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Derinkuyu description and photos - Turkey: Cappadocia. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The title in English is Derinkuyu.
Photo and description
Derinkuyu is an ancient underground city located 29 km south of Nevsehir. Derinkuyu is the largest underground structure in Cappadocia and the largest underground city in Turkey. The name of the city is translated from Turkish as "deep well". Derinkuyu is connected by tunnels with other underground cities of Cappadocia, including Kaymakli.
Archaeologists claim that the origin of this underground city dates back to the times when these lands were inhabited by the Hittites (1900-1200 BC). ... This is also evidenced by numerous archaeological finds. A little later, the labyrinths were expanded by other peoples. The underground schools, churches and even wine cellars present here clearly indicate that Christian communities lived in these undergrounds.
The city was discovered in 1963, partially explored and already in 1965 it was opened for tourists. The underground city is located on eight levels and covers an area of 1,500 square meters. Presumably, it was built in the 6th-10th centuries. Now only 10% of the territory is open for free access.
The underground galleries are quite well illuminated, here, by the way, there is a ventilation system built by the builders of these `` caves '' (An interesting fact is that ventilation shafts were found only on the first tier, there are more than fifteen thousand of them - an unprecedentedly complex system for such an early period). They were disguised outside as wells, but in fact, through these passages it was possible to get inside the city. They are deep enough, and their lower parts reach the groundwater, which the local people used for water supply.
The size of this settlement has not yet been finally clarified, since many of the drifts and manholes are too narrow, and even a child can hardly crawl into some of them (archaeologists believe that so far only a fourth of the total volume of the premises has been excavated).
The main halls simply amaze the imagination with their enormous size, the floors go 50-55 meters deep, and one drift reaches a depth of as much as 9 kilometers. Before visiting the city, you should definitely take some warm clothes with you, as the temperature inside it does not rise above +15 degrees Celsius.
In the underground city you can see a large number of huge stone discs. They were used as doors and closed from outsiders access to some rooms or to entire floors. They had such a design, that such a door could only be opened from the inside.
There were various workshops everywhere, in which they produced everything necessary for a long-term stay. In the city you can find a bakery with stones that pounded flour, a winery, several kitchens, pottery workshops, oil presses and much more. There are also underground and several barns, stables, warehouses and wine cellars. If you go up the stairs, you can find a small cruciform church between the third and fourth floors.
The main difference between Derinkuyu and other underground cities is the large hall located on the second floor with beautiful vaulted ceilings, which was used in as a spiritual school. There are several other smaller rooms nearby, used for the same needs.
You should not refuse the services of a guide when visiting Derinkuyu, even if you prefer to see the sights on your own. The city was built in such a way that only people living in it could navigate in it, so without a person who knows all the ways and roads, you can easily get lost or go astray. It is also worth keeping in mind that the further you go down, the lower the ceiling height becomes, not exceeding 160 centimeters in some sections, and the tunnels become narrower. Having descended quite low, some tourists feel a little panic.
Despite all the beauty of the underground city, there are also many interesting things to see on the surface. A hundred meters south of the city is a beautiful, although a bit gloomy Greek Orthodox monastery. Now it is abandoned, although it began its existence once as a Christian church. You can visit it if you find a watchman who will open it.
Wells and chapels are located in the city. A low tunnel leads down, on the sides of which there are empty cells.
You can get to Derinkuyu from Nevsehir and Aksaray by bus. Alternatively, you can book a one-day tour in Goreme or Avanos.
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Topic: Derinkuyu description and photos - Turkey: Cappadocia.