I’m betting you’ve never heard of Derinkuyu. I hadn’t until I was researching underground cities for help envisioning the Dwarfholt in Daermad Cycle. Yeah, Derinkuyu was a claustrophobic’s nightmare city, but it served a Godly purpose.
The region of Cappadocia is well known for its vast labyrinth of underground cities beneath an equally impressive landscape peppered with ancient volcanic chimneys know as “fairy chimneys”. Over the years, various cultures carved intricate structures into and out of these chimneys, making for very unique and impressive architecture.
There are about 200 known underground cities in Cappadocia. There may be more waiting to be discovered.
In 1963, a Turkish man in the region of Cappadocia was making improvements to his house. He knocked down a wall in his cellar and stumbled into a secret room, which led to an underground tunnel, which opened up into a completely hidden ancient city.
The photos of the preserved city make me (a claustrophobic) itchy, but they also reveal how 20,000 people along with livestock and food supplies – could have lived 18 stories beneath the earth.
Thought to have been created during the Byzantine era in 780-1180AD, the network of kitchens, stables, churches, tombs, wells, communal rooms and schools was most likely used as a massive bunker to protect inhabitants from the Arab–Byzantine wars that often targeted Christians.
During this time, cave-like chapels and Greek inscriptions were added to the ancient city, and about 600 entrances allowed people to come and go.
The hidden community is connected to other subterranean cities by tunnels stretching several miles.