|What to do
Where to go
|Kaymaklı Underground City|
|Damat İbrahim Pasha Mosque|
|Kulliye Islamic-Ottoman Social Complex|
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If you want to travel thousands of years back in time and journey to an ancient underground city, the place you need to be is Kaymaklı. Kaymaklı is one of the Middle Anatolian cities and is 20 km from Nevşehir. Kaymaklı is considered to be one of the most magnificent underground cities in Cappadocia; it is estimated that this city was built by Phrygian and Hittite Civilizations during 7th and 8th centuries BC. Kaymaklı Underground City was used by the Roman Empire; it was preserved in good condition for thousands of years and recently has been under construction for restoration purposes; this city is a must see for all history enthusiasts. The city is a natural shelter and thus was used as a shelter by the people who lived here during the wars fought here in the Middle Ages. The deepest point from the surface of the underground city is 20 meters.. This city which is located so deep in the ground has a capacity of accommodating five thousand people.
Kaymaklı Underground City is made of 8 different floors, the first 4 floors are illuminated for tourists to visit. The city is made of hundreds of rooms, living rooms, wine cellars, water repositories, air shafts, wells, and churches connected by narrow tunnels. The signs on the entrances of the rooms explain the purpose of the room and give further information.
Each floor opens to large ventilation shafts and the size of each room and hall is essentially determined by the amount of available air conditioning. The underground city was carved by carving the soft tufa, and had some secret passages to houses located above ground. During your trip you can see the communication systems used between floors and the sliding stones used to protect and defend the city against attacks.
On the first floor of Kaymaklı City you can find animal shelters, accommodation rooms and a church. On the second floor there is another church and rows of rocks from wall to wall. This floor holds importance because it is presumed that it holds the graves of important people of Kaymaklı. On the third floor there are kitchens and rooms presumably used as repositories for food, wine and olive oil. On this floor there is also a large stone with cavities, it has been recently discovered that this stone was used by coppersmiths. On the fourth floor, there are large storage rooms meant for things that need to be stored for longer time periods. There are rumors that this floor also has secret underground tunnels to other underground cities. Ah another mystery!
Don’t forget to travel outside of the underground city during your trip to Kaymaklı. The region is an ancient Greek settlement with large number of churches and each of them is worth a visit. A large portion of Greeks lived here until the beginning of the 20th century, but in 1924 with the population exchange with Greece, they immigrated back to Greece. Another must-see place at Kaymaklı is the Damat İbrahim Pasha Mosque and Külliye (ottoman/islamic social complex). For transportation to Kaymaklı, you can take a bus from the Nevşehir city center and stay at one of the tourist hotels nearby.