Have you ever thought to yourself after watching one of those sci-fi movies “what if I dig my backyard and discover an entirely new city?”. Well, this man from Cappadocia, Turkey, back in 1963, dared to go brake a wall only to discover a secret underground city behind it. The tunnel discovered in the Nevsehir Province was a pathway to the ancient city of Derinkuyu, and the outcome you’ll see in the following photos is just out of this world.
The 18-level city of Derinkuyu reaches some 60 meters below the ground and is a stone carved city beneath Cappadocia. Designed to house about 20,000 people and livestock, it had residences, churches, food storage areas, wineries, and even a school. It has vents to the surface and several discreet entrances, like the one found by the DIY’er in 1963. The hidden entrances suggest the ancient city was used to house people in times of war, or of natural disaster Below, a Derinkuyu winery.
The elaborate city even once connected to other underground cities. It’s thought to have been constructed during the 7th or 8th century BCE and was in continual, frequent use up until and throughout, the 12th century. It was used as a refuge from the Mongolians in the 1300s. It was not finally abandoned until 1923. Below, one of the massive stone doors that would block off the entrances. The hole in the center would be fit with a beam so the door could roll open and shut.
During peacetime, the city was used mainly for storage. Following its accidental rediscovery, it opened to the public in 1969. Today, about half the city is open for interested parties to explore.