When renovating or remodeling your home, it’s possible that you might find some interesting discoveries. If you’re lucky, you might find jewelry, antiques, or money. If you’re not so lucky, you might find rotting floorboards or a termite infestation. Or, if you’re this man – you might find an entire lost underground city.
In 1963, in the Nevşehir Province of Turkey, a man knocked down a wall in his home and discovered a mysterious room behind it, walking further, he noticed it was an entire system of intricate tunnels.
As it turns out – the man had accidentally discovered the ancient, underground city of Derinkuyu; it had been lost for hundreds of years. The city is one of many underground cities in the region, but what makes this one so special, is its massively impressive size.
Hundreds of years ago, people in the Cappadocia region of Turkey were known for building elaborate underground cities carved right into the rock. Derinkuyu is by far one of the grandest and most majestic cities built during that time.
While Derinkuyu is neither the largest nor the oldest underground city, it’s by far the deepest – registering around 18 stories deep.
Derinkuyu’s elaborate subterranean network was surprisingly well-preserved when it was discovered in 1963. It included discrete entrances and exits, tunnels, well, connecting passageways, and ventilation shafts, which are crucial when you’re living 18 stories underground.
The concealed city had access to fresh flowing water underground; wells were not connected to the surface in order to prevent any potential poisoning or tainting by anyone on the surface. In addition to private residences, Derinkuyu also has shops, gathering rooms, tombs, livestock rooms, escape routes, and even a classroom.
Historians and experts believe that the fascinating underground city was built as a giant bunker – protecting its inhabitants from either war or natural disasters.
Derinkuyu could accommodate up to 20,000 people and could be closed off to the outside world by large stone doors. Additionally, each of the 18 floors could be closed off separately if need be. All of this is extremely impressive considering the city was built in Byzantine era, during the Arab-Byzantine wars between 780 and 1180 A.D.
After the man made his discovery in 1963, archaeologists and historians went to work exploring the tunnels and learning as much about Derinkuyu, and its history, as possible. In 1969, Derinkuyu was opened to the public where about half of the city is accessible to visitors.
Just think, this magnificent subterranean city was discovered all because a man wanted to do a little Update
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