Home WORLD Explore Turkey’s Hidden Underground City “Cappadocia”

Explore Turkey’s Hidden Underground City “Cappadocia”

Eighteen stories below ground in Turkey’s Cappadocia region, the ancient city of Derinkuyu remained hidden for centuries. The underground city was rediscovered in 1963 when a man knocked down a wall in his basement and stumbled across a hidden room.

image credit: Great Big Story 

From there, an excavation revealed the impressive network of tunnels connecting ancient churches, schools and living quarters. In total, the city likely could have protected 20,000 people and their livestock from wars and natural disasters.

image credit: Great Big Story 

The city at Derinkuyu was fully formed in the Byzantine era, when it was heavily used as protection from Muslim Arabs during the Arab–Byzantine wars (780-1180). It was at this time that most of the chapels and Greek inscriptions were added.


The city was connected with other underground cities through miles of tunnels. Some artifacts discovered in these underground settlements belong to the Middle Byzantine Period, between the 5th and the 10th centuries AD.

The city could accommodate as many as 20,000 people and had all the usual amenities found in other underground complexes across Cappadocia, such as wine and oil presses, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, and chapels.