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Derinkuyu: The ancient underground city that was once home to over 20,000 people

The Derinkuyu Underground City is an ancient multi-level underground city found in the province of Cappadocia, in Turkey extends to a depth of approximately 60m and was large enough to host approximately 20,000 people together with their livestock and foods.

The Derinkuyu has as vast or as impressive out of the rest underground cities in the world. It date to around the 8th century B.C. and was most likely built to serve as a refuge during periods of war and invasion.

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The underground city featured all the amenities available ventilation shafts, wells, kitchens, school rooms, oil presses, a bathhouse, a winery and a spacious living room. There were water and air shafts which helped ensured ventilation and flowing water.

Derinkuyu city is located in Turkey. Photo courtesy

They also lived in cool constant cave like temperature unlike other people from other cities. They however could have gone through different problems due to lack of sunshine.

Interestingly each floor of the underground city could be closed from the inside with large stone doors with each floor being closed off separately.

These happened when danger arose and everyone alongside their belongings and livestocks wer supposed to get in the underground rooms untill the threats eased.

The good thing with these doors is that they can operated only from inside and they resemble mill stones.

Between the third and the fourth levels in Derinkuyu had a vertical staircase which led to to a cruciform church on the lowest (fifth) level.

Derinkuyu was once home for over 20,000 people. Photo courtesy

Also in the church, they held weekly prayers. Further, Early Christians flocked to the city to escape persecution by the Romans. Later after the Arab-Byzantine wars, Derinkuyu became a safe haven for Muslim Arabs, which significantly expanded the city.

This underground city also had a missionary school was located on second floor which featured barrel vaulted ceiling. On the left side are few rooms which are speculated to have been used as study rooms.

The water supply in the city which were supplied from 55-meter-deep bore hole, was controlled from the bottom-up, with lower floors able to cut-off supply to the upper levels in a move that helped keep off people with intentions to poison the water.

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As big as it is, it has a section for tombs where they placed the dead untill their enemies cease from attacking them.

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