Kaymakli / Derinkuyu Underground City – Discover the Thunderous History of Turkey’s Cappadocia Ancient Cities

In childhood days, as kids being completely consumed by the magic of fairy tales, we all have dreamt of ancient beautiful kingdoms, safeguarded in every direction by huge tall and strong iron walls, kings, queens, princes, princesses, empires with mighty powerful armies abundant of brave and highly skilled soldiers and having numerous obedient slaves and helpers who remain ever ready to serve us. Remember, how, after watching ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, we all had ran towards our wardrobes and hurriedly searched for any hidden pathways to some fantasy world or at times, wished to mistakenly slip into some hole to drop into the magical wonderland, just like the Alice ofthe ‘Alice in Wonderland’. But, alas, anything of this sort never happened and in this tenure of waiting and wonder, we all grew into young adults learning, studying and educating ourselves as per the societal norms and seized to believe in the existence of any kind of sorcery. Kaymakli/Derinkuyu Underground City in Turkey, is a perfect example for the magic of fairy tales in the real world not the virtual one.

Derinkuyu Underground Cappadocia Turkey Cities

Introduction to the Ancient City of Derinkuyu

So now rekindling the age old childhood spark of fire, simply imagine, you are renovating the basement of your house which is in Cappadocia, Turkey in 1963. And, in this process, you knock down one of the walls of the basement, only to discover a strange secret chamber which further turns out to be a mysterious passage. Surprised by this incidence, you anxiously keep on digging further, wondering where could the mystery passage lead to. And, much to your surprise, you arrive into a mega arena of extensively interconnected and intricate network of spacious family rooms connected through passages, long lit tunnels and broadwide corridors. It almost seems like some lavish setup of human settlement, with amenities and facilities to satisfy every need. That is exactly what Derinkuyu seems like.

Ancient City of Derinkuyu images
Ancient City of Derinkuyu images

City of Derinkuyu Location – Cappadocia Underground City

The Derinkuyu district of the Nevsehir province in Central Anatolia region of Turkey, is a living wonder in itself. It’s ancient name being Enugu. Derinkuyu underground city also known as cappadocia underground city is at 19 km from Nevsehir. It has an area of about 444.89 sq km (171.77 sq mi) and at an elevation 1,300m (4,300ft) and supports a population of 32,749 people. Cappadocia region has a rich history of volcanic eruptions which created high lava domes and  roughly shaped pyramids which lie buried in the sand ashes of the past for millions of years. These intense volcanic eruptions covered the region in thousands of layers of ashes and suffered extensive erosions and softened to be moulded and become spectacular scenic rock formations and spires which as popularly known as “fairy chimneys”. Its earliest mention was by Xenophon in his excerpts where he described humans to be living in underground settlements and having all their requirements available to live comfortably.

Derinkuyu Cappadocia Underground city
Derinkuyu Cappadocia Underground city

Thunderous History & Tour of Turkey’s Cappadocia Ancient City ‘Derinkuyu’ 

Since, now as the remnants of the volcanic activity had softened and had been whittled enough into malleable rocks which could be used to carve and build foundations for human usage, the ancient residents of this region started using these nature’s gifts and began designing and shaping the barren unused hillsides into human dwellings. What’s astonishing here, is that they didn’t only built their dwellings with these…. but, they actually built their dwellings underground. The discovery of these dwellings occurred in 1963 during an renovation story just as stated above which upon exploration into this deep labyrinth, Derinkuyu. There have been almost 36 underground cities excavated in Cappadocia, but one of the Derinkuyu underground cities remain the deepest underground city with a depth of 60m (200ft) while widest is the Kaymakli underground city.


Uncertainty dwells around the identification of the architects of the Derinkuyu and the exact millennium that it has managed to survive. Historians speculate this architectural marvel to be built by the Hittites, which may have been before 1200 BCE. While, some scholars think it to be a result of the expertise of the Phrygians, between 1200 to 800 BCE. It is believed that Derinkuyu structures were originally built to solve the purpose of storage as history marks that the region Cappadocia had been a major trading hub. The temperature above ground was very high in summers while drastically reduced to extremely low and cold in winters but, the temperature below the ground remained fairly stable in all seasons.

Around 55 deg, extremely ideal for keeping livestock, food and water supplies fresh and usable. According to the father of History, Herodotus, the Cappadocia has its earliest record during the late sixth century. And, relates to the Persian rulers Darius I and Xerxes, where it’s old name is stated as Haspaduya meaning the land of beautiful horses. It was at this time, inhabited by the Cappadocians i.e. the Hittites. Later, the Romans had invaded and conquered Cappadocia in the 17 CE which led to the fall of the Hittites and forced them to settle and take shelter into these underground homes. According to the father of History,  Herodotus, the Cappadocia has its earliest record  during the late sixth century. And relates to the Persian rulers Darius I and Xerxes, where it’s old name is stated as Haspaduya meaning the land of beautiful horses. It was at this time, inhabited by the Cappadocians i.e. the Hittites.

The Persians colonists were known to have Iranian descents and so, when acquired Cappadocia established Zoroastrian IDM as the central religion and built several fire temples. Under their rule, the alienation of the Greek Christians took place continually. The empire came in relations with the Romans, first, as foes. Then, enmity between the Persians and the Romans ended, and the two became allies against Perseus of the Macedon but, the dynasty descended to its fall due to inability in claiming the throne of Pergamon and the Romans invaded and conquered Cappadocia by defeating the then Persian Emperor Tiberius in the 17 CE and made Cappadocia into a Roman province which led to the fall of the Hittites. This forced them to settle and take shelter into these underground homes.

Derinkuyu underground city
Derinkuyu underground city

The Hittites are known to follow Christianity and were termed as the White Syrians or Greek Syrians.This led to expansion of these splendid caverns to be used as underground human shelters of people from conquerors and invaders. This story is thought to be true,  as it explains both history and the blend of Zoroastrian and Christian touch that is sighted in the framework of Derinkuyu. Moreover, Derinkuyu is estimated to be fully formed and established totally as it exists today around the Byzantine era.

Till then, it had all the facilities like markets, trade centers etc. It had a well constructed water containment system which was supplied by the ground water directly and hence,  protected the people living there from water poisoning if initiated by the wicked rulers. It had about 600 outside doors to the city, hidden courtyards and amazing unique entrances into the caves behind walls and bushes.Then,  in the Byzantine era,  it came as shelters against the Muslim Arabs when,  the Arab-Byzantine wars occurred between the fifth and tenth century. The cities have been said to be continued to be used till the 14th century from the Mongolian incursions.

  • Studies validate that these were used as refuges when Cappadocia was in control of the Ottomans in the late 20th century.
  • It was in 1900s, the Turk emperors cruelly massacred and killed the Greeks and in 1923, a population exchange between Turkey and Greece, compelled these Greek Christians to move to Greece abandoning their abode in this underground city.
  • After this, the city remained uninhabited and forgotten with them until its discovery in 1963, which became a massive event.
  • The study and tour of Derinkuyu found artifacts like stone crosses, ceramics and grindstone etc that date them to the Byzantine era.
  • In the year of 1969, the site was opened to visitors after several excavation operations and came forth as a major tourist attractions for tourists, archaeologists and history lovers.

Derinkuyu Artifacts

Derinkuyu with multilevel living spaces, staircases, oil presses, wineries, chapels and rooms for people to meet, read and worship. The settlement had 18 levels, flourished, finished and impressive ventilation and water systems to support lives of almost 20,000 to 50,000 with their food stores and livestocks. Out of which only 8 levels of the underground city, and a depth of 85 m which had sheltered thousands of people are open to public today.

Derinkuyu artifacts
Derinkuyu artifacts

Derinkuyu Map with Photos – Derinkuyu Underground city Images

The Derinkuyu map shows that each of the levels were connected to each other through hallways and big similar stone doors accurately placed. This is underground City with its remarkable architectural features like rollable disc shaped large circular stone doors standing up to 5 feet (15 metre) in diameter approximately weighing 500 kilos with small holes protected the inhabitants. The small holes are believed to be used as “peepholes” in ancient times and helped to shoot arrows to guard and save against threat from inside.

Derinkuyu map underground cities Cappadocia, Turkey

Interesting it is that these doors could be operated only from one side  i.e. inside which provided the inhabitants with supreme control for their protection. Derinkuyu, an underground city Turkey had accommodated livestock stalls, wine cellars, reading rooms, food stores, schools, rooms for meeting people and spaces for worship like churches.

Derinkuyu Underground city images
Derinkuyu Underground city images

Derinkuyu had accommodated livestock stalls, wine cellars, reading rooms, food stores, schools, rooms for meeting people and spaces for worship like churches.

  • The first floor had a small stable which indicated there were different separate stable in other regions. In the left of the stable, there is a door which leads to the church and in the right are some living spaces.
  • Second floor has a church having a central navel and two apses.
  • The third floor has the kitchen and food, oil and wine storage systems. It also had temporary burials and graveyards to keep the dead until the environment of the city allowed them to bring it to the surface and properly cremate it.

How Kaymakli Underground City is related to Derinkuyu Underground City?

There have been 180 ft long ventilation shafts and a large 55 m ventilation shaft which was used as a well. A 8km (5 mi) long tunnel network was discovered which connected Derinkuyu to the Kaymakli Underground city (kaymaklı yeraltı şehri), which suggests that the underground cities and their inhabitants might be acquainted and having trade or other relations. The tunnels were narrow and very inclined. There might have been other undiscovered routes for easy connectivity.

Derinkuyu photos

The Kaymakli underground city is the widest underground city among the ones discovered. It has 8 levels, out of which only four are open to the public. The Kaymakli underground city is the widest underground city among the ones discovered. Documentaries on Derinkuyu have revealed connections of Derinkuyu have also been found with the other underground cities as well. Discoveries have led to excavation of more than 200 underground cities with 200 having at least two levels.

Kaymakli Underground City (kaymaklı yeraltı şehri), Turkey

Construction of such an artistic creation with such stupendous systems seems next to impossible even in the present times with all the available modern machinery and so,  the fact that it has its ancient and millions of years old,  raises shocking and whammy questions about its creators. A large part of the human population have suspected that the aliens might have visited our world in the ancient times. Could this susception be an groundbreaking reality? Could underground cities and other sensational sites be evidences of the extraterrestrial connections??

Discovery of Derinkuyu Aliens along with Underground City documentary

Historians suggest a link between the Derinkuyu, Zoroastrians and the extra-terrestrial beings i.e. aliens. The second chapter of the Zoroastrian collection of sacred texts ‘Vendidad’ states that the Zoroastrian supreme god, also known as the sky God or the solo creator of the supreme universe, Ahura Mazda had ordered prophet Yima and his followers to construct an underground dwelling for protection of selected people and animals from a worldwide inevitable environmental epidemic called as the Global ice age or the evil winters.

Derinkuyu discovery

Therefore, it can be expressed that the Zoroastrian God Ahura Mazda, an advanced reptilians being with extra-terrestrial magical powers did exist. Had he provided his followers with the abilities and equipments to build this vast underground city which was immensely robust and technically advanced to survive the decades of time to save the mankind. It surely remains a huge unsolved mystery and will keep daunting all the historians and researchers even in the future.


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