Derinkuyu underground city in Turkey

Tuesday, 28 March 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  3 minutes

Deep ventilation well © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Deep ventilation well © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Derinkuyu underground city (Cappadocian Greek: Μαλακοπή / Malakopi; Turkish: Derinkuyu Yeraltı Şehri) is an ancient multi-level underground city of the Median Empire in the Derinkuyu district in Nevşehir Province, Turkey, extending to a depth of approximately 85 metres (280 ft). It is large enough to have sheltered as many as 20,000 people together with their livestock and food stores. It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and is one of several underground complexes found throughout Cappadocia.

The underground city at Derinkuyu could be closed from the inside with large rolling stone doors. Each floor could be closed off separately. The city could accommodate up to 20,000 people and had amenities found in other underground complexes across Cappadocia, such as wine and oil presses, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, and chapels. Unique to the Derinkuyu complex and located on the second floor is a spacious room with a barrel-vaulted ceiling. It has been reported that this room was used as a religious school and the rooms to the left were studies.

© Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0 Deep ventilation well © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0 'School' © flickr.com - Martijn Munneke/cc-by-2.0
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Deep ventilation well © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0
Starting between the third and fourth levels are a series of vertical staircases, which lead to a cruciform church on the lowest (fifth) level. The large 55-metre (180 ft) ventilation shaft appears to have been used as a well. The shaft provided water to both the villagers above and, if the outside world was not accessible, to those in hiding.

Nevşehir Province has several other historical underground cities including Kaymaklı Underground City. The underground cities and structures are carved out of unique geological formations. They may have been used as hiding places during times of raids. The locations are now archaeological tourist attractions. They remain generally unoccupied. More than 200 underground cities of at least two levels have been discovered in the area between Kayseri and Nevşehir. Some 40 of those include three or more levels.

Read more on Wikipedia Derinkuyu (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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