Underground city of Derinkuyu once housed 20 000 People, encompassing 18 levels of tunnels.

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Yes, that’s correct! Derinkuyu is a historical underground city located in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. It is one of several underground cities in the area and is known for its vast network of tunnels and chambers.

Derinkuyu Underground City was carved out of soft volcanic rock, likely during the Byzantine era, around the 8th to 7th centuries BCE. The city was initially used by the Phrygians, an ancient Indo-European people, and later expanded by the Byzantine Christians as a refuge during times of invasion and attack.

The city consists of numerous levels, estimated to be around 18, although not all of them are open to the public. It includes living spaces, storage rooms, ventilation shafts, wells, and even a church. The purpose of these underground cities was primarily defensive, providing a place for the local population to seek refuge during times of war or persecution.

The underground cities of Cappadocia, including Derinkuyu, are remarkable examples of ancient engineering and architecture, showcasing how people adapted to their environment for survival. Today, Derinkuyu is a popular tourist attraction, allowing visitors to explore a fascinating underground world and learn about the region’s rich history.


Multi-functional Design: Derinkuyu’s underground city was designed to serve multiple purposes. In addition to providing shelter during times of danger, it housed living quarters, kitchens, stables, churches, and storage rooms. The ventilation system was particularly advanced, with vertical shafts that allowed fresh air to circulate through the entire complex.Connectivity with Other Underground Cities: Derinkuyu is just one of many underground cities in Cappadocia. These cities are interconnected through tunnels, allowing people to travel between them without exposing themselves to the surface. Kaymaklı is another well-known underground city in the region.Population Capacity: While Derinkuyu is estimated to have housed around 20,000 people, it’s important to note that not all residents lived there permanently. These underground cities were more like temporary shelters where people could retreat during times of danger, such as invasions by hostile forces.Religious Significance: Derinkuyu features a church with a large, cross-shaped room, indicating its use for religious purposes. The presence of churches in these underground cities reflects the importance of religion in the lives of the inhabitants.Protection Against Invaders: The underground cities of Cappadocia were strategically located to provide protection against various invaders throughout history. The region has witnessed conflicts involving Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Seljuks, among others.Unique Geological Landscape: The soft volcanic rock of Cappadocia made it relatively easy for inhabitants to carve out extensive underground spaces. The unique fairy chimney formations on the surface, resulting from erosion, add to the surreal landscape of the region.Tourist Attractions: Today, Derinkuyu and other underground cities in Cappadocia are popular tourist destinations. Visitors can explore the narrow tunnels, chambers, and various levels, gaining insights into the daily lives and histories of the people who once sought refuge underground.

Overall, the underground cities of Cappadocia stand as remarkable examples of human ingenuity and adaptability, providing a glimpse into the challenges faced by ancient civilizations and their innovative solutions for survival.