyu Underground City

Image Source: mymodernmet.com

6Uses of Derinkuyu Underground City

The Derinkuyu Underground City dates back to prehistoric times when Phrygians of Helleno–Pelasgic origin and was thought to be built by Phrygians to protect themselves from the Arab- Byzantine Wars in from 1-2 AD. It also kept people safe from the 14th-century invasion of Mongols led by Timur. The Cappadocian Greek used the underground city to save themselves during the Ottoman regime.

Uses of Derinkuyu Underground City

Image Source: www.cappadociatravelagency.com

7Safety designs of Derinkuyu Underground City

It is reputed that the Derinkuyu Underground City was a part of a larger intricate. It runs more than 60m down in the ground and has 18 stories. This makes it the deepest one in the world. It is a maze of tunnels some of which are more than 180 feet long. It has heavy circular doors made of stone with a hole in the middle used to keep a watch at intruders. They could also shoot arrows or spears from this hole.

It was probably used as a bunker during any type of natural disasters or invasions. The doors were designed in a way that they could seal separate levels. The passages were so narrow that the invaders had to come in a single pile.

Safety designs of Derinkuyu Underground City

Image Source: thumbnails.trvl-media.com


Some scholars theorize that the Hittites started construction on these underground cities in 15th century BC. The Anatolian Hittites are mentioned in the Bible and they had a good control over a large portion of Asia Minor. This portion extended from the Black Sea to the Levant.

These cities gave them protection from the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Thracians. Thracians had destroyed their main city of Hattusa and artifacts related to Hittites were found in the Derinkuyu Underground City, which was used as a shelter.

Hittites sculpture

Image Source: funkystockphotos.com


It is said in the Zoroastrian book Avesta, that great and mythical Persian king Yima created underground cities for housing herd, men, and flocks. Hence some are of the opinion that ancient Persians created the Derinkuyu and with Avesta dating back to the founding of Zoroastrian in 1500-1200 BC, this claim has found support.


Image Source: www.e-ephesustour.com


Phrygians architects are considered to be the best in the world in the Iron age and they are credited by archeologists for building this complexes. Phrygians controlled the area until roughly the 6th century BC after they sacked it in 1180 BC. Phrygians have built the great citadel of Gordion (950-800 BC) and as the experts placed the time of construction of the Derinkuyu underground city from 10th-7th centuries BC.


Image Source: sometimes-interesting.com


Early Christians used the underground cities in Cappadocia which include Derinkuyu to hide from Romans. They claim to build and expanding the complex and provide the presiding of Saint Gregory and Saint Basil during the 4th century AD.


Image Source: turkishtravelblog.com

12Accommodate 20,000 People

The Derinkuyu underground city is large enough to accommodate 20,000 people at one time. It is well ventilated with more than 1500 ducts that provided the inhabitants with fresh air despite being 60m under the ground. The city also had well-dug wells to provide fresh water and no well was interconnected to keep them from being poisoned from the above by enemies. A large 55-meter (180-foot) ventilation shaft was used as a well also to give water to those below and above.

Accommodate 20,000 People

Image Source: pinimg.com

13Part of a Larger Complex

Many experts who have explored the tunnels of the Derinkuyu underground city opine that there is a tunnel that extends and connects it to its sister underground city of Kaymakli, which is situated 3 miles away.

Part of a Larger Complex

Image Source: www.readntravel.com

14Other similar underground cities

There are many other underground cities in the world which are similar to Derinkuyu and Kaymakli. People of Moosejaw, Saskatchewan in Canada built a good network of tunnels and residences to hide the Chinese immigrants from jail in the 20th century. The Village troglodytique de Barry built an underground residential complex that dated back to 6th century AD.

Other similar underground cities

Image Source: thumbnails.trvl-media.com