It’s really fascinating to visit this underground city up to 5 grounds deep up to 55 m underground. Tunnels, rooms, stables… all underground. The actual city of Derinkuyu is just build over it…. You don’t see anything from above.
The Derinkuyu underground city is an ancient multi-level underground city in the Derinkuyu extending to a depth of approximately 85 meters. It is large enough to have sheltered as many as 20,000 people together with their livestock and food stores. It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and is one of several (about 200) underground complexes found throughout Cappadocia.
Caves might have been built initially in the soft volcanic rock of the Cappadocia region by the Phrygians in the 8th–7th centuries BC.
These cities continued to be used by the Christian natives as protection. After the region fell to the Ottomans, the cities were used as refuges. As late as the 20th century, the local population, Cappadocian Greeks and Armenians, were still using the underground cities to escape periodic persecutions.
In 1963, the tunnels were rediscovered after a resident of the area found a mysterious room behind a wall in his home while renovating. Further digging revealed access to the tunnel network.