Another famous ancient multi-level underground city is located in Derinkuyu (🎫 100 TRY). It has cavernous rooms spread on seven levels reached by long skinny tunnels extending to a depth of approximately 85 meters. It is large enough to have sheltered as many as 20,000 people together with their livestock and food stores. It is the largest excavated and restored underground city in Turkey. Caves might have been built initially in the soft volcanic rock of the Cappadocia region by the Phrygians in the 8th–7th centuries BC. Later, Greeks expanded their caverns to deep multiple-level structures adding chapels. It was fully formed in the Byzantine era when it was heavily used as protection from Muslim Arabs during the Arab–Byzantine wars (780–1180 AD). The city was connected with other underground cities through many kilometers of tunnels. These cities continued to be used by the Christian natives as protection from the Mongolian incursions of Timur in the 14th century. After the region fell to the Ottomans, the cities were used as refuges by the natives to hide from the Turkish Muslim rulers. In 1923, the Greek inhabitants of the region were expelled from Turkey and moved to Greece in the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, whereupon the tunnels were abandoned. In 1963, the tunnels were rediscovered after a resident of the area found a mysterious room behind a wall in his home while renovating.
Parking location – Derinkuyu: 38.371559N 34.734530E (🚻,🅿️ – 20 TRY)