Derinkuyu Underground City

Derinkuyu Underground

Derinkuyu Underground City is one of several underground cities in the Cappadocia region of Turkey.


The city extends to a depth of approximately 60m


The city was large enough to shelter approximately 20,000 people together with their livestock and food stores while some sources claim that it could held around 50,000 people


It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey


It was opened to visitors in 1969 and to date.

On the 2nd floor, is a spacious room which is considered to be the religious school and the rooms to the left were studies.

Religious School

Ventilation shafts bring air from above and roughly 15,000 smaller shafts distribute that air throughout the city.

180ft Shaft

Derinkuyu underground city has 11 levels.

The city also has numerous wells to provide fresh water.

Visitors can’t have access to all floors

No go area

Between the 3rd and 4th levels is a vertical staircase. This passage way leads to a cruciform church.

Passage leading to cruciform church


Derinkuyu Underground City was discovered in 1963, when a cave was found during renovation of a house.


The most accurate dating suggests that the city was constructed in between 1,000 and 800 B.C.E.


Hittites are said to be the earliest builders built it in the 15th century BC

Some theories claim Phrygians, to be the builders of this city.

One more theory says, it was built by the Persian King Yima who was ordered to build it by the god Ahura Mazda to protect his people from an ice age


The ancient Derinkuyu underground city is not a place to visit if you suffer from claustrophobia, an irrational fear of having no escape or being closed or high blood pressure as walking down the flight of stairs in the Derinkuyu City sometimes becomes so cramped that you begin to lower your head and feel suffocated by the lack of space.


The city was big and complex but there was a general layout to it. Animals were crowded into the top level of the city; the kitchens were placed on the next level, domestic living rooms on the next level after that and so forth.
The citizens that built the Derinkuyu underground city thought of everything. This city was not intended for permanent living however it could be months that they stayed in there until it was safe to go back up.


The underground city at Derinkuyu could be closed from the inside with large circular stone doors. Each floor could be closed off separately.

Circular door

City Had

Winery derinkuyu
Stables with feeders
Storage rooms
Storage room


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