Narrow stone passageways inside Derinkuyu Underground City, carved from rock, showcasing ancient engineering.

Derinkuyu Underground City

  • Bayramlı, Niğde Cd., 50700 Derinkuyu/Nevşehir, Turkey

Nestled in the heart of Cappadocia, Turkey, Derinkuyu Underground City is an astonishing subterranean complex that dates back to the 8th-7th centuries B.C. Originally excavated by the Phrygians, this underground city was expanded by early Christians as a refuge from persecution. It plunges up to 60 meters deep and could shelter as many as 20,000 people along with their livestock and food stores. The city is a labyrinth of tunnels, living quarters, churches, and communal spaces like wine and oil presses, connected by narrow passageways. Ingenious ventilation shafts ensure airflow, while massive stone doors could seal the city from invaders. Derinkuyu is not just an archaeological wonder but a testament to human resilience and adaptability.