Nevşehir Yeraltı Şehri


Useful Information

Location: Nevşehir, below the fortress.
(38.620618, 34.714448)
Open:  
Fee:  
Classification: SubterraneaCave House
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Nevşehir Yeraltı Şehri, , Tel: +90-.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

4th cty underground city constructed.
2013 underground city discovered.
2014-2020 archaeological excavations.
AUG-2020 partly opened to the public.

Description

Nevşehir Yeraltı Şehri (Nevşehir Underground City) was discovered in 2014 during an urban transformation project. It is located in the castle hill below the Nevşehir Fortress, where numerous other underground structures like churches were discovered. The research and cleaning works were financed by the municipality and up to 100 people were working at the site. Nevertheless the planned opening date of 2018 was missed and the site finally partly opened in Summer 2020. Further works are planned, including a cable car to the fortress.

As always in Turkey the descriptions of the site is quite weird and quite unrelated to reality. Some sites state the city was 5,000 years old, which is nonsense, like the others it was built around the 4th to 6th century. Also most articles state that the city is the biggest underground city of the world. That's not true, actually it has only one (perhaps two) levels below the surface, there are several bigger cities. And by the way, its not an underground city at all, as the rooms are not interconnected through tunnels. Each cave has an entrance to the surface, that's actually the opposite of a city intended as a hideout with a single door, protected by a huge millstone door and traps. This is actually a Kayaşehir (rock city). And finally the city was not discovered, in 2013/2014 (dates differ), actually the caves were well known to the inhabitants of the houses above and used as cellars. What actually happened was that the city purchased and demolished the houses. We guess the following opinion by Jason Borges is realistic:

"The city of Nevşehir, despite being the provincial capital in the middle of Cappadocia, has no popular destinations, and so it receives few tourists as compared to Ürgüp and Göreme. Eager to draw tourists towards the city center, the municipality perhaps overpromoted the site in the early days."