top of page

Exploration in the Depths of Cappadocia: Underground Cities

Cappadocia is renowned for its unique geography and historical treasures. Additionally, this region is home to extraordinary structures concealed by carving into the rocks—underground cities. In this article, get ready to delve into the mystical world of Cappadocia. Here are five significant underground cities that will captivate you:

Kaymaklı Underground City

Kaymaklı is one of the deepest and largest underground cities in Cappadocia. Dating back thousands of years, this city is a true engineering marvel. With its narrow tunnels, shelters, and hidden rooms, Kaymaklı opens the doors to a journey through time.

Kaymaklı Underground City: A Journey into the Deep History of Cappadocia

First, I want to take you to Kaymaklı Underground City, which opens a window to the unique history of Cappadocia. Kaymaklı is an enormous underground city created by carving into the rocks in the mysterious landscape of Cappadocia.

Location and Date:

Kaymaklı Underground City is situated in the town of Kaymaklı, which is part of the Nevşehir province in Cappadocia. This ancient city is believed to date back to the 7th century BCE. Like other underground cities in the region, Kaymaklı is thought to have been extensively used during the Roman Empire period.

Architecture and Content:

Kaymaklı has a complex structure that can be likened to a labyrinth extending deep into the ground. This city consists of 8 floors, with the first floor dating back to an early period. Each floor served different purposes. The tunnels, rooms, and storage areas allowed the city's inhabitants to manage their daily lives, sustain their defenses, and carry out religious worship. Various spaces such as cooking areas, storage rooms, water wells, and even stables are found in the rooms. Additionally, details like heavy stone doors used to seal entrances and secret tunnels created for defense purposes illustrate how strategically significant Kaymaklı is as an underground settlement.

Why It was Used?

Kaymaklı Underground City has served various purposes throughout history. During the Roman Empire period, the inhabitants may have constructed this underground refuge to protect themselves against raids and attacks, as well as to withstand prolonged sieges. Simultaneously, due to its strategic position along trade routes, it is believed that Kaymaklı was utilized to control trade routes.


Who Used It?

It is believed that Kaymaklı Underground City hosted various civilizations throughout history. Civilizations such as the Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Roman Empire, and Byzantine Empire may have used the secure shelters of this underground city.

Kaymaklı Underground City currently operates as an open-air museum for visitors. This ancient city offers a fascinating destination for anyone wishing to understand the rich history and engineering skills of Cappadocia.

I hope this article takes you on a discovery journey into the depths of Cappadocia and allows you to feel the mysterious atmosphere of Kaymaklı Underground City. To explore the underground city, you can join the Natural Wonders Tour or the All in One Cappadocia Tour.

Derinkuyu Underground City

This time, I invite you to the mysterious world beneath Cappadocia: Derinkuyu Underground City. This underground city, steeped in history, harbors many secrets that will take you on a journey through time.

Derinkuyu is another significant underground city, capturing attention with its depths reaching up to 60 meters. This city is notable not only for shelter but also for its defense and survival strategies. Derinkuyu, with its labyrinthine structure, surprises visitors and allows them to feel the unique history of Cappadocia.

Derinkuyu Underground City: A Journey into the Depths of Time

Location and Date:

Derinkuyu Underground City is located in the town of Derinkuyu, which is part of the Nevşehir province in the Cappadocia region. This ancient underground city has a deep history dating back to the 8th century BCE. However, it took its current form during the Roman Empire period.

Architecture and Content:

Derinkuyu boasts a complex structure that stands out with its eight floors. The city includes various spaces such as rooms, corridors, kitchens, churches, and water wells. Unlike Kaymaklı Underground City, Derinkuyu features a missionary school, a confession room, a baptismal pool, and an intriguing well. This rich content provides everything needed for the inhabitants to sustain their daily lives and for defensive purposes. One notable feature of the city is its colossal stone doors, which were used to make the city's residents feel secure against potential attacks. Derinkuyu also has numerous hidden passages and tunnels, allowing the inhabitants the ability to escape rapidly when needed.


