When you say Cappadocia first things that comes into anyone’s mind are the fascinating valleys of chimneys and the sky speckled with colorful balloons at the sunrise time. What you may not know is that this region doesn’t host marvelous treasures only outside but also deep hidden in the underground.
Derinkuyu underground city
Beneath the land of living, a masterpiece of sprawling tunnels and cave rooms were carved such as 85 meters deep in the ground being used by the ancient civilizations as place of hiding during foreign invasions.
Large enough to have sheltered as many as 20,000 people together with their livestock and food stores, Derinkuyu underground city doesn’t impress only by size but also by the advanced defense system and massive network of traps used to fight against the invaders over the time.
How it was found
In 1963 a man knocked down a wall of his home, discovering behind it an intricate tunnel system and numerous cave-like rooms. The place was later on identified as Derinkuyu, one of the ancient underground cities of Cappadocia.
Unlike the modern constructions, Derinkuyu was built in a zis zag pattern containing 11 floors in total.
Lost in the underground
I had the opportunity to visit this masterpiece of ancient architecture as part of the Green tour in Cappadocia and I wasn’t disappointed at all. After few years of science fictions like nightmares, when half animal-half human creatures would hunt me down inside of the underground city, the time has come for me to fight against my fears.
Tight corridors, claustrophobia symptoms and a tour guide with a love for morbid pranks. I had it all…
The warning placard outside of the city’s entrance advise against anyone who might suffer of claustrophobia, heart related disease or asthma. I thought twice before continuing my visit as I was never fan of tight corridors, especially when the tour guide informed us there is no way out other than the other side of the city. Few elderly tourists gave up straight away while others more courageous decided to give it a try, even though I could notice the worried gaze and the fake smiles embedded on everyone’s face.
Only half of the city’s levels are currently opened due to safety reasons, few tourists getting lost inside of the elaborate labyrinth over the time while others lost their life due to medical conditions. If they had same tour guide as us…there is no wonder why.