Buried beneath the surface of Turkey’s Cappadocia are a number of stunning underground cities built in ancient times to protect the local population from marauding armies and roving bands of invaders, but the Kaymaklı Underground City dwarfs them all with its sprawling layout.
The underground cities of the region were likely initially built by peoples around 2000 BCE and later expanded upon by later civilizations as they moved in and out of the area. The multi-chambered city contains areas for storage, living quarters, wine-making, and stables like many of its sister cities in the region. While Kaymaklı may not have the innovative defenses of the Özkonak underground city, or the staggering depths of the Derinkuyu underground city, but what it does have is sheer floor space, clocking in at much wider than any of the other cities. Also unlike the other underground fortresses, many of the chambers and tunnels of the ancient fortification are still used by inhabitants in the region as storage and living space as they were some of the first people to find the historical city beneath their feet.
Although in its heyday, the Kaymaklı Underground City contained eight floors of subterranean defense, but currently only four of the floors are open to the public.