The City of Derinkuyu: Exploring Turkey’s Ancient Caverns

You’ve probably already heard about Cappadocia and the magical area surrounding it. But there is so much more that this historic region hides. For example – an ancient underground city called Derinkuyu. Carved into the soft volcanic rock, Derinkuyu is a masterpiece of engineering and architecture that dates back to the 8th century BC. So if you want to learn more about this truly unique place, then keep on reading.

History of Derinkuyu

The city of Derinkuyu was originally built as a refuge during times of war and invasion. Over the centuries, the city was expanded and deepened, with each generation adding new tunnels, rooms, and storage areas. It was designed to provide a safe haven for the people of the region during times of danger and was used as a hiding place by early Christians to escape persecution.


Derinkuyu was discovered by a local resident in 1963 while he was renovating his home. He discovered a hidden room behind a wall that led to a network of tunnels and underground chambers. The rediscovery of this underground city was a significant find, and it has since become a popular tourist attraction.

Exploring Derinkuyu

Visitors to Derinkuyu will find themselves in awe of the city’s impressive architecture and engineering. The underground city is made up of multiple levels connected by steep and narrow staircases. Visitors can explore the various tunnels and chambers, which include living quarters, kitchens, stables, and even a church.

One of the most remarkable features of Derinkuyu is its sophisticated ventilation system. The city was designed with an air circulation system that brought in fresh air from the surface and circulated it throughout the underground chambers. This system ensured that the inhabitants of the city had a steady supply of fresh air, even when the city was sealed off from the outside world.

The city’s underground water supply is equally impressive, with wells and cisterns that collected and stored water for the inhabitants. Visitors can see these features and more as they make their way through the city’s labyrinthine tunnels and chambers.

Touring Derinkuyu


If you want to get an in-depth look at the city’s history and architecture, then make sure to book a guided tour. The tours take visitors through the various levels and chambers of the city, as well as provide insights into the city’s defensive features and ventilation system. Don’t forget to wear comfortable clothing and shoes as the stairs and passages can be narrow and steep. The temperature in the underground city is also cooler than the surface, so bring a light jacket or sweater.

The city of Derinkuyu is a marvel of human ingenuity and creativity. Its sophisticated architecture and engineering are a testament to the resourcefulness of the people who built it. Visitors to Derinkuyu will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore an ancient underground city that was used as a safe haven for thousands of years. So if you are planning a trip to Turkey, make sure to include a visit to Derinkuyu as well.

Kanita Bajrami

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