Back in 1963, the same year the President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a Turkish man was doing renovations to his home in Cappadocia when he discovered something that changed his life forever. Beneath his modest home, he found a secret room after knocking a wall out in his basement. That room led him to a tunnel, which opened up into a completely hidden ancient city lost to time.
The underground acropolis, Derinkuyu, could sustain life for 20,000 people – including livestock and food stores. The underground metropolis extended more than 18 stories down beneath the earth.
Check out photos from this long-forgotten ancient mecca of culture below!
Underneath this Turkish man’s humble home, subterranean tunnels stretch for miles through the city and even connect the hidden Derinkuyu to other ancient underground cities in the region.
The underground ancient land includes a chapel, a school, a communal living area, kitchens, and stables.
Although this man found the abandoned city back in the 1960s, there are several mysteries yet to be determined.
Derinkuyu is thought to have been created during the Byzantine era which ranged from 780-1180AD. The network of churches, kitchens, communal walls, etc were most likely used as a massive bunker to protect the citizens during the massive Arab-Byzantine wars and natural disasters that ravaged the area.
Also during this era in history, cave-like chapels and Greek inscriptions were added to give the underground city more character. It also included about 600 entrances for people to come and go – in all likelihood Derinkuyu could have been a bustling underground city center.
If the city needed to be used as defense against invaders, heavy stone doors could be closed from the inside.
Although this place seems unique, it is amazing to know that Derinkuyu is not the only one of its kind. Though it is among the largest underground cities ever discovered.
Now only half of this spectacular place is accessible. Ever since the man back in the 60s found it, the site is a popular tourist destination in Cappadocia.
The geography of the Central Anatolia region of Turkey is also a tourist attraction. Besides its cultural significance, it has rock formations and beautiful spires called “fairy chimneys” unlike anything else in the world.
In the amazing video footage below from the History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens” you’ll get a tour of the underground city and marvel at its meticulous creation.
Readers on MailOnline are amazed by this place. Here are a few of their comments:
“You wouldn’t have wanted to live down there when only lit by torches. It’s quite claustrophobic. But I suppose it’s better than being killed.”
“The underground chambers may look somewhat primitive, but sound engineering went into creating them. The planning and construction work could only have been accomplished by masters in many building trades including site planning, structural design, subterranean construction, materials and safety. Amazing discovery.”
“Yeah it’s a testament to human spirit. I mean, how on earth did they carve all that out? They had primitive tools, this must have taken an eternity to complete.”
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