Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kaymakli Underground City, Cappadocia

These troglodyte cave-cities were excavated as early as Hittite times, and expanded over the centuries as various marauding armies traversed Central Anatolia in search of captives and plunder. There are 36 underground cities in Cappadocia and the widest one is Kaymakli Underground City, while the deepest is the Derinkuyu Underground City.



Kaymakli Underground City is built under the hill known as the Citadel of Kaymakli and was opened to visitors in 1964. The people of Kaymakli (Enegup in Greek) village have constructed their houses around nearly one hundred tunnels of the underground city. The inhabitants of the region still use the most convenient places in the tunnels as cellars, storage areas and stables, which they access through their courtyards. The Kaymakli Underground City has low, narrow and sloping passages. While the underground city consists of 8 floors below ground, only 4 of them are open to the public today, in which the spaces are organised around ventilation shafts.





In the Kaymakli Underground City we find a Church, which has a single nave and two apses. In front of the apses is an altar, and on the sides are seating platforms. Even though the whole city has not been completely opened, it is certain that Kaymakli is one of the largest underground settlements in the region. The number of the storage rooms in such a small area supports the idea that a great number of people resided here. Archaeologists think that this could have been up to 3.500 people. 

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