Why It was Used?

The primary purpose of Derinkuyu is generally associated with defense and security. It was constructed to protect against war, invasion, and natural disasters. Additionally, it includes storage areas, water sources, and living spaces to meet the prolonged shelter needs during raids. This city is an engineering masterpiece skillfully built by people who resisted the challenging living conditions of a certain period.

Who Used It?

It is believed that Derinkuyu hosted various civilizations throughout its history. The Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Roman Empire, and Byzantine Empire are mentioned as potential users of this city. However, there is no exact information about which civilization used it in which period.

Today, Derinkuyu Underground City is a significant part of Cappadocia's tourist allure, offering visitors the opportunity to explore this unique underground city intertwined with history.

I hope this article encourages you to unravel the secrets of Derinkuyu Underground City and embark on the exploration of this ancient structure. If you want to get lost in the enchantment of Derinkuyu Underground City, you can make your reservation for the All in One Cappadocia Tour here.

Özkonak Underground City

Our next destination is Özkonak Underground City, one of the unique beauties of Cappadocia that still retains its mystery. This ancient settlement, steeped in history, offers a real discovery opportunity for those who want to journey into the depths of time.

Özkonak stands out, especially with its architecture, as an underground city. With its deep rooms and meticulously crafted corridors, following the traces of the past here turns into a veritable journey through time.

Özkonak Underground City: The Silent Gem of Cappadocia

Location and Date:

Özkonak Underground City is situated in the tranquil town of Özkonak, within the stunning geography of Cappadocia, belonging to the Avanos district in the Nevşehir province. With a history dating back to the 4th century BCE, this underground city was intensively used during the Roman Empire period.

Architecture and Content:

Like other underground cities, Özkonak is a city with a complex structure created by carving into rocks. This four-story underground city includes various spaces such as rooms, corridors, kitchens, storage areas, and water wells. One distinctive feature of Özkonak is its circular structure, setting it apart from other underground cities.

The architecture of the city provided the inhabitants with the necessary facilities to manage their daily lives, protect themselves against attacks, and carry out religious worship. Additionally, details such as ventilation systems and stone doors, especially, showcase Özkonak as an engineering achievement of its era.

Why It was Used?

Özkonak Underground City was primarily used for defensive purposes. Constructed to protect against invasions during the Roman Empire period, this city also provided shelter, storage, and living spaces for its inhabitants. This was crucial not only for protection against raids and natural disasters but also due to its strategic location along trade routes.


Who Used It?

While there is no exact information about who used Özkonak throughout history, it may have hosted various civilizations such as the Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Roman Empire, and Byzantine Empire. However, ongoing research aims to shed more light on this aspect.

Today, Özkonak Underground City opens its doors to visitors who seek to understand the rich history of Cappadocia and explore this ancient structure.


I hope this article encourages you to explore the depths of Özkonak, prompting you to discover the mysterious place in Cappadocia. If you want to explore the Özkonak underground city with the region's top guides, reserve your spot with Eco Cappadocia Tour.

Mazı Underground City

Now, we have one of the unforgettable places in Cappadocia: Mazı Underground City. This unique underground city promises a captivating exploration with its history, architecture, and mysterious atmosphere.

While Mazı is smaller compared to other underground cities, it possesses a unique atmosphere. Its natural formations and intertwined texture with history appeal to your senses as you explore.


Mazı Underground City: Cappadocia's Hidden Secret Awaiting Discovery


Location and Date:

Mazı Village, anciently known as "Mataza," is located 18 kilometers south of Ürgüp and 10 kilometers east of the Kaymaklı Underground City. Four entrances have been identified in different locations, with the main entrance providing access through a corridor built with irregular stones. A large sliding stone in the short corridor controls the entry and exit of the underground city. The small room inside is designed to facilitate the movement of the sliding stone. The stables spread across the extensive areas of the underground settlement are similar to others. Access to the church of the underground city is reached through a short corridor from the stables. The entrance to this space can be closed with a sliding stone. The apse of the church is carved into the corner and adorned with reliefs. Its history dates back to the 2nd century BCE, and it was particularly intensively used during the Roman Empire period.

Architecture and Content:

Mazı, like other underground cities, is a mysterious city constructed by carving into rocks. However, this underground city stands out with its exceptionally well-preserved detailed frescoes. Although thought to be four stories tall, only two floors of the Mazı underground city are accessible, containing various spaces such as rooms, storage areas, kitchens, and religious worship areas.

The interior architecture of the city reflects the lifestyle and cultural richness of its era. Frescoes provide significant details reflecting the daily lives and beliefs of its inhabitants.


Why It was Used?

The purposes of Mazı Underground City are focused on meeting basic needs such as shelter, defense, and religious worship. It was constructed during the Roman Empire period to protect against raids and attacks. Additionally, it might have been used to stay cool during hot summer days and protect against the cold in winter.

Who Used It?

While there is no precise information about who used Mazı Underground City throughout history, it may have been influenced by civilizations such as the Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Roman Empire, and Byzantine Empire, much like other underground cities in the Cappadocia region. Research on this matter is still ongoing.

Today, Mazı Underground City serves as an impressive destination for visitors interested in the history and cultural heritage of Cappadocia.

I hope this article invites you to the enchanting world of Mazı and encourages you to explore this unique underground city in Cappadocia.

Saratlı Underground City

Saratlı is one of Cappadocia's underground treasures. This city, crafted using the technique of carving into stone, offers visitors the opportunity to explore the secrets of the ancient era.

Located 25 km from Aksaray, it is situated to the south of the settlement area. The underground city, which began excavation for cleaning in 2000 and revealed a closed space in 2002, consists of three floors. Essential living spaces such as stables, kitchens, water wells, tandirs (ovens), hearths, and granary roofs are found within, connected by tunnels. The plan features and construction technique date the underground city to the Byzantine period.

The second underground city in the town of Saratlı, the Saint Mercurius Underground City and Church, has distinct characteristics.

Saint Mercurius Underground City and Church were widely used during the years around A.D. 250 when Christianity was prohibited, serving more as a refuge during this period. Saint Mercurius, a commander who lived between A.D. 225 and 250, was born in the Cappadocia region during the Roman Empire. After publicly declaring his Christianity, he was exiled to Cappadocia by the king. His head was cut off in this region, and his body was sent to Egypt.

Of the 7-story underground city, three floors have been cleaned and opened to tourism. The entrance to the underground city, known by the locals as "Develik," is through a Seljuk-era caravanserai. Following this, corridors and rooms lead to the different levels. All passages connect to the church. While churches in underground cities are generally small, the church here resembles a cathedral. A separate room has been created inside the church for children and adult graves.

The church was used as a church until the late periods. Graves are found in the base of the church. During excavations, 20 graves containing the remains of children and adults were uncovered inside the church, with most containing skeletons. One of the graves inside the church features a male and female placed on top of each other in the same sarcophagus. Additionally, various types of cross markings are found inside the church. This place saw more use during the Eastern Roman period.

In the excavations conducted within the underground city, food storage containers were uncovered. In one corner of the underground city, there is a shrine known as Develi Dam, where the locals offer vows. In the adjacent room, there are reliefs carved into the stone resembling ducks or swans.


The Saint Mercurius Underground City and Church, along with the Saratlı Kırkgöz underground city, stand out as one of the most visited areas by tourists in Cappadocia.


To explore the Saratlı underground city, you can make a reservation for the Salt Lake Tour.


These underground cities reveal not only the surface but also the depths of Cappadocia. Are you ready to join this unique journey?

I hope this article increases your interest in the mysterious world of Cappadocia and encourages you to embark on a journey to these extraordinary places.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page