Kaymakli Underground City – An Ancient “Must-See” Attraction

Kaymakli Underground City is located in the region of Cappadocia, and it’s roughly 290 kilometers from the city of Ankara, the capital of Turkey. The district in which it lies is known as Nevsehir, with the closest city being the city of Nevsehir. All of our existing Egypt and Turkey tours are fully customizable, so if this site is not already included in your preferred tour itinerary, it can always be added.

Nevsehir cave city in Cappadocia, Turkey at sunset - Kaymakli Underground City

Nevsehir cave city in Cappadocia, Turkey at sunset. Also known as Kaymakli Underground City.

Today the city has a population of around 86,000 people, while the district as a whole is home to about 118,000. As with most towns and cities, Nevsehir started off as a tiny settlement which slowly but surely grew over the years, during which time it had a number of different rulers. If you plan on traveling to Cappadocia while you are in the country, then we would highly recommend visiting this fascinating cave city. Many people who have visited would agree that it is definitely one of the top tourist attractions in Turkey.

Cappadocia Falls To The Roman Empire

In 333 BC during the reign of Tiberius, the Kingdom of Cappadocia was taken over by the Roman Empire, and this is essentially when people first started carving dwellings and churches into the nearby mountains. At that point in time, the Roman Empire was a pagan force which showed very little sympathy to those with alternative beliefs.

Kaymakli Underground City – A Safe Haven

The first people to start inhabiting the famous rock carved churches and underground complexes were the early Christians who were hoping to escape the wrath of the pagan Romans. Their arrival resulted in countless churches being carved out of the rock and cliffs. Many people carved their homes into the rock as well, while others set to work creating elaborate underground cities like Kaymakli Underground City

Both the churches and the underground complexes attract millions of people to the region who come to explore area. Some of the churches are spectacular inside, and many are beautifully decorated with carvings and frescos which are as vivid today as they were back then when they were first painted.

Cities like Kaymakli Underground City where also built for the purpose of defense, and some of the strategies employed would inevitably have resulted in the deaths of many unwanted intruders. These cities had to be secure because they were also used for storing valuable goods and commodities.

In addition to this incredible underground city, Turkey’s Cappadocia region a wealth of other extremely fascinating attractions as well, and for this reason, you will find that all of our current Egypt and Turkey tours include some time in Cappadocia.

After The Arrival Of Christianity

Christianity was eventually adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire during the time of Theodosius I, and for a while Christians could live without fear of persecution. Nonetheless, the Christians once again had need for places like Kaymakli Underground City when the Sassanid Persians began raids in 604 AD.

Later, in 647 AD, Christians were once again being persecuted, but this time persecution was coming from the Islamic Caliphate. When the Byzantine Empire later took over the region, an Iconoclasm policy was immediately enforced, and Christians once again had to seek refuge in the rock carved churches and fortified underground cities.

Inside The Underground Cities Of Cappadocia

There are a number of underground cities in the region, and first time visitors are often left in a state of amazement when they first get to see inside these underground complexes. Many are only expecting to see a few rooms and tunnels, but in reality, there’s far more to them than that. The Kaymakli Underground City for example, has four levels.

Kaymakli is unique compared to its closest neighbor, in that it has noticeably lower tunnels which are also considerably narrower. As far as we know, there are more than one hundred tunnels in Kaymakli Underground City, but so far only four have been opened for public viewing.

Of the ones which are, some are still being used even today. On the first floor visitors will find a stable; a church, and a number of rooms. In the second floor tunnel which is open, one can see more rooms and an even bigger church, complete with a number of graves. The third floor seems to have been reserved for storage and for a range of important activities, including wine making. There’s also an area that was dedicated to melting copper.

The fourth floor of Kaymakli Underground City consists mostly of storage rooms which are home to a huge number of pots and earthenware jars. There are so many of these that it’s led historians to believe the local population must have enjoyed a period of relative stability and prosperity.

Would you like to visit the Kaymakli Underground City in person, along with countless other fascinating attractions in the region and beyond? Take a look at our fantastic Egypt and Turkey Tours!

 

 

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