Tour Turkey: Underground Cities of Cappadocia – Derinkuyu

When travelling to Cappadocia, there are several things you MUST see. One of them is visiting at least one of the Underground cities. There are over 40 known underground cities, with new discoveries always on the horizon.

Created in the 7th – 8th century B.C. , Derinkuyu is the deepest known underground city and goes down to 11 stories (85 meters) in the ground. Derinkuyu was created as a refuge in times of war and later served as a safe place for Christians facing persecution by the Roman Empire. The walkways are a little small, but the pathways and rooms are well lit and you have plenty of room to move around. Seeing first-hand the homes, churches, stables, wineries and storage areas and how people survived for months at a time is amazing. Most of the underground cities in the region are connected and at any given time one underground city could have had from 25,000 – 50,000 people living there.

Here is a map of Derinkuyu to give you a better picture of the layout:

Bring a light jacket when making plans to tour Derinkuyu in the summer time, because the temperature will be a little cooler inside the underground city.

Have you ever been to Derinkuyu? What was the most memorable thing for you going to the underground cities?

Here are some other popular posts about Cappadocia:

You can also check out our recommendations forCappadocia cave hotels.

To get a free custom tour proposal and price quote for a Cappadocia tour or private guide, you can fill out ourcustom tour form.

6 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    How did Christians make them 800 years before Christianity existed?

  • Jim says:

    Hello Anonymous – Thanks for pointing out the confusing wording I used. I’ve updated the post and hope its clear that Derinkuyu did serve as a safe place for Christians facing persecution by the Roman Empire, although it was created before Christianity existed.

  • Jill England says:

    I took a tour of one of these sites in 1969. What I remember as a 9 year old was the rolling stone doors, the pit ‘traps’ the deep church with alter, and the central pit/well that was really, really deep. The tour guide lit it by lighting a newspaper on fire and throwing it into the hole and we watched the makeshift torch fall and fall …

    They probably do not use that lighting technique anymore.

    • admin says:

      Yeah, now they just drop stones and let you listen for the sound. Sometimes they’ll have a laser light they can shine down the hole but that’s only the rare technologically savvy guide.

  • adil Jilla says:

    Perhaps you would like to tell the story before the Christians, where Zorastrains was first the religion in the region.

    • admin says:

      Or possibly I could touch on the shamanistic and ancestor related religions of the pre Zoroastrian period. But most of the visitors are going to see the Byzantine remains and Hittite period remains so writing an article about travel that focused on the aspects of Zoroastrianism is still a ways down on my priority list. Thanks for the idea though. I`ll do a little research and get back to you.

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