The underground is as enchanted as the above ground in Cappadocia! So much that you can get on balloons and walk to the sky and valleys, go down to natural miracles and underground cities and touch the mystery of history. In Cappadocia, besides hundreds of fairy chimneys that have risen upright from centuries-old journeys, there are 36 underground cities with roots like a tree. Derinkuyu Underground City is the biggest of these cities!
You can find all the details about Derinkuyu Underground City in our article. The best method we can recommend to see Derinkuyu underground city is to join the Green Tour, Ihlara Valley tour. In this way, you can both have a wonderful walk in Ihlara Valley and see this very important underground city. There are many advantages of participating in day trip tours in the Cappadocia region. You can get detailed information with a professional guide and see museums, valleys and underground cities at different distances during the day. You can view all day trip tours in Cappadocia by clicking the link.
In addition, you can contact us from the reservation page to plan your Cappadocia holiday program together. Now, let’s examine Derinkuyu underground city together.
About Derinkuyu Underground City
Although there is no exact information about its history, it is thought that Cappadocia underground cities, which were settled in the Proto Hittite period in 3000 BC, were used extensively during the Byzantine period. The marble eagle statue dating to the Roman period, found in one of the areas of Derinkuyu Underground City, which is not open to visitors, confirms this idea. The arrival of the Turks in the region dates back to the aftermath of the 1071 Malazgirt War.
It is known that the first Christians who escaped from Roman oppression and came to Kayseri via Mesopotamia and from there to Cappadocia lived in Derinkuyu Underground City, which also carries the traces of Assyrian Colonies. While this secret world, whose entrances are not easily found, and not easy to enter, protecting the first Christians from Roman soldiers and Arab raiders, its mysterious architecture make travelers to wonder whether it was made by aliens!
Until the 1830s, there were no settlements even above the ground in the Cappadocia Derinkuyu region. Derinkuyu Underground City, which was discovered by chance in 1963 and opened to visitors in 1967, took its name from 52 drinking water wells 60-70 meters deep. Since then, only 8 floors of a total area of 4 square kilometers have been cleaned and opened to visitors. While the depth of the 8 floors opened to visitors is 50 meters, it is estimated that the depth will reach 85 meters and the number of floors will reach 12-13 if all floors are cleaned. What makes aliens suspicious in terms of architecture is how nearly 50 thousand people can live in these depths for a long time without ever going out!
Before starting to visit the 8 floors of Derinkuyu Underground City, we would like to remind you that you can go down to 50 meters deep sometimes through narrow tunnels. If you have claustrophobia, you may have a hard time, but remember, you will visit one of the most mysterious underground cities in the world and when you leave, you will say ‘it was worth it’.
Floors of Derinkuyu Underground City
You begin your tour of this mysterious underground city of Cappadocia by entering through a narrow passage. Just like in Kaymaklı Underground City, there is the 1st Floor about 5 meters below the ingeniously hidden corridor-shaped entrance.
This floor, which consists of the barn, kitchen, winery and living rooms, is the top floor of the underground city. You will start to look for the answer to the questions of how the tuffaceous land special to the region was carved so skillfully in those periods when the engineering was not yet known, and how the ventilation could be done from the top to the bottom with the air channels you will see, as the floors begin to descend and you will be even more surprised.
When you come to the 2nd floor, you will be greeted by living rooms, food stores, kitchen and a partition used as a barn on the first floor.
The center of the ventilation spaces that go down to all floors of the underground city and provide air circulation is in the 3rd floor. You will see the Missionary School, which separates Derinkuyu from other underground cities and puts it in a different place, on this floor. You will recognize the school from its wide ceiling covered with a barrel vault. On this floor, which is the common gathering place of the underground city, there are also areas such as the cross-shaped church, confessional areas and cemeteries. If you are wondering where the 9-kilometer long tunnel that you will look at from the end goes, it is said to be the gateway to other underground cities, especially Kaymaklı Underground City. This tunnel, where 4 people can walk side by side without bending or twisting, has a 2-meter-high ceiling and almost evokes today’s subways.
When you come to the 4th floor, perhaps you will come across a dungeon where the guards with torches awaited in ancient times. It must be the floor where the “need for security and fear”, which underlies the establishment of underground cities, was felt the most that shelters are also located on this floor. The features you will encounter on this floor are ventilation channels that roam the city like a net,water wells, cisterns and cemeteries.
The 5th Floor, which goes down the stairs from the 4th floor, is a distribution center, or rather the heart of the city. The tunnel coming from the 3rd floor ends with a landing and ventilation shaft, and right after the ventilation shaft, another tunnel begins descending to the seventh floor, which forms the 6th floor. There are 5 chambers carved on the tunnel. Two of these rooms are thought to be doorways, while the other three are control rooms that control the tunnel entrance and exit. Let us remind you that you will have difficulty in getting down to the lower floors starting from the 5th floor. The narrow tunnels that only one person can pass through start from here.
When you reach the 7th floor, the widest part of Derinkuyu Underground City will welcome you. On this floor there is a large meeting room, a church, a cemetery, and a water well that is not connected to the earth. The 8th floor is the last floor that open for visitors. Here you will see a small room with a ventilation shaft. But let’s especially point out that the places you see are a very small part of the underground city. We can say that going down to the bottom of the ground with 8 floors is just the half of the road.
Derinkuyu Underground City, in its history dating back to 3000 BC, it gives the impression of not only a temporary settlement with a living and defense area, but a country where production and socialization existed. So much so that the cylindrical stones called Tığraz, which are used in the doors of the tunnels where even 1 person can hardly fit, protect the city from dangerous foreigners like the wire fence of today’s state borders. It is said that the oldest known mental hospital is also in this underground city. This very large and dark underground city was illuminated in ancient times by pouring linseed oil into small cavities and burning it.
Derinkuyu Underground City Entrance Fee
Derinkuyu Underground City entrance fee is 75 TL. If you have a Müzekart, you can visit it twice a year, and if you have a Plus Müzekart (Müzekart +), you can visit unlimitedly.
April-October (Summer time)
08:00 – 19:00
October-April (Winter time)
08:00 – 17:00
According to the 10th article of the directive on the procedures and principles to be applied in the entrance to the museums and ruins determined by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Museums and archaeological sites are closed until 13:00 on the first day of religious holidays.
Where is Derinkuyu Underground City and How to Go?
Derinkuyu Underground City is connected to Nevşehir and is located in Derinkuyu district, whose name was Melogobia in ancient times. You can reach Derinkuyu district by following the Nevşehir – Niğde highway. The distance between Nevşehir – Derinkuyu is 30 km, and the distance between Niğde and Derinkuyu is 50 km. If you ask how to get to Derinkuyu Underground City after visiting Göreme Open Air Museum, you can reach Derinkuyu by using the direction of Göreme – Uçhisar – Çardak – Kaymaklı.
The Story of Derinkuyu Underground City
Derinkuyu Underground City, whose history is very old but its discovery is very recent, is full of unsolved mysteries like the Egyptian Pyramids. When the depth that makes you say “almost close to the center of the earth”, the size that makes you think “where the borders end” and the curiosity of “were there any architects or engineers to establish this city at that time” combines a big question mark arises. It remains a mystery how the ventilation system that delivers oxygen to the lowest floor is made, how the tunnels are connected with each other, how the tuffaceous land is carved without machines even though it is soft. This underground city, which has a capacity of accommodating approximately 50 thousand people, is shown as a perfect structure with every detail planned mathematically by today’s engineers. Although research suggests that the first Christians lived here, there is no clear information about whether they built it or not.
These unsolved mysteries about Derinkuyu Underground City are also very intriguing around the world. Swiss researcher and writer Erich Von Daniken, known for his book “Chariots of the Gods“, came to the region in 1982 to investigate this mystery. Daniken made researches in Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu underground cities and put forward interesting theses. According to Daniken, this underground city, which was built to protect from dangers, was originally built against airborne attacks and was used to protect the world from aliens invading the world at that time.
The airborne alien thesis put forward by a scientist like Daniken is similar to the story of airborne angels told by Derinkuyu villagers, who never knew this scientist. According to the Derinkuyu Underground City story, which was spread by the villagers from grandfather to grandchild, angels lived in Derinkuyu region in the past. Angels flew from the skies and came to this region and established a country. After a while, this beautiful country founded by angels was haunted by the evil demons who flew from the skies like them. The war between the demons and the fairies ended when the angels built this underground city with magic and magic, escaping from the calamities and hiding here. According to the villagers, on some nights, angels come to the earth with their light as beams of light and still continue to live in these underground cities without being seen by anyone.
It is unknown how accurate the statements about Derinkuyu Underground City are. The only known fact is that there are many more unknown roads, many cities and many hidden worlds under Cappadocia.