In the Cappadocia region of Nouşehir, central Turkey, ancient underground towns that date back thousands of years offer a fascinating historical experience that teaches visitors about the remnants of ancient life in those places. In Cappadocia, tourists can take balloon tours, go on quad bike excursions, go on foot tours, and experience the historical buildings and beautiful natural surroundings as well as go underground to see the ancient civilizations’ ruins.
The region’s soft tuff rocks, which were used to carve out the underground cities when they were first created between 3000 and 500 BC, were then expanded upon by the Hittites, followed by the Roman and Byzantine eras, until they reached their present size.
As there are rooms, warehouses, water cellars, a church, and other rooms connected to one another by short corridors, these towns were constructed in a manner commensurate with the requirements and conditions of housing required for a community to be able to live in them temporarily.
Six of the 20 cities that have been found in the area have been lit by Turkish authorities so that tourists can descend about 100 metres underground.
A Tourist Attraction
In the period between January and October of this year, 459,456 visitors to the city of “Kaymakli,” 298,117 visitors to the city of “Drin Koyu,” 194 thousand and 41 visitors to the city of “Ozkonak,” 9 thousand and 172 visitors to the city of “Mazi,” and 4 thousand and 846 visitors to the city of “Tatlarin.”
The city of “Qaya Shahr,” which opened to tourists in 2020, saw 87,322 visitors between January and October, according to statistics from the Nuşehir municipality, increasing the total number of local and foreign visitors to underground towns to 152,954.
Every part of Cappadocia is rich in tourism, according to Ozay Onur, the head of the Chamber of Tourist Guides in Nuşehir, who also emphasised that the region’s underground cities are among its most popular tourist destinations. He said that some regions of the world have wealth both above and below the surface, adding that Cappadocia has both types of prosperity. He added:
“In Cappadocia, you wander underground, explore the surface, and ascend to the sky, as it is the only place in the world where the three are present together, as we see that underground cities have been used since the Hittite era, and we do not know how many cities are underground in the region because we have not discovered them all yet.”