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Cappadocia Derinkuyu Underground City

 Derinkuyu, Cappadocia’s largest underground city

The district of Derinkuyu is at elevation of  1,350 meters above sea level, and is loceted 29 km from Nevşehir, 50 km from Niğde and 80 km  from Aksaray, in the bowl-shaped volcaic Misli Ovası [plain] betwee Mount Erciyes and the Hasan Dağları [Mountains]. The effects of  erosion on the sandy soil of the district are very powerful Derikuyu and its environs bear rivch traces of the Hittite, Phrygian, Roman and Byzantine eras. Underground cities, a  metal institution, churches, missionary schools and a baptismal font have been uncovered within the limits of the district.

Named Derinkuyu [deep well] because in the past the drinking water was obtained from wells 60-70 meters deep and because of its antique underground city, the district is home to Cappadocia’s largest eight-storey underground city. The settlement came to light completely by coincidence in 1967, and was opened to visitors after cleanup work had been completed.
It is believed that the first floor, which dates to the Hittite Era,was used as a storage area, and that the other  floors were excavated together when the need increased in later times. The second floor houses a kitchen, refectory, cellars, school, baptismal font  and depots. The third and fourth floors were used as places of hiding. In the face of danger, the lower floors were more secure. Although it is estimated that the tuel that begins on the third floor of Derinkuyu extends 9 kilometers to the udergroud city of Kaymaklı,there is no evidece about existence of such a tunnel. On the lower floors we find a meeting room with three columns, graves, shafts for  ventilation and emergency warnings , and water wells. The ventilation is ensured by 52 shafts 70-80 meters deep. On the eighth floor there is a cruciform church that is 10 meters wide, 8.5 meters log, 2.5 meters high.

Derikuyu’s stoe doors are 55-65 cm thick, 1.70-1.75 m in diameter and weight 300 to 500 kilos. It is believed that these doors were carved in their original place when the city was being built.

 Derinkuyu, Cappadocia’s largest underground